Learning to eat instinctively based on hunger cues is one of the best skills we can attune, but it’s hard to accomplish in a world saturated with food propaganda. Also, it’s also confusing to know how to plan your eating schedule with diet books yelling at us all the time: “Stop eating carbs at 12pm!”, “Eat 6 smaller meals instead of 3!”, “Don’t eat at all until dinner and then eat as many calories as you can fit inside your face!”
Here are the five things you really need to know in order to nail your nutrition.
1. True or False: Eating 6 small meals is better than eating 3 larger meals.
Answer: It depends!!
Everyone responds differently to a different feeding schedule, so at the end of the day, the best schedule for your meals is what is most successful FOR YOU! If you are a snacker, you might do better with six smaller meals to keep you from grabbing the nearest edible item. If you have a job that requires you to travel, 6 meals just might not be practical and you'd do better with 4 medium sized meals. Some people love grazing or even fasting throughout the day, and then eating one large meal for dinner. Find what works for you, because there is no one right way!
2. True or False: Skipping breakfast will slow your metabolism down and make you fat.
Answer: It depends!! But mostly, false.
If you are not a breakfast person, skip it! As long as you have a sound plan for your meals the rest of the day. The reason skipping breakfast backfires is that we get busy and oftentimes forget to eat until dinner and then destroy the first piece of food we see, which is somehow almost always an entire birthday cake…
3. True or False: Intermittant Fasting, fasting for 12 or more hours and then eating one large meal, is the best method to leaning out.
Answer: It depends!
This approach definitely works well for some people, and research proves that it's highly effective for men. I would caution women away from IF because it has been known to really disrupt hormonal cycles and has lead to some dangerous side effects. However, when you really think about it, IF is just a fancified version of what we already do naturally. Meaning, some days we might be super hungry, other days we are not. This is because we are humans, not robots. Have you ever slept 8 hours, woken up, got started with your day, and then ate your first meal at noon? That's basically IF. So I don't think we need to purposefully fast for 12 straight hours and then go savage on an entire rotisserie chicken to get results. I think we just have to get better at listening to our hunger cues. With practice, you will be able to discern between a true hunger cues and inner voices like “I need that Kit Kat, I need that Kit Kat, I need that Kit Kat.”
4. True or False: Honing your hunger cues takes professional nutrition coaching.
The next time hunger kicks in, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I actually feel hungry?
Why do I feel hungry?
How long ago did I eat?
How much water did I drink today?
Did I recently have a high amount of sugar?*
If everything seems on track, then it’s probably true hunger and time to fix yourself something awesomely nutritious.
*simply put, eating foods high in sugar (this includes bread!) can create false hunger cues, causing you to overeat.
5. True or False: If I eat less and less, I will lose more and more.
Eating less isn’t more. It’s less. Eating too few calories will not expedite fat loss. It will actually make your body start to conserve calories and store fat because it is responding to this decrease in food, just as it would in a potato famine. That is why finding a healthy balanced diet that keeps you energized and satiated is optimum for fat loss because it helps to maintain a healthy metabolism and gives you energy for your awesome workouts, which will in turn burn calories and create lean muscle mass that will in turn continue burning calories while you are sitting here reading this blog. BOOM. Moral of the story: EAT to be FIT. STARVE to be HANGRY.
If you are interested in more information like this blog above, I encourage you to contact me about my Boss Fuel Custom Nutrition Program. For 4 weeks at a time, we will work together to create healthy habits, sustainable calorie and macronutrient goals, sample meal plans, and REAL RESULTS. I want eating to feel simple, organized and empowering! And effective!