Do you eat like a sumo wrestler?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Does this sound like your average day?

Skip a big lunch...wait several a big dinner...sleep.

Did you know that following a similar routine is how sumo wrestlers gain weight? Yikes, right?

I am a big believer that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires eating small, frequent meals. The goal is to keep your blood sugar even, avoiding spikes and big dips. The longer you wait between meals, the lower your blood sugar will be when you finally do eat something. When you wait until your blood sugar is low and you're ravenous to eat a meal, you are more likely to:

  1. Experience sugar or carbohydrate cravings.
  2. Consume too many calories.
  3. Send your body into "fat storing" mode.
What does this look like from your body's point of view?

When your blood sugar dips, your body sends a message to your brain to, "get more fuel now! Preferably something quick-burning (aka sugar and simple carbs), please!" Those quick-burning carbs will temporarily send your blood sugar back up but, like throwing paper on a fire, they burn up quickly and leave you sluggish and craving sugary foods again. When you finally sit down to eat, you are likely to eat a large meal because you're really hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for you to begin to experience the feeling of being full. If you are eating quickly, you can easily eat too much before your body can say "whoa!". Those excess calories and more will be stored as fat- your body is planning ahead for the next long period without food.

How often should you eat?

I usually eat something every 2 to 4 hours. I never skip breakfast- it is very important to literally "break" your "fast" after several hours of not eating. My average day looks something like this:

7:30am Breakfast
10:00am Snack
12:30pm Lunch
3:30pm Snack
7:00pm Dinner

Not sure what to eat? Here are some breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas.

Something cool from Slim Fast:

The Slim Fast company has started an online magazine in the United Kingdom to provide their customers with access to articles on healthy eating, fitness, weight loss, and more. I am so happy to see that this information is being made available to those looking for help in these areas. I'm also honored that some of my blog posts are being included! Thank you Slim Fast team!

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