They say some people live to eat and others just eat to live, well I say I am a bit of both! I LOVE good food. There is something very satisfying about sitting down to share a delicious and nutritious meal that has been created with thought and consideration. I also love cooking as well! A good meal makes me feel satisfied on both a physical level as well as a mental and emotional level. Yet I have never adhered to that social norm of eating 3 substantial meals a day, it just doesn’t work for me. I am a very active person and I need slow release energy all day and don’t like the feeling of being overly full and lethargic. So this is one of the reasons I usually opt to eat 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day.
This way of eating not only allows me to enjoy the different foods I love, but it also prevents me from overeating, whilst providing my body with a steady fuel source throughout the day. Here are some of the other advantages I find to eating smaller meal portions more often:
More variety - Having 4-6 smaller meals a day means I can really incorporate variety into my diet. By eating a variety of nutritious foods I am able to ensure that I am balancing all the different nutrients I need to eat on a daily basis, to keep my body working at its optimal level.
Conducive to weight loss/management - Smaller portions more often is actually conducive to weight loss and weight management because it helps prevent overeating. Often when we have longer gaps between meals our sugar levels drop which initiate that really hungry feeling. When we feel really hungry we are more likely to make poor food choices, eat faster and overeat.
More efficient energy supply - Eating small amounts over the length of the day provides me with a constant energy supply without overloading my digestive system. This way as soon as my body has digested one meal (after about 3 hours) I am enjoying another small meal and providing more energy to be broken down.
Prevents lethargy - Eating large meals often leaves me feeling sluggish and tired. Whilst on the odd occasion this can be quite enjoyable, it is not conducive to making the most out of my day.
Feel satiated - Enjoying smaller meals throughout the day also enables me to enjoy my food without overindulging, so I feel satiated throughout my day. Which again, prevents me from reaching for the doughnuts, or candy when I am filling my car up with fuel!
Remember, though, that if you are increasing the number of meals you eat each day, you need to decrease the portions. You still want to be consuming around the same calorie intake that you would normally consume, just broken up into smaller meals.