SuperHealth Challenge Tip!

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Posted on 7th January 2012 by admin in Super Health

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One argument for eating five or six small meals a day is that when the body is deprived of food for a period of time, it will switch naturally to “starvation mode.” By eating every few hours, there’s no question that we signal our bodies to continue to burn calories. I have used the same “starvation” premise in this book as a warning against suddenly adopting a low calorie diet. It is true that in famine situations, when our bodies are given fewer calories, they will slow our metabolism to burn whatever fat stores we already have, thus protecting us for survival. That is a good thing.

However, here’s the problem regarding this argument for eating six meals a day. While it is true our bodies do respond to a prolonged fast by slowing our metabolism to conserve energy, the key word is “prolonged.” As Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva, has stated: “Your body doesn’t go into starvation mode if you go four hours without food. In fact, it takes about three days of fasting or serious caloric restriction for your body to respond with any sort of metabolic adjustment.” In other words, three to six hours or even longer between meals is not going to kick your body into starvation mode.

There are really two issues that are generally being bundled into a single issue in people’s minds and referred to as metabolic rate. The two reasons most people believe eating more frequently is best are true metabolic rate and catabolism of lean body mass. Metabolic rate is basically how much energy—carbohydrates, fats, and proteins—your body is burning while at rest. Catabolism is how long the body can go without going into a catabolic state (breaking down lean body mass to be used as building blocks or fuel in the body).

KC Craichy
Author
The Super Health Diet