There is a lot of focus on what to eat and portion control when it comes to optimal metabolic function. However, skimping on meals, or skipping them all together, is an important consideration when it comes to looking and feeling our best.
Researchers from Ohio State University found that skipping meals caused people to gain weight. They highlighted that the best meal structure for optimal metabolism is three meals a day, with snacks.
Now, this is very good information in some ways. It helps to underscore the importance of eating balanced meals to support the energy needs of the body. Many people are still thinking of the old ’80s approach to nutrition that involves counting and/or limiting calories for weight management. However, more often than not, this just doesn’t work. Our body needs fuel (i.e. food) to efficiently and effectively run our metabolic pathways. There are nutrients and energy needed here. When we go without, this mechanism slows down.
Yet, we do need to take this nutrition information with a grain of salt. Eating any kind of meal three times a day, and snacks, may not yield the improvements in metabolism some are seeking. This is what I find frustrates so many patients who feel they adhere to three squares a day but don’t see results.
It is important to consider a few things when creating nutritious meals:
1) The balance of plant food, protein sources, healthy carbohydrates and good fats.
2) Food quality (i.e. nutrient dense vs fluffy food).
3) Food matching – not everyone does well eating the same things. We are all biochemically different and our nutrition should match what our unique physiological needs are.
When working with patients, this is the type of individualized health care that I provide. There is so much information, and misinformation, about health and nutrition floating around. If you are seeking guidance about your nutritional choices, and assistance with metabolic concerns or other health concerns, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.