Tag Archives: By Tara Coleman

6 Small Meals vs. 3 Square Meals – How Often Should You Eat?

6 Small Meals vs. 3 Square Meals – How Often Should You Eat?

When it comes to how often you are eating, it is a widely held belief that 6 small meals a day is the best way to keep your energy high, keep your metabolism revved up and burn excess body fat.  However, if we look to past generations and other cultures (who have a much lower obesity rate) they seem to flourish on 3 square meals a day.  So how often is best?

The short answer is – it depends.

I know…I know, we all want it to be black and white but the truth is everybody is different.  So here are some pros and cons to each so I can help you figure out the best solution for you!

6 Small Meals Per Day

Pros

  • You are never too hungry and never far from a meal. This makes it easier to make healthful decisions without having to rely on willpower.
  • Maintains a consistent blood sugar, which cuts down on sugar and carb cravings.
  • Reduces the release of stress hormones, which happens when you begin to get hungry. This can improve mood, concentration and prevent you from screaming at your co-worker when you are “hangry” (i.e. hungry + angry)!

Cons

  • You are never really satisfied which keeps you mentally consumed with food and can lead to thinking that you are hungry and over eating.
  • Time consuming. Finding time to fit in 6 meals can be difficult and if you skip one, you may be so hungry that you end up eating everything in sight.
  • When you are constantly grazing your insulin levels are always slightly elevated. When insulin levels are elevated your body is in a fat storage mode rather than a fat burning mode.
  • You can start eating because you are on a schedule rather than listing to your body. This promotes mindless eating, which can lead to eating when you aren’t hungry and not stopping when you are full.

 

3 Square Meals Per day

Pros

  • You are satisfied after a meal. This gives both your brain and your body a rest so you can focus on other things and aren’t constantly thinking about food.
  • Culturally familiar and accepted. This is probably the way that you grew up eating, meaning you are familiar with portions and how to balance a meal.  Moreover, a drastically different way of eating can make social and business situations stressful.  Making a more healthful choice rather than avoiding the meal altogether is easier to navigate socially and professionally.
  • Your insulin levels drop in between meals so your body can break down excess fat.

Cons

  • When we go too long in-between meals our stress hormones are released. This can cause a change in mood, concentration and an increase in sugar/carb cravings.  The combination of a terrible mood and cravings can cause us to make less healthful decisions.
  • When we do eat, we tend to eat very quickly. This doesn’t allow us to notice our body signaling that it is full.  Typically we end up overeating or eating until we are physically sick.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to each way of eating so it is important to experiment and see which is the most effective for you.

From my experience, the sweet spot for most people is 3 square meals with a snack either in the morning or the afternoon.

Ideally you don’t want to go more than 4 hours in-between meals so if you are having a longer day or just one of those hungry days, add in an additional snack.

Article was written by Tara Coleman and first appeared on www.totalgymdirect.com.

 

How To Grow Fresh Herbs At Home

How To Grow Fresh Herbs At Home

Herbs are one of the healthiest, simplest and delicious ways to season your food.  However, at $2 per packet the cost can really add up!  I found the best solution is to create a small kitchen herb garden so you always have fresh herbs on hand.  Here are a few easy steps to create your own!

1. Pick the right spot – Herbs need about 5-6 hours of light per day so make sure you have a sunny location.  Rotate your garden once a week so that both sides get equal sun!

2. Pick the right pot – Herbs love soil that is well drained so make sure to choose a ceramic pot with a small hole on the bottom and a tray for the water to drain into.

3. Pick the right soil – Herbs aren’t picky when it comes to soil so any potting soil will do. They do, however, love nitrogen! An easy way to fortify the soil is to bury a tea bag in the soil.  The bag will decompose and it will do wonders for your garden!

4. Pick the right herbs – Start with the herbs that you use the most. I absolutely love rosemary, thyme and basil!  You can use clippings from another garden, or I find it easier to buy small starters from your local nursery.  Make sure to plant each herb a few inches apart so they have room to grow!

If you’re not much of a DIY-er – or if you are looking for a healthy and thoughtful gift this holiday season – check out the Mason Jar Herb Garden Kit by Maker’s Kit.

Now you are ready to start adding great homemade flavor to your favorite dishes! Put your fresh herbs to use with this Lemon Rosemary Chicken.  It’s an easy dish that everyone will enjoy!