Now that you have started to clean up your house a little with new cleaners, reduced plastics, and some all natural and/or organic foods, let’s talk about getting yourself on an eating schedule. Most people who have trouble with their weight think they have a “slow metabolism,” but what most people do not understand is that your metabolism is made up of your hormones. If your hormones are out of whack due to the numerous toxins that they’re exposed to everyday, then you will be short of luck when getting your body under control. One thing on the list of getting your hormones on schedule is to be as regular as possible with your eating habits. Some books and articles claim small meals up to six times a day, but the reality is, you need to do what’s right for you and your situation.
I would say, listen to your body, but I believe there are too many people who have forgotten how to listen to their body and only respond to it when it’s too late and things get out of control. You may have heard that if you have waited until you are thirsty to drink, you have waited too long because your body is dehydrated. Then, what have most people done in response to their thirstiness? They drink a bunch of water all at once to try and make up for the lack. This is WRONG, and the reason why, is that your body can only absorb so much water at one given time (I’ll save you the physiology essay), the rest will be voided out. That’s why drinking water throughout the day is best, and to increase water consumption when the weather is cooler/hotter, or you have had increase exercise or exposure to the Sun. By the way, under normal circumstance, you should dink about half of your body weight in ounces per day. I have a 32oz water bottle that I carry with me all day, and I know that I need to drink a minimum of 2bottles everyday to make sure I am keeping well hydrated. This is a good and easy way to keep track. If you do not drink enough water, your skin, muscles and bones dry up. Since our body is made up mostly of water, you decrease function EVERYWHERE when you are dehydrated, even in your BRAIN! And being that your brain controls it all, you can see how not drinking enough water can alter the control of your of your weight/hormones. Sometimes you may think you are hungry, but you may just be thirsty since your brain/stomach may not know how to tell you specifically. If you think you are hungry, try filling up and see if that hunger is still there, if it is, then I guess it’s time to eat. 🙂
The same concept applies for when you are hungry: you should not wait until you are hungry (or in some cases “starving”) to eat, otherwise you have waited too long. I am not saying to stuff yourself with food all day to make sure, but what I am going to point out is that if you get on a schedule, your body will know how to be prepared to metabolize food at certain times. What usually happens when you wait for hunger to strike, you tend to over eat, and eat until you are stuffed! What should happen is that you eat until you are full, but not stuffed. Or stop when you stop feeling hungry and the food stops tasting as awesome as that FIRST bite. It takes some conscious effort, but soon you will get the hang of it and it becomes habitual. You will start learning what your body is telling you. You will anticipate your hunger times, and know EXACTLY when to stop. And if there is still food on your plate, then get excited to have them again as tasty leftovers! No matter how much is left, it’s all about that taste that makes you want to keep going, so save it!
I believe you should eat a minimum of 4 times a day, and up to 6 times a day. 4 times would be: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, eating every 4 hours. 6 times a day would look like this: Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, and you would be eating about every 2 hours. Depending on how much and when you exercise/work will determine which one you ultimately decide to do. You may even decide which one based on how hungry you USUALLY get in a particular day. Neither is wrong or right, just make it a routine, and you may even switch back and forth from day to day or week to week. When you start eating better foods as well, your body will make the correct adjustments because it loves the nutrition. Being obese generally means the body is lacking nutrition, therefore the body continues to be hungry non- stop, and because hormones are altered, the brain cannot tell their body when to stop.
So your homework for this week is to start implementing drinking more water and teaching yourself to eat regularly. Find out which schedule will work best for you on all the days of the week so you can set yourself up for success. In the next newsletter I will give you tips on attention, snack choices, and how to know when you are eating too many and too little calories. Stay tuned for part 2 of “Eating Schedule.” For questions in the meantime, comment us here, or visit our Facebook or Twitter pages.