Uncategorized, | 07.31.21
The reason eating at scheduled times is so helpful is because most people fall into 1 of 2 traps: Either they eat all day long, grazing like squirrels, or they go too long without eating and get so hungry to eat that it’s then hard to stop eating. Meal regulation addresses both of these problems.
What Does the Science Say?
Although there are so many diets preaching what to eat, this idea of when to eat isn’t too often discussed. This is a huge blind spot. I said before that science agrees- well, it really agrees!
Look at this- in one study, it was found that people struggling with weight management had habits of snacking frequently, eating larger portions, and binge eating.
Not only that, but they also had the habit of skipping meals. People who eat fewer than 3 times a day were found to be at greater risk of weight gain and Type II Diabetes. That’s not just a weird coincidence. Skipping and restricting meals can put your body into “starvation mode”, causing blood sugar to drop. When this happens, your taste receptors have an increased sensitivity to sweet taste. So while you may think that eating fewer times a day adds up to weight loss, that’s actually not the case at all.
How to Apply Meal Regulation in Your Life
So now that you know the importance of meal regulation, you might be wondering how to apply this to your life.
First, start by looking at your weekly schedule and select ideal times for you to eat three meals and one or two snacks (depending on how long your day is and where you are on your recovery journey). Ideally, you want to space your meals/ snacks 3-4.5 hours apart. For example, my eating schedule might look like: Breakfast at 8 am, Lunch at 12 pm, Snack at 3:30 pm, and Dinner at 7 pm.
Time to try this out for yourself! While meal regulation is a tough habit to start, it’s one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. Remember, you’re not going to starve between lunch and dinner. You’ve got this!
For more on tips for planning click here.
Kern, Lee S., Kelli E. Friedman, Simona K. Reichmann, Philip R. Costanzo, and Gerard J. Musante. “Changing eating behavior: a preliminary study to consider broader measures of weight control treatment success.” Eating behaviors 3, no. 2 (2002): 113-121.
Mekary, Rania A., Edward Giovannucci, Walter C. Willett, Rob M. van Dam, and Frank B. Hu. “E
Ninomiya, Yuzo, Noriatsu Shigemura, Keiko Yasumatsu, Rie Ohta, Kumiko Sugimoto, Kiyohito Nakashima, and Bernd Lindemann. “Leptin and sweet taste.” (2002): 221-248.
Van Der Heijden, Amber Awa, Frank B. Hu, Eric B. Rimm, and Rob M. Van Dam. “A prospective study of breakfast consumption and weight gain among US men.” Obesity 15, no. 10 (2007): 2463-2469.
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