If you’ve been worrying yourself sick over how many calories are in every food item you come across, I’ve got some good news for you. As it turns out, studies are showing that when you eat could be more important than what you’re eating. I remember working an odd job that presented long hours and not many opportunities for lunch. In hindsight, it was probably against employer rules to treat us how they did, but that’s besides the point. What this job left me with was an enormous appetite when I got off work. I started getting used to waking up at 8am, getting a small breakfast and working until 7:30pm, with no meals in between. Needless to say, I would be in such a hunger-induced frenzy that I would find the first drive-thru I could. This way of eating wasn’t just harmful to my body, it nearly drove me insane.
When I started that job, I probably weighed around 190lbs and by the time I left I was close to 220lbs and it wasn’t muscle I was gaining. What was happening was that, by having a large meal once per day, my body couldn’t naturally burn off the excess calories. We often think that, by eating less meals, we are doing ourselves a favor, which couldn’t be more from the truth. If you starve yourself throughout the day, the worst part is that this can become a hard to habit to break. It took me about three weeks, after leaving the previously mentioned job, to learn how to eat properly again. I know that may sound a bit over-dramatic but if you were in my shoes, you would realize how hard of a battle it was.
Now, I’m not saying that if you eat multiple times throughout the day, you can eat whatever you want, that’s not the case. However, if you eat smaller meals more frequently, you have a bit more wiggle room than someone who gorges themselves, all at once. When you eat smaller meals throughout the day, you are giving your body energy and most of it will have burned off. It’s almost as if the concern over what food we eat causes some to just throw their hands up and eat less. It’s easy to get burnt out on tracking your foods, it feels like someone is taking away your freedom. I’ve never been one to follow every rule and a diet is no exception. For most who are having difficulties with eating healthy, it’s likely that they haven’t found the right foods. I remember only knowing the fruits and vegetables that were forced upon me, when I was younger, so that I could get to the dessert already! Growing up, you have a lot more freedom and that certainly can play a big part in selecting new food. I know it may sound weird but the next time you go to the supermarket, have some fun! Try and pick out a new vegetable each time you visit the store, think of it as a treasure hunt for your new diet staple. At times, we must grow up from the old preconceived notions that we have about eating healthy. You don’t want to give up eating, instead of that choose healthier foods you like, have fun with it!