Small Meals to Stay Healthy
It has been found that eating small meals throughout the day can help you lose weight. This is because it enhances your metabolism. Thus whatever you eat gets digested more quickly. Today lots of people in the portions that are too large at meal times and this is one of the main reasons why obesity is on the rise.
Larger meal sizes also mean a larger calorie intake. When you eat in small portions the amount of calories you are taking in is also less. To get started you need to reduce the size of the meals you eat throughout the day. This can be done gradually over time to reduce the possibility of still feeling hungry after meals.
Small meals work well with our bodies metabolism. This is because you are giving your body a small quantity of energy that it needs at that point in time. This has the benefit of keeping our energy levels consistent throughout the day. If you give the body more energy than it actually needs, eating too much, then it will store the excess as fat.
This results in weight gain day by day. But if you are eat small meals and healthy snacks regularly throughout the day then the body will use this energy and store much less as fat for later use.
If you, as many people do, eat three big meals a day then now aim for 6 small meals spread out through the day. This will keep your body balanced and help to level out your glycemic index as there will be a regular flow of energy through your body.
According to the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition unit, measurements of fatty acids in the blood also remain stable when you eat little and often.
This is good news because peaks and troughs in these have been shown to increase risk of heart disease.
Advantage of Eating Small Meals
There is another advantage of eating small meals. You are less likely to feel tired and bloated after eating a large meal. When you eat a large meal your blood sugar levels will peak and fall. This fall is what causes that tired feeling shortly after eating a large meal. With smaller meals your energy intake is more evenly distributed throughout the day. This in turn reduces the peak and troughs of energy levels rising and falling.
Done properly, the little-and-often approach makes it easier to get all the nutrients you need.
On average, the three-meals-a-day eater relies on the same six to seven foodstuffs – whereas, for optimum health, doctors say we should be aiming for 16 different types over two or three days.
‘When we studied eating patterns, we found that regular grazers actually had healthier diets than those eating the traditional three square meals a day approach,’ says Dr Sandra Drummond from Queen Margaret’s University College in Edinburgh.
‘They ate less fat, more carbohydrates and more fruit and vegetables. Other studies have found grazers to have higher levels of vitamin C and other nutrients – they also tend to have lower levels of body fat.’
If you wish to maintain your energy levels throughout the day consider eating smaller meals at more regular intervals.