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Monday, August 20, 2012

Frequent Feeder

As you may have guessed...I love food. I could probably eat all day long as I also really enjoy the eating experience. I like the tastes, the colors, the friends and conversation that often comes with eating. One of my achilles heals, in fact, is that I eat when I'm bored...because it somehow makes things more interesting. (Don't do this, by the way.)

No, bud...this is not what I mean.
So you may not be surprised to hear that I am what people refer to as a "Frequent Feeder." I typically eat...all day. Well, actually I eat six times a day. Yes, six times. Now I don't eat six large meals a day. I'm not Michael Phelps. Most of my meals are smaller meals, or snacks. So I wanted to share with you when I eat, and why I do it this way.

7:00 - Breakfast (I typically have a very large breakfast - especially if I have just worked out at the gym. This is when we "break our fast," so I like to celebrate it by making it a feast. Actually, it's just a good way to kick-start the metabolism and fuel up the body for the day. If you are not a big fan of breakfast, try having something small to eat right after waking up. Then follow it up with a larger snack about an hour later. This will help you to start waking up hungry, which is a good thing. Skipping breakfast entirely isn't ideal.)

10:30 - Snack (Sometimes I'm not always hungry at this point in the day, after my large breakfast celebration, but I try to put back something...especially with protein. For this snack I might drop a handful of almonds and maybe a slice of fruit. Just something to keep my metabolism fired up.)

12:30 - Lunch (Chipotle today at noon, anyone?)

3:30 - Snack (Something light, but which contains protein. Maybe an apple with some peanut-butter. You can never really go wrong with fruit/veggies and peanut-butter. If you have an extra dime to drop, use almond butter.)

6:00 - Dinner (I try to eat a smaller dinner to signal to my body that it is time to start winding down. I don't need as much fuel later in the day.)

8:30 - Bedtime snack (I keep this one really light. A small bowl of cereal is my favorite bedtime snack. Whatever you do, don't overeat at this meal. Remember, your body doesn't need a lot of fuel at this point. Plus, it gives you crazy dreams...and not the fun kind.)

Eating frequently helps you not to overeat at your next meal, too. Typically when we wait long periods before our next fuel-up, we show up to it feeling starved. So our bodies tell us to eat more in order to avoid feeling like this. But eating regularly signals to the body that it will get fed again in a bit, so to chill out with the cravings.

I also like how eating regularly keeps the metabolism fired up. Your body will continue to burn fat instead of store it up (which is what tends to happen when you starve the body for long periods of time).

The key, though, is to eat good foods at each meal and to decrease the size of each meal. We, Americans, already struggle with gargantuan sized take it easy, Kobayashi, and eat smaller meals with healthier foods.

What is your eating schedule like? Share with us in the comment section below!

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