My mother was a stickler for regular meals. Breakfast at 8 a.m., lunch at noon, and supper at 6 p.m. Day in and day out, that was the schedule. Her insistence that eating regularly promoted optimum health was so pervasive that I never even considered asking whether I could miss a meal.
With my mom, you washed up, came to the table and ate with gusto. End of story.
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When my mother said “It’s time to eat,” I ate
Of course, there were plenty of peculiar culinary habits my mother brought with her from Kentucky—habits that would make a health-conscious person today raise both eyebrows and run for the treadmill: things like cooking with lard, eating the fat rather than trimming it, and putting half a cube of real butter in the green beans. My cholesterol levels are on the rise, just thinking about it.
What about regular meals, though? Lard, fat and butter aside—is eating on schedule good for you? Or are regular meals a bad idea?
Don’t laugh—this is a debatable topic
Here are three reasons why you may be better off eating sporadically, instead of by the clock:
- When you allow your digestive processes to rest, your body is able to concentrate on other internal activities—healing, for example. And a good way to rest your digestive system is to miss a meal or two (or three). Regular meals and snacks make for almost constant digestive activity.
- Breaking the cycle (whatever your particular cycle is) makes the body stand up and take notice. Hormones that have been dormant spring into action and metabolic changes occur. Research scientists have noted that periodic fasting, for example, may stimulate internal processes that help protect against serious diseases—like diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, and cancer.
- Recent research concerning aerobic exercise indicates those who go to the gym in a fasting state are apt to lose more fat than those who go well-fed. If your exercise routine calls for working out in order to work off a dinner of steak and mashed potatoes, you may be losing ground instead of losing weight.
Could sporadic eating help you lose weight?
Could it be that three square meals each day are a big part of the reason why I am in a continual battle with that spare tire around my waist?
Research (and common sense) may be telling us the regular meals at regular times philosophy is not the best plan. Not that we should starve ourselves, but it does seem wise to change our eating habits into non-habits.
Guidelines to help you succeed
- Break up your routine.
- Miss a meal every day or two.
- Keep your body guessing.
If nothing changes, nothing changes. When you switch it up and give your system something to think about, your body will react by burning stored fat.
Are those the results you are looking for? If so, why not try this free, simple, and straightforward means of change? You’ve nothing to lose but fat, and much more to gain than social approval of your eating habits.
Lane Goodberry writes about the topics that matter most … and recent health research findings is one of those topics.
About the Author: Carleen Coulter