Do you ever look at thin people with envy? Maybe you have a friend who you sometimes go out for a meal with who seems to be able to eat whatever they like and still stay really slim.
So what’s the secret? These people just have a fast metabolism that’s able to cope with the amount of food they eat. But don’t despair. A fast metabolism isn’t something that’s reserved for only a select few. It’s possible for anyone to get the same results.
The key to increasing your metabolic rate is to spread your food intake out more evenly throughout the day and increase the amount of exercise you do. Rather than eating the traditional three large meals a day, you should change your eating habits so that you have five small meals each day. (1)
When you eat three meals, you use up all the energy provided by one meal before the next one is due. As part of the digestion process, the glucose that enters your bloodstream is broken down by insulin. Immediately after a meal your blood sugar levels are high, but after the insulin has done its job your sugar level will be low until you eat again. This causes your blood sugar level to go through a series of peaks and troughs throughout the day and leaves your body depleted of energy.
If you only eat three meals, by the time you’re due for your next meal your blood sugar is so low that your body is getting desperate for more fuel and you’re really hungry. This can cause you to eat more than you really need to. Your body then gets overwhelmed by the volume of food and can’t process it all effectively, so much of it gets stored as fat.
By eating five small, nutritious meals during the day your energy stores will be replenished before you get to the point of being overly hungry. Your blood sugar won’t go through high and low phases all day because you’ll be eating again before it’s had the chance to drop too far. Your metabolic rate will be sustained at a relatively even level right through the day. Your body will come to learn that there is always a good supply of fuel so it will burn more calories and also utilize some of your fat stores as energy.
If you also increase the amount of exercise you do, your metabolism will increase more and your body will burn even more fat. Then one day maybe you’ll be the one that others are envious of because you’ll be able to eat all day and never gain weight.
Craving Carbs? Here’s What to Do
Why We Crave Carbs
Do you ever find that you’re feeling really hungry and craving sugary food? If there’s anything sweet in sight, you just can’t control yourself. That piece of cake just looks so good. It’s because of feelings like these that some people think that carbohydrates aren’t good for them. They think that the key to losing weight is to avoid carbs. But actually, Americans have gotten fatter since low carb diets came on the scene. Today, over 60% of Americans are overweight or obese.
If you find yourself craving carbs it doesn’t mean that carbs are bad for you. Cravings are our body’s way of telling us that it’s missing something. In Americans, the cravings are often associated with one of two things: the American custom of eating three meals a day, or low calorie diets. (2)
If you eat three large meals a day, you’re probably eating more at each meal than your body can handle. Even if you’re eating nutritious foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals or lean meat, if you give your body more calories than it can use at the time they will be stored as fat.
When you eat, your body releases insulin to process the sugars in your bloodstream. Any sugar that isn’t required at the time is stored in your fat cells. Once the insulin is released, it keeps on doing its job until all the sugar has been processed. At this stage, the levels of both sugar and insulin in your blood will be very low. If this happens, you can be left feeling tired and irritable. This is why, if you have a large lunch and then don’t have another meal until that night, you start feeling hungry around mid-afternoon.
This mid-afternoon hunger and tiredness is your body telling you that it needs more fuel to keep it functioning. Remember, there’s no sugar in your bloodstream at this stage because the insulin has already processed it all and sent it to your fat cells. So you start to crave foods with lots of sugar because this is what your body desperately needs. If you give in to your cravings, your body then releases lots of insulin again to process the sugars and the cycle of highs and lows of blood sugar continues.
Maybe you managed not to give in to your cravings and didn’t have anything to eat between lunch and dinner. Your body still needed energy so where did it come from? If there’s no other source, your body will convert muscle tissue to sugar to use as energy. The end result of this is that your metabolism will become slower. Your body will become accustomed to burning fewer calories and you will build up more fat. This is what happens if you are on a low calorie diet.
So back to the two reasons you crave carbs that were mentioned earlier. If you’re eating just three meals a day you are constantly putting your body through a series of sugar and insulin peaks and troughs and not providing it with a constant supply of fuel to convert to energy. And if you’re on a low calorie diet, you’re forcing it to find fuel from your muscles and slowing your metabolism.
So what’s the solution? If you eat more regularly and have five small, nutritious meals throughout the day, you will keep up the fuel supply to your body. You won’t go through periods of hypoglycaemia (which is when you have used all the sugar in your bloodstream) and you won’t need to draw on your muscles to provide the sugar you need. Once you get into the habit of eating this way, you’ll find that your cravings for carbs are a thing of the past.
A Solution to Eating Balanced Meals Throughout the Day
Is eating three large meals a day the best way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs? Opinion here is divided, with some medical practitioners recommending that five small, balanced meals, spread evenly throughout the day, is a better option.
Some people may question how they can find the time to eat five times a day but when you understand why this is believed to be a better way to consume your nutrients, you might decide that it wouldn’t be such a hassle after all.
When we eat, our bodies secrete insulin in response to rises in our blood sugar levels. The job of this insulin is to remove the sugar from our bloodstreams and move it into our cells. As this process continues, the levels of both insulin and sugar in our blood decreases. This happens every time we eat. (3)
If we only eat two or three large meals a day, we have long periods of time in between meals when we are, effectively, fasting. Eating in this manner causes blood sugar and insulin to go through a series of peaks and troughs throughout the day – when we eat, our levels are high, then as we go into the ‘fasting’ period, our sugar and insulin levels become very low. This can lead to a condition called hypoglycaemia, which just means low blood sugar levels. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia can vary but can include hunger, confusion, irritability, sweating, and even heart palpitations. So if we are able to reduce these troughs by shortening the ‘fasting’ periods between meals, the chances of hypoglycaemia developing are reduced. This is why eating five small meals a day seems to be a better option. Plus, having smaller meals is likely to decrease food cravings and can even reduce mood swings. With smaller meals we are also less likely to overeat.
It’s really not that difficult to get into the habit of eating five meals a day. Live Lean Today’s meal plans can provide you with a weekly menu to fit in with your lifestyle.
Maybe now that you know why eating five small meals a day is a good idea you will be more inclined to give it a go. As most people these days lead busy, hectic lives, it’s helpful if one or two of our small meals are something quick and easy. One option here is to have a nutrition shake like Optimal Meal Formula Shakes. You just add two scoops to 10-12oz of water and mix.
So now you know how eating five small meals a day can assist you to have stable levels of blood sugar and insulin throughout the whole day. And best of all you’ll feel healthier and happier.
The Benefits of Eating Apple
An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ very few of us understand the significance of this statement and that of the fruit. Apple, the wonder fruit has several qualities that make it unique and much beneficial than many other fruits.
Apple is a naturally protected fruit with a special, fine, & beautiful waxy covering. The fresh and crispy fruit has high water content, while also containing the nutrients such as photochemical, quercetin, tannins, antioxidants, pectin, and natural fiber. Apple is low in calories. It does not contain any fat or cholesterol and has the additional abilities to control hair fall, diabetes, and hypertension.
Apple is blessed with unique anti cancer quality. It even reduces the risk of heart disease, & respiratory problems (including asthma). The fruit is also effective in the treatment of constipation and diarrhea. It contains Vitamin A to strengthen our bones & teeth, while keeping our vision sharp. Moreover, apple contains a type of phenol, which reduces bad cholesterol and increases the levels of good cholesterol and phytonutrients in the body. The raised levels of these chemicals prevent the occurrence of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease). (5)
Not to forget, the great tasting apple occurs in different flavors and colors such as green, red, and golden. Therefore, add apple as an indispensable part of your diet to live a long and healthy life!