This week may feel sort of like that.
This week I'm going to ask you to start eating regularly throughout the day, which may be more often or include more meals than you're used to. Now that you're eating breakfast every day (because you are, right? We talked about this. If you're not, please start here), your hunger might be starting to wake up. You may be noticing that you're hungry earlier in the day than you were before you started eating breakfast. That's fine. It's more than fine- it's normal (if that's not happening for you just yet, that's okay too. Sometimes it takes a while).
Most people I talk to don't eat often enough or predictably enough. I may ask, "What's a normal day of eating look like for you?" and get a blank stare. Think about your day. Do you eat lunch? Are there any snacks? Do you ignore hunger until it just goes away? Do you ever eat an actual meal, or do you just graze all day? And then what happens when you get home?
I call it "going Cookie Monster." Doesn't that give you the perfect mental picture? If you haven't eaten enough throughout the day, you're going to be famished. That leads to very little thinking and a whole lot of eating. Many of us go from starving to stretchy pants within minutes.
This can be prevented by eating every few hours all day. Most people seem to feel best having something every three to four hours, which lends itself nicely to three meals and a couple of snacks. Eating this way will prevent you from getting over hungry, which will subsequently prevent you from binging out of hunger (we will get to emotional eating another time). Eating every few hours also helps your metabolism stay consistent and working at its best- no slows, stops, and starts from going too long without eating.
If you have become afraid of food or have come to believe that eating will make you fat, this may be emotionally difficult and a little bit scary. If you don't eat often enough simply because you're a very busy person and don't see food as a priority, this will be inconvenient and annoying to you. Either way, I urge you to give it a shot. Eating throughout the day may lead to actually eating less overall because you're not chasing missed calories at the end of the day. If you're busy, being fueled will help you function more efficiently the rest of the day. Try this and watch what happens to your energy levels.
So now that you're eating breakfast, you can try to let your hunger guide you and grab a snack when you feel that first mid-morning grumble. Or, if you're still not really hungry, pick times on the clock that make sense for your schedule and stick to them. Once again, just like we talked about with breakfast, just get something into your body every 3-4 hours. Next week we'll talk more about what to eat, but for now it's just important that you eat.
That's all for now, friends. It's nearly 10:00 am and I'm about due for a snack.