Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Eating Several Small Meals for Weight Loss

May 18th, 2010

Do you want to eat more and still lose weight? Well, there may be a trick to this particular piece of advice for weight loss. Many diet gurus advocate eating smaller meals more frequently in place of the usual three square meals a day, the practice of consuming smaller amounts of food at regular intervals throughout the day has been seen to help with weight loss by changing the body’s metabolism, or by taking advantage of it.

The digestive system and hunger center in our brain are connected, so how we eat affects how long we feel hungry or sated.The human body evolved for survival, so it has many mechanisms to ensure survivability. For example, the brain signals hunger when your stomach is empty, and will cause you to want as much food as you can stuff into your belly. This mechanism evolved over times when food was scarce, and eating a lot was the only way to store energy for lean times. Now times have changed, and food is readily available at most any time of the day, but we still have these outdated survival instincts. Luckily though, by understanding why we eat what we eat, we can work against these urges, and even alter them to some extent.

More frequent, but smaller meals can also mean better control over the food. When you are very hungry, you might feel that you do not care about the portion size or caloric content, as long as you get full! Alaso when we feel extremely hungry we tend to overeat. While this is a natural mechanism, it can prove to be a problem when you are trying to control your portions. Eating more often changes how your body seeks food, and you will always have something in your stomach, making you feel less hungry. Thus, the next time you eat, you can keep your portions controlled. Keeping portions small allows us to shrink our stomach and feel full on smaller meals.

The human metabolism rises and falls throughout the day, in accordance with how you eat. When food enters your stomach, the digestive system revs up to a higher state in order to deal with what is coming in. After a few hours, the food will have moved on and your digestive system goes into a low state. The highs and lows affect your energy levels, so you feel energetic a short while after eating, and tired in the couple of hours before the next meal.

The concept of eating more frequently takes advantage of the system by keeping the digestive component of metabolism from going into a low state. By periodically injecting fuel into the system, you can keep metabolism in medium-to-high cycles instead of the usual low-to-high cycles. This means that in the times between your small meals, your body can keep burning calories at a reasonable rate, some of which will come from fat deposits. Keeping your metabolism running full speed also gives you more energy throughout the day. This practice of eat-often-eat-less keeps our energy levels at more-or-less constant levels, so we feel more energetic and thus can do more. By adding exercise into the mix, the amount of energy taken from fat deposits increases even more, and weight loss becomes a serious reality.