While having lunch with a few friends of mine last week I overheard one of them say, “I need to have a big lunch today because I have to work late. I won’t get home to eat dinner until 8pm tonight”. We were eating at 12:30pm. She was not going to eat for another 6.5 hours. That is a long time to go without food (unless you are sleeping).
Above is a very common rationalization for consuming more food at one sitting as opposed to planning out your meals so you won’t have to overeat and starve yourself everyday. Below are few of the things that happen to your body when you begin the cycle of binging and then starving.
1. Spiking Blood Sugar. A rapid rise in blood sugar levels after meals has been shown to affect the ability to concentrate, stay alert, and perform athletically and intellectually.
2. Eating Muscle. After several hours your body will begin to use muscle i.e. protein for fuel. Bodybuilders who have to preserve as much muscle as possible will wake up in the middle of the night to have a protein/carbohydrate snack to reduce the chances of their bodies using muscle for fuel. Not that you are a bodybuilder but muscle helps burn more calories.
3. Slow Metabolism. Your body’s metabolism will begin to slow down to conserve energy. As you may know, when you slow down your metabolism you burn fewer calories therefor you store more fat. This is probably the opposite of what you are trying to acheive.
I tell my clients is to shoot for 4 to 5 healthy feedings a day of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains (after a workout), lean protein (with fewer legs), and 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water. Each feeding should have a carbohydrate and a lean portion of protein.
This system will keep your blood sugar under control, preserve muscle tissue, and keep your metabolism burning consistently through out the day. The water will keep you hydrated and help you feel sated.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to leave any comments. I look forward to reading and responding to them.