Meal Scheduling and Understanding the Body’s Hunger Cues
In a perfect world, we’d all eat fresh, local veggies at each and every meal. We would ensure an optimal protein to fat ratio and properly fuel our bodies by balancing our macros. There would never be a grey area where we’d have to choose between corn-fed beef served at a restaurant versus opting for the gluten-free pasta dish, neither of which are ideal choices. As a result, no one would be overweight, and consequently, the rate of illness would be significantly lower if not nonexistent. And…we’d listen to our bodies.
While the first few may seem like something that could exist only in fantasyland, it’s the last point we really need to which we need pay attention. Listening to our bodies is something so basic and primal, and yet so often ignored. When you keep your hunger cues in check and tune in, you might discover what you need has been stirring within you the whole time.
I recall a conversation I had with a client a few years ago. She was concerned that I’d suggested eating too much fat, for fear that she’d be unable to reach her weight loss goal if she ate the recommended amount of avocado, olive oil and coconut.
I reassured her that by balancing the fat with her veggies and protein, she’d soon learn when to stop eating, prior to feeling full, and notice the difference between feeling satiated with solid energy all day long, rather than stuffed and needing a nap in an hour. She didn’t need to go crazy weighing every last ounce of chicken breast or gram of kale… if she’d just listen to her body.
“Listen to my body?” she exclaimed! “But my body tells me to eat cake!” She was only half kidding.
There is some truth in what she said, especially when you’re getting by on that carbohydrate roller coaster we’ve all experienced. Remember, whether you’re coming from a place of eating a diet high in processed carbs, refined sugars, and the like, or a more natural, ‘healthy’ version in which many servings of fruit are consumed throughout the day, the effect is the same: the body chooses sugar as its fuel and it keeps wanting more and more. So, in this respect, listening to the body could very well end up with thinking you need that cake!
Imagine, however, if rather than telling you to take a forkful of a floury baked good, your belly craved avocado, wild salmon sashimi, and raw kale. And, rather than feeling you were on some sort of rigid, uber restrictive eating plan that would leave you wanting to deviate as soon as possible, you arrived at a place where nothing you wanted to eat was off limits because everything you wanted was actually a healthy, Paleo-friendly choice.
This is precisely the goal I have for each and every client I work with.
By connecting the way your body feels with which foods you eat, it becomes far easier to act on hunger cues and make the best choices by creating balanced meals which leave you with a constant, steady energy all day long.
And, instead of feeling a blood sugar crash an hour after eating a high in processed carbs, but low in nutrient density meal which leaves you picking at food all day long, you’ll begin to experience higher concentration on what you’re doing and not find yourself constantly wondering when the next ‘time to eat is.’
Your body will let you know and you’ll be right on cue!