Before you start overhauling your eating habits and the foods you consume, let’s take a closer look at the importance that meal structure has in a healthy diet.
Many people live off the “3-square meals per day” routine, while others might only have one or two meals each day. Unfortunately, these habits do not allow your body to function at the highest possible level.
In order to improve energy levels, productivity, and performance you must fire up your metabolism and keep it running throughout the day. Your metabolism is your body’s system of generating and burning energy. Think of it like a fire: In order to keep the fire burning you must provide it with a constant stream of fuel. Eating habits must be established that enable your “fire” to burn constantly throughout the day. To do this, let’s review the importance that timing of meals plays.
Your typical day should look something like this:
- Morning Snack
- Afternoon Snack
- Evening Snack*
By establishing a routine such as this one, your body’s metabolism will continue to function at the highest level all day.
Start your day off properly with a healthy breakfast (to be discussed in a future blog). Your metabolism has slowed down throughout the night, so it needs to be woken up with some fuel. Do not wait too long to eat breakfast, generally within 1 hour of waking up.
Snacking is also highly recommended as it provides your body with a constant stream of fuel and energy. The best snack foods are fruits & vegetables and grain products. Have a snack in the morning and one in the afternoon. Evening snacks are also an option if you had an early supper (but not within an hour of bedtime).
KEY TIP: Try to have something to eat every 3 to 4 hours. Avoid going longer than 4 hours without any food. You metabolism will start to slow down if you do so.
In summary, by establishing healthy habits such as proper meal timing, you will allow your body to generate and burn energy more effectively. This will make it easier for you to achieve your objectives, from weight loss to improved productivity and performance.
Luke Corey, PDt.
Complete Health and Nutrition