Experts recommend that a person eat 5-6 smaller meals per day as opposed to 3 big meals per day and that each meal should be roughly 3 hours apart. And the reasons make a lot of sense. Keeping your metabolism from slowing down, helping to control hunger, keeping your energy levels constant, giving your body a steady supply of protein, etc. But one problem I've been running into lately is that by the time it's time for me to eat, I'm not hungry. So I'm faced with a dilemna. Do I force myself to eat even though I'm not hungry or do I wait til I am hungry and risk putting my body into starvation mode? I've also been wondering why it is that I'm not even slightly hungry 3 hours after my previous meal. At first, I thought the meal might've been too big. But I don't see how.
Here are two examples of what a meal might be for me:
Meal 1: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 2 scrambled eggs, handful of blueberries
Meal 2: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, 4 ounces chicken breast, lettuce, tomato slice.
These hardly sound like the kind of meals that could keep a person feeling full for more than 3 hours. It's not like I ate a whole chicken or tub of oatmeal. And yet, there have been days where I was not hungry and I forced myself to eat my next meal because I was afraid of putting my body into starvation mode.
So what do you think? Should I go ahead and keep forcing myself to eat even though I'm not hungry or should I just wait til I am hungry even if it means going 5 or 6 hours without food?
Last edited by DonutsNCoffee; 08-10-2005 at 09:26 AM.
I am a firm believer of NOT eating unless hungry. I think it's eating out of habit that gets us in trouble.
Just because the clock stikes 6 doesn't mean we HAVE to eat dinner.
We've all been conditioned to think that, but I've read a lot on the subject of weight management and what I keep reading is that you shouldn't space your meals out too far and that you should eat small frequent meals. I've also read that relying on hunger is not a good idea because by the time your stomach is empty, it's already too late and your body is already in need of more nutrients.
I share your concern about the metabolism issue, I want to keep it running as high as possible.
I am often not hungry in the mornings. I know morning eating is super-important. What I do is I eat a small amount of food such as 2-3 bites of a banana, eat 1/2 a fruit, etc. The only problem with that, is that it revs up my appetite/hunger.
This is the million dollar question for me. If I thought it was healthy, I would not eat until I was awake many hours.
Often I have no urge to eat in the morning. I know that I won't starve because I have plenty of glycogen in my muscles and liver and at 23% bodyfat and 205 pounds that's 47 pounds of bacon larded on me that could get me through next Christmas, let alone til lunch.
I could usually go til noon with nothing but coffee, if I have my mind occupied but if I have the smallest bit of food, I get ravenous.
I am trying to re-train myself to forget all the silliness of 6 meals a day and every dinner has to have salad, meat, 2 veg and dessert.
After all it's not the people who have very few meals a day (or week) like Sub-Saharan Africa that are running aroung obese, it's the ones who EAT all day.
I'm even trying a technique that if I feel hungry, I will WALLOW in that feeling knowing I'm burning a few grams of excess. It's a good feeling.
I USED to eat a big lunch if I thought I might not have food til dinner and then I realized, so what if I got hungry mid-day, it really won't KILL me!
It's AMAZING how much food "training" we have received all our lives. Too bad so much of it was BAD. Is it any wonder that the nation that produces more food than any other has it's people EAT more food than any other.