How Often Should You Eat?

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Posted on 23rd June 2011 by admin in LivingFuelTV

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Dear Living Fuel Family,

A hotly debated topic among doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers, coaches, and mothers is the frequency of our meals.  While most of us are keenly aware that a crisp, organic apple is a better choice than a bag of potato chips, the timing of our eating is a subject that you’re not likely to find consensus.  Should we graze throughout the day?  Should we eat several small meals every three hours?  Should we eat three meals with no snacks or three meals with a mid-morning and afternoon snack?  A combination of all of the above?

Today on LivingFuelTV, I “weigh in” on the controversy from a lifetime of study. The practical information you’ll learn today is presented in depth in Chapter 13, Meal Frequency, Snacks, and Eating Speed, from my new book The Super Health Diet: The Last Diet You Will Ever Need! The book is jam-packed with practical tips on eating with wisdom and intent, supported by education. Tune in today and discover if your eating frequency matches your weight optimization and wellness goals.

Click on the graphic below to watch.

Audio Transcription

Welcome to Living Fuel TV. I’m KC Craichy. Meal frequency, three meals a day, four meals a day, five meals a day, six meals a day… What is the truth? Well, it has become basically nutritional dogma that you should graze all the time, that you should have five to six meals a day, and that that is the healthiest way. You keep your blood sugar up, you keep feeling good, and it’s really accepted to be truth today. But is it really true? Grandma said, “Eat three meals a day and don’t snack after dinner.”

So, is Grandma right, or are all these pundits right? That’s the question we have today. So, I looked at this issue, basically, how does the body respond to food? Why do people eat all the time? They talk about they want to keep the blood sugar up. They want to keep their energy going. They want to stoke the metabolism. This word “metabolism” is really overused. People say, “I have a fast metabolism.” “I have a slow metabolism.” “I eat all the time to keep my metabolism going.” Well, the truth is, they really don’t want to go into cannibalization, where the body is tearing down proteins of the body and using that for energy. So, they continue throwing food in the fire, so to speak, to keep that from happening.

So, looking at the body, when you eat, let’s say, protein, let’s just say you have a meal with 50 grams of protein. Let’s just say it’s in the form of a steak. When you eat a steak, let’s say for lunch, and people say, “Well, I just had 50 grams of protein. I had a great protein lunch.” So, then they want to eat three hours later. But what happens, is the protein and the potatoes, and whatever else you ate… Let’s say your blood sugar was at, say, 85. You started your meal. Then the blood sugar went to roughly 100. Then it starts to work its way down over a two and a half to three hour period. What happens from the endocrine system’s perspective is, high insulin starts to happen and push down the blood sugar. When the blood sugar gets about back to where it started, then glucagon kicks in and the body starts releasing stored energy to be used as fuel. From the time the stored energy starts being released until you eat again is what we call “maximum metabolic mode”. So, if you eat in the middle, what happens to that scenario? You have your meal, the blood sugar and insulin rises. It starts to fall and before it reaches baseline again, you put something else in your mouth and raise your blood sugar again. So, you never get into maximum metabolic mode and you put a lot of stress on your adrenals, and eventually that wears you out. So from one perspective, from the endocrine system, it makes more sense to eat, allow the blood sugar and insulin level to rise. Bring back to baseline. Go to maximum metabolic mode, and then you eat again. So, when you eat again, let’s say those are six hour cycles, you allow the endocrine system to work as it is designed to work. So, that is one scenario.

The second piece is, are they really going to go catabolic? Are you really going to lose muscle between meals if you don’t eat between meals? That question is answered by how fast does protein digest? We talked about the steak, for instance. Once you eat a steak, it’s going to be at least two hours before any amino acids are being released from that steak. So, when you see your sugar and insulin rise, the amino acids are not there ready to be released. So, from the time they start to release, they’re going to release from six to 10 grams per hour. If you think about a 50 gram with a two hour delay, it’s really seven hours before – at the earliest, and a meat can take 30 hours for that matter – that the amino acids are going to be released into the body.

So, I believe Grandma was right. Now, we’re not going to settle this today. But the truth is, I say that from now – if you try this tomorrow, you have your breakfast and you think about what you are going to eat before lunch, and you pull that all the way back to breakfast and have it at breakfast. Have nothing in the middle. So, you have breakfast at 7:00, lunch at 1:00, dinner at 7:00. So, take the same thing at lunch. Whatever you’re going to have for your afternoon snack, drag it back to your lunch. Eat it then and wait until dinner, and don’t eat anything at night. I think you’ll find that you probably won’t even feel like snacking, and I think you’ll increase your energy. You’ll continue to start to optimize you weight and you’ll start to feel better.

I hope this was helpful to you. God bless you, and have a great day.

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