When I talk to my clients about nutrition, the first thing I ask them is, “How frequently are you eating?” They usually say not frequently enough and some even admit to waiting up to five hours between meals.
Could the key to a healthy metabolism really be as simple as food frequency? I find it’s the most underestimated factor in most people's nutrition programs. Most people simply are not eating enough throughout the day. Maybe it’s our busy stressful lives or maybe we’re just totally distracted and forget to eat all together. Whatever the reason is, it's going to catch up with you at some point in the form of a metabolic slow down.
Let me explain, the issue is blood sugar regulation. I think eating clean organic foods is extremely important, but if you’re not eating consistently enough to balance your blood sugar you’re simply not going to be able to meet your body’s metabolic needs, creating a stress hormone response and a whole cascade of symptoms present themselves after this.
The simple act of not eating enough puts you at risk of blood sugar fluctuations. This sets the stage for hormonal imbalance, autoimmune disease and hypothyroidism which can make it basically impossible to lose weight. There's a chance you may drop some weight in the beginning, but because low blood sugar slows the metabolism you gain the weight back and it becomes harder to keep it off.
My solution is to heal the metabolism first. If you do this first, excess weight will come off when the metabolism and thyroid are healed and working efficiently again. You can do this simply with the right foods in the right amounts and at the right times.
5 Simple Things You Can Do To Heal Your Metabolism
1. Eat every two hours or add a snack between your meals. When you’re training your body to run on glucose instead of adrenaline it’s really important to eat every two hours until your body is able to run more efficiently. If you go too long without food you run the risk of going into a stress hormone mode, raising your cortisol levels. Doing this too often can slow your thyroid, which regulates your metabolism. You can avoid this hormonal fluctuation by eating frequently enough to meet your body’s metabolic needs.
2. Eat food with your coffee in the morning. Eating food with your coffee in the morning helps you offset the adrenaline response after you've consumed caffeine. Adding organic heavy cream and/or gelatin to your coffee will slow down the effects of the caffeine. The fat you get from the heavy cream and the protein you get from the gelatin will help your body better metabolize the caffeine.
3. Be prepared and plan ahead. Plan ahead for your meals and snacks for the week. So many times we end up in a situation where we find yourselves unprepared with no food. You can easily avoid those moments where suddenly you’re in a panic with nothing to eat, by planning ahead, shopping on the weekends and having enough snacks on hand to keep the blood sugar regular throughout the day.
4. Eat balanced ratios of macronutrients in every meal. I suggest including 1 serving of protein, fat and carbohydrate in every meal. As you get to know your metabolism, you can begin to play around with the ratios a bit. Keeping a balance of macronutrients helps you avoid any unnecessary blood sugar fluctuations.
5. Eat before, during and after your workout. Exercise has the potential to create inflammation and lactic acid in the body and cause a temporary drop in blood sugar. In order to minimize this response I always suggest eating a small meal 30 minutes before your workout. You could even sip OJ with gelatin added to it during your work out and eat a meal right after.