When it comes to eating habits – mine were worse than worse. Not only did I only eat once or twice a day I also automatically was under-eating badly. Which put me in so called starvation mode.
You see, like bears our system can go into hybernation. That means if we starve it long enough it will slow down to adjust those changes. Everything will be slower to be able to keep up with the lower food intake and as an additional annoying side-effect, they body will start to keep on to those fat storages like there is no tomorrow. After all it might think there is no tomorrow..
Even though I never ate breakfast despite several desperate attempts of my mom to convince me otherwise, after I decided to leave home, and I really didn’t feel like it either (as a matter of fact my stomach felt almost nauseous at times) I decided to give the P90X nutrition plan a chance (note, I don’t ever say the word diet because diets are all about extremes for me. Whereas nutrition is a proper and healthy way of eating).
It was super tough at first – specially since I had to start eating much more then I wanted to. Throw in the fact that with P90X it is a lot of egg white omelets in the first phase and I mean A LOT. I had a lot of trouble eating that much and I had to get used to the habit of not eating when I am hungry but eating at certain times no matter if I was hungry or not.
However, eventually my whole routine changed. I started to be really hungry in the morning and looking forward to get up and prepare my yummie breakfast. I couldn’t imagine living without it now. I would start to get hungry if I didn’t ate my mid morning and mid afternoon snack in time. I feel much more “awake” and have no drop in energy during the day at all anymore. I went from being constantly tired to a real heap of energy.
Before the changes to my eating habits I went number 2 maybe once every few days sometimes even once per week. Now that changed to daily and nicely in time too (sorry for the info but I thought it was quite important).
Anyway, something that’s really important is the whole 5 times a day approach. It’s like second nature now that I am away from the idea that you only have to eat when you are hungry. As a matter of fact, it’s the same with drinking (water that is!) if you are already thirsty you are already under-hydrated. I look at hunger the same way.
The problem with eating only one or two meals per day, specially while trying to still get the amount of calories you need, has several negative aspects:
a) your body can only absorb a certain amount of nutrients in a given time. That is the reason you should eat several times per day to make sure your body can absorb all of them as needed.
b) In very simple terms, eating with long hours in between will make your sugar level go up and down which will make you crash in Energy. Eating several times a day will help you maintain a normal energy level for the whole duration. Since your metabolism is forced to work steadily and not go into break mode and then all of a sudden change into full speed mode again.
It’s not that hard to get used to the snacks in between either. I started with having an apple or any other fruit I liked with me and a few almonds and walnut bags in my drawer at work. It’s a good start, not expensive and easy to take wherever you go. Additionally, Greek non-fat yoghurt and honey or a whole-wheat toast/bread slice with a bit of peanutbutter works as well and can be kept in the fridge at work. Of course it depends on what you like eating. My point is that with a tiiiiiny bit of planning it’s not hard to change the habits. There is really no excuse 🙂
You will really feel a difference while going with the 5 meals a day approach. I can literally “feel” how my body is working and keeping awake and alert (sounds weird but it’s a fact ).