Do You Have a Schedule?

Do you have a schedule?  By that I mean do you have a schedule for your eating? Everyone should know what we eat plays a key-role in achieving optimal health and maintaining a stable weight. But did you know that when you eat plays an equally important role in our health. Eating on a schedule is crucial in having a healthy life style.  We all probably have somewhat of a schedule, especially if you are still working. If you eat breakfast, and we all know we should, you have to eat by a certain time so you can get ready for work and kids off to school. While at work you are allotted a certain amount of time at the same time every day, for lunch. Dinner time may be up for grabs if you have kids involved in activities. It may take a lot of time and effort to be able to eat at the same time every day. You have to pay attention to your own rhythms in order to establish your eating schedule. What should we do? Are you supposed to eat three meals a day or five small ones? Is it really that bad to snack late at night? These are just a couple questions that come up when you discuss diets. How do we sort through these conflicting opinions?

Here is the bottom line- you just have to pay attention to your own needs. Check in with you body, energy level and even emotions, to see what works for you.

Skipping meals may cause hormonal, genetic and neurological responses that can lead to weight gain. When we skip meals our body triggers our brain to think food is scarce. Because of this and many other negative responses, an irregular eating schedule can lead to a slowed metabolism and can throw our blood sugar out of whack.

Skipping meals is a habit sumo wrestlers have. We definitely don’t want to look like a sumo wrestler. Have you heard the old adage “eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper”? This is what we should keep in mind if we want to maintain or lose weight.

What to eat and when to eat it is just a matter of you deciding what is best for you. If your schedule is rising at certain time every day then count on lunch about five hours later and dinner about five hours after that. If dinner can’t be until later, just eating a small snack in mid-afternoon could fill in the gap. Just make sure it is rich in protein and fat (good fats). This can save you from the 3 P.M. sugar crash. Snacking is OK if you are hungry, just skip the sugar. Pay attention to what your body is hungry for, as well as the hunger and fullness cues.

I think all of us can be quite happy eating healthy foods once we get in the habit and we also learn how to eat out of hunger an not out of emotion. I think we are all guilty of this, good emotions or bad.

Dieting (I really hate this word) really requires us to think about food a lot. But when you do consider dieting just get a mental picture of a sumo wrestler and that should steer you in the right direction.

You know when I reread this column I thought I am really sick of talking about diets. And I know you are tired of reading about them. Every magazine, newspaper and the TV are inundating us with this. I firmly believe that all diets and our eating habits start in the brain. We get the right mindset and we are good to go! Now, I might mention it again if I happen to lose some pounds. Don’t hold your breath. Next time I am going the other way and give you ‘’a sweet suggestion” for Valentine’s Day! We all have to splurge once in a while. That wagon will be waiting for us to jump back on it! Thanks for listening.

Janet Ginder

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