Most Americans wake up in the morning grab a cup a coffee from Starbucks along with some bakery item (ALL BAD CARBOHYDRATES) and shoot off to work. This usually occurs at about 7am or 8am. Next, they take their lunch at noon or 1pm and grab something quick, probably fast food or if they are trying to watch what they eat a carbohydrate filled sandwich. Most people will then arrive home from work around 5pm or 6pm, not wanting to cook dinner; they will usually go out to eat. Where they will take in an abundance of calories, since they have been deficient in calories all day long.
This BAD habit needs to come to an abrupt halt; this is causing Americans to become more and more obese. Over 50% of Americans are obese and there is a 50% chance for a child to become obese if even one parent is obese. This is a scary statistic; we are killing our future generations through bad eating habits. Most of us don't think we eat bad because you may only eat three times a day, but by doing this you are slowing down your metabolism, tremendously. Also, most people don't understand portions or balance (between carbohydrates, protein and fats).
WHY eat 5-6 times a day???
By eating three meals a day, you are usually waiting about 5+ hours between meals. Our bodies are very smart in the fact that they adjust very quickly to the habits of infrequent eating. Waiting too long between meals tells your body to slow down its ability to burn the previous meal. This is due to the fact that your body will not know when it is going to acquire more nutrients. You go into a storing period where your body holds onto everything you take in.
By eating every 3 hours you are constantly allowing your metabolism to burn at a much faster rate because you are regularly refueling your energy stores (through the process of eating).
A great rule of thumb --- When you eat the right balanced portion you should feel hungry after about 2.5-3 hours, if not, then you may have eaten too much, imbalanced, or your body is not yet used to you eating frequently. Give yourself about 2 weeks of eating smaller meals, 5-6 times daily and your body will catch on very fast and tell you when it has been 3 hours, trust me!!
Also, with this type of eating regime you should never feel starved or the discomfort of being too full. It will increase your energy levels. And cut out many cravings you get later in the day from eating too infrequent.
It has been proven --- People who eat more often lose more weight, are less depressed, less often suffer from afternoon exhaustion, and make MUCH better nutritional choices!
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B.S. Kinesiology: Exercise Science