Intermittent fasting is becoming more and more popular. However, there is not enough research out there to support the long term effects of intermittent fasting on the body. Going all day without eating can potentially be harmful, especially to those who already have an eating disorder, or signs of disordered eating.
Although research is inconclusive and long-term studies are needed, some studies have shown that eating more consistently throughout the day can improve metabolic rate. Eating at consistent times throughout the day (i.e. eating every 3-4 hours) helps with keeping your blood sugars stable. Through keeping your blood sugars stable, your hunger levels stay stable as well. Fueling your body throughout the day will give you energy, which leads to action, which leads to good habits. Your body’s fuel has a direct effect on your actions!
Similar to a car needing gas, our body’s need to be fueled to function cognitively and physiologically. When the gas tank is low, you need to fill it up more. When your body is without food, you may need more food later as you are more physically hungry and this may increase your risk of binge eating, compulsive eating and/or emotional eating.
Examples of snacks to include in between your three core meals:
- Apple and peanut butter
- Orange and cheese stick
- Cottage cheese with berries and walnuts
- Greek yogurt with banana and cinnamon
- Whole grain English muffin with peanut butter
- Smoothie (Greek yogurt, frozen fruit such as pineapple, almond milk, spinach)
- Raw vegetables such as carrots dipped in Ranch dressing
- Hummus with pretzels
- Hard boiled egg with string cheese
- Greek yogurt with granola and fruit
- Nuts and a piece of fruit
Following a Health Eating Schedule
If you really think about all that your body does to stay healthy, you will begin to realize how miraculous our lives are. The timing of which you eat everyday acts as your body’s signal for growth and repair. The more you’re able to follow an eating schedule, and the more thoughtful you are with your food choices, the more you will see consistent growth, energy, and stability. A stable diet will also help you avoid developing potentially dangerous eating habits.
At Behavioral Nutrition, our Nutritional Therapists want to give you the tools and resources you need to educate yourself about the mind – body – and spirit, and how your consumption habits play a role in your energy, mood and health. You have the power to control what you put into your body, make the changes your body needs with an eating schedule designed to give your body the right nutrients at the best possible time. Reach out to learn more about nutritional therapy services from Behavioral Nutrition if you feel you need help getting started with a healthier diet.