For 5 weeks, I will be breaking down the top four “health rules” that I BREAK.
One thing that I pray for you is that you never take any person’s opinion as fact. While some of these “rules” might work for you, I would say the majority of people it is actually hurting rather than helping them. Even when I tell you my opinion, you need to decide for yourself if you will benefit from this or not. You need to test it out by applying it your life, listen to how your body reacts and then make YOUR OWN DECISION.
Last week’s rule was Never Skip Breakfast. I’d love to hear your opinions so don’t forget to stop by my Facebook page and leave questions or comments!
Well, this week’s really follows along in this similar direction.
RULE NUMBER TWO: EAT EVERY 2-3 HOURS TO KEEP YOUR METABOLISM GOING
Humm. Heard this one? Have you said this to yourself before when you really want a snack? Another form of this that I hear is, “Eat something when you’re hungry. Your body is telling you it needs fuel.”
Oh. I believed this one for a long time. I really thought it would help me fight off hunger and eat less if I kept my meals/snacks small and healthy.
It sounds good in theory, to keep your metabolism going, but it isn’t really founded in truth.
How about a short science lesson? It really can help clear this myth up.
When we are born, God puts a perfect instrument in us to tell us when our body needs fuel. It’s called hunger. I like to think of an example when eating was simple. Let’s take a look at a baby. The baby eats when it’s hungry, stops when it’s full. The baby gains just the right amount of weight for its growing body. If you try to overfeed them, you’ll have a cranky baby or a big mess to clean up.
My guess is that most of us would like to go back to that way of eating. A time when you didn’t have to count points, count calories or track macros (by the way none of this is wrong, we just don’t have time for this).
What has happened to our bodies as adults?
Our hunger has become miscalibrated. Diets and especially CONCENTRATED FOOD has messed up our hormones and hunger signals.
First, let me define concentrated food. I like to think of this as anything that we humans have taken from the earth and processed to a point that it isn’t recognizable in its natural form. Mainly, when I say concentrated food, I am talking about flour and sugar. It is highly processed and highly addictive for our brains.
When we eat, we usually take in some form of a carbohydrate (aka carb). When we consume a carb it turns into glucose and is sent into the blood stream. Our bodies, the amazing way God designed them, wants to keep a stable level of glucose in our blood (this is called our blood sugar level). When the body senses glucose in the blood, it releases INSULIN from the pancreas. Insulin is then sent to the muscles, brain and liver to tell them to take in glucose from the blood stream.
Insulin is SUPER important. Type One Diabetics don’t have enough insulin and without it their cells literally starve and die. GLUCOSE AND INSULIN ARE IMPORTANT!
The problem comes when we have too much insulin. When we have too much of it, it tells the fat cells that there is too much glucose in the blood and they need to take up the left-over glucose. Thus, extra glucose is stored as FAT. This is when glucose stops being FUEL for our body.
Every time we eat something with a carbohydrate, our blood sugar (amount of glucose in the blood) spikes which then releases a spike of insulin. Concentrated foods make your blood sugar spike really high rather quickly. This means insulin is triggered to release in large quantities, dropping your blood sugar lower than normal range quickly. I like to picture this as the highest peak on a roller coaster where you spike up quickly and come racing down. Usually, this whole process happens within 1-2 hours after eating something like a donut or cupcake.
When our blood sugar dips below “normal” range we get hungry. Not usually the normal hungry, but the, “I’m starving and shaky. I need food now!” kind of hungry. Or, you can call it hangry.
But, if you eat something that has a lot of fiber, fewer carbs and very little sugar, glucose will be released into your blood slowly. Insulin is released in smaller quantities over a longer period of time. I like to picture this as those short rolling hills at the end of a roller coaster just before you are going to slow down. When you eat vegetables with protein this process will last over 3-5 hours.
So, what is my point? If you are eating foods that constantly spike your blood sugar, you will feel the need to eat every 2-3 hours. Your body will release hormones that warn you that you need to eat. This isn’t really true though. Your body has enough fuel to last you much longer.
There is another layer to this and it is called insulin resistance. If we are constantly spiking that blood sugar and releasing insulin, over and over and over again, our muscle cells become resistant to insulin, meaning they stop responding as well to insulin. This keeps glucose in the blood and forces it to turn into fat. It is just a double whammy. It just means it is EASIER to GAIN weight.
KEY POINT: WE DON’T WANT TO BE EATING EVERY 2-3 HOURS BECAUSE OUR BODIES WILL STOP RESPONDING TO INSULIN AND WE WILL GAIN FAT QUICKER.
It doesn’t actually speed up our metabolism. It slows it down.
This is important; keep yourself in a healthy blood sugar range. Plan meals that will keep you fuller longer by elongating the blood sugar curve. Eat every 3-5 hours instead. This will increase your insulin sensitivity in the body so you use glucose as fuel and not store it as FAT!
Do this consistently and your hormones will re-calibrate so you can rely on your huger to tell you when you need fuel and when you don’t.
If you don’t, your hunger may be lying to you.
I want to leave you with this verse,
Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 1-2
So, how about some renewing of your mind? Read and test the information so you can examine and approve God’s will in your life. Remember, this is YOUR life.
If you are wondering about how to really apply this to your everyday life, sign up for a FREE 45-minute coaching session with me here!