The timing of your meals – the when you eat – as important as what you eat.
I tell my clients to never allow themselves to skip meals nor to get too hungry. One main reason for this recommendation is that low blood sugar puts a major stress on your body and is taxing on your adrenal glands. Long periods of time without food make those adrenal glands work harder than they need to, requiring them to release more of the stress hormone cortisol to keep your body going. And I don’t know anyone that needs more stress! Continually high cortisol levels are attributed to weight gain around the middle. So if someone is complaining of a “muffin top” appearing, you know they’ve got some extra stress piling up. Eating 3 nutritious meals and 2-3 small snacks – bridges – that are spread throughout the day is an excellent way to balance your blood sugar and lessen the burden on your adrenal glands.
There are 2 other major considerations that we need to look at as we plan the best timing for your meals – gut health and exercise.
When it comes to the gut and gut health, think of your intestinal tract as a large muscle… just like the other muscles in your body, when you work them you need a period of rest for recovery afterwards. The digestive tract loves to have a meal digest through followed a time of nothing, of rest. In this scenario, eating “small, frequent meals every 2-3 hours” does not apply. Larger, wholesome and satisfying meals certainly does. Most people tend to eat their largest meal at dinner time, though when it comes to gut health, timing of meals and portion size the old saying is a pretty darned good guideline to follow — eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar!
The other major consideration is when to eat around exercise. I wrote a blog about that a few months ago so let me give you the link to it…