Have you heard it said that several small meals are better than three larger meals? That snacking speeds up the metabolism? That you should be eating seeds, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, yoghurts, avocados, green shakes, dark chocolate, ‘health bars’ and variety boxes of grazing items between meals?
It’s a common view that eating every 2-3 hours keeps the metabolism fired up, improves your mood and keeps you more mentally alert somehow.
Hold on though…
The human body is terrifically well equipped and delighted to go five hours without food, more even. In fact digestion works better if you let it have a bit (quite a bit!) of time to itself after each meal.
This is because our small intestine is very house proud. After it has digested what you’ve just eaten it likes to clear up ‘the kitchen’ so it can have some me-time to look after itself. The inside of it is lovely and pink and pristine and it wants to restore that state of tidiness and keep its walls in good order. The picture above shows the miniscule ‘fingers’ inside your intestine and the food particles amongst them.
Any leftover ‘resilient’ bits of food such as the outside bits of sweetcorn are finally and efficiently ‘hoovered away’ in a wave when all the other stuff is digested. Whoosh! It’s like you clearing those last few crumbs off the worktop before you go and have a rest-and-restore til the next time you have to make a meal.
The small intestine needs time to keep things clean
How would you feel if you’d cleared up your kitchen and someone came along in a minute and cooked another meal in it. They’d spatter the walls with bits of food and generally prang things up. And it was YOU who had to clear up, maybe even plaster and redecorate? Pretty miffed, right?
When you graze, the small intestine has to put its Hoover away and wait for that food to be digested. Constant snacking means no time to clear up and repair properly.
On top of this, most people who graze don’t reduce the size of their main meals. So they graze on top of regular meals, hence they take in excess calories and get fatter.
Grazing makes it hard to learn that gentle hunger is normal as mealtimes approach. That’s where the eatnaturally plan, and our support, are a game changer. No eating episode is as enjoyable as it would be if you were properly hungry for a meal.
Grazing = insulin spikes
Lastly, blood sugar is constantly being raised, insulin is then released to burn off that sugar, so they then get hungry sooner. Grazing is a surefire way to increase hunger and be constantly flooded with insulin, which drives fat storage and makes the cells resistant to it – type 2 diabetes.
Care for your body as you care for your home.