How Often Should You Eat? You Already Know the Answer

Perhaps the second most common question asked about nutrition right after "What should I eat?" is "How often should I be eating?". Regardless of your desired physique, the answer lies within our own body's programming. You see we were born with the simple yet sometimes misunderstood capability of figuring out when we should eat. Strip away all of the suggestions, advice and biases from the experts and gurus and we are now left with only our bodies to tell us when to eat. Now, here is the misunderstood part. For years we as a society and culture have formed the habit of eating for reasons other than physical hunger. To name a few we begin with...

  • Eating because we are bored.

  • Eating because we are stressed.

  • Eating to abide by our beliefs that we have had since we were young (think "You must finish everything on your plate before you leave the dinner table!)

  • Eating because we don't want to waste food.

  • Eating because the person who you get your nutritional advice from said so.

  • Eating to please others.

  • Eating because "everyone else is".

  • Eating to numb an emotion or to distract one's self.

  • and my person favorite... Eating because Marie Osmond told you to after you bought her program that was advertised on TV 5 times a day.

Any time that we eat for a reason other than physical hunger we are denying ourselves the ability to find our ideal weight and maintain it permanently.

The key is to become your own expert. As human beings, we are all so uniquely different and yet we all have so much in common. What do I mean? Well, most people who eat minimally processed whole foods and drink a lot of water will be extremely healthy and fit. Most of us have that in common. However, one difference that we have is that some people get hungry 20 minutes upon waking up while others don't get hungry until 2-3 hours into their day. This is an example of how each individual is uniquely different in their own way.

The best place to start is to recognize physical cues that your body is giving you. Just like anything, if you have been ignoring them for years it may take some time to recognize them and that is OK. So what are these cues?

  • You can hear a slight rumble near your stomach

  • You feel slightly on edge (think slightly low blood sugar feeling)

  • You feel the physical sensation of hunger. Keyword is Physical! Not emotional.

Like anything, this is a skill and skills are learned if you choose to put in the work.

Questions, comments, thoughts? Leave a comment below the Facebook post and I will be sure to respond, or head on over the Connect Page.

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