When you don’t eat when you are hungry, results that you don’t want happen:
1. Your body thinks there is no food so it slows down the metabolism. This is a genetic instinct that is necessary to survival. Back when we had to rely on what we could hunt or gather, the body’s only way to survive was to slow down the metabolism in times of famine. When you do find food, your metabolism is so slow that it doesn’t burn it at the rate you are used to, and you end up storing most of the calories in case of another “famine.”
2. When you are truly hungry but you don’t eat protein, about an hour later you will crave anything that breaks into quick sugar in the body. Lemonade, bread, ice cream, crackers,… anything sugary will be the most appealing. That is the opposite of what you need. You might think you can “afford” to eat that because you missed the protein, but in fact, you cannot. You will gain more weight from these quick-energy snacks than from a protein snack/meal. Your metabolism will be too slow to use them. Sugar without the balance of protein, calcium, and fiber is bad for you anyway.
3. When you miss the protein meal you should have had while hungry, you could overeat later. Your total sugar intake will end up higher than it would have been had you reached for tummy-filling hunger curbing protein.
4. To review: even if you eat the same amount that you would have eaten an hour before, your metabolism is already slower, so you burn it less fast. You will yo-yo up. So please carry high protein snacks.
5. Instead of skipping meals or reaching for foods that break into sugar, eat something when you are hungry. Prepare in advance or look for a small, well balanced snack of protein, fiber, and calcium. If you don’t see one, it’s okay to eat a healthy choice, even if it is not high in protein, to hold you over, like an apple. It won’t make you very full, but it will hold you a bit longer and give you some wonderful (5grams) fiber.
copyright by Lehavi, 2000
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