Medifast plans recommend eating at least 5 or 6 meals a day, but do you know why?
Is there a benefit to eating frequently throughout the day rather than having a few large meals? Does eating often “rev up” our metabolism? The answer is yes! Here are 4 benefits of eating frequently throughout the day:
- Decrease hunger. When you’re only eating a couple of times a day, there are usually long stretches of time in between meals. This can cause your stomach to rumble and leave you counting down the hours until your next meal! Eating small meals every few hours, especially those with adequate protein and fiber, helps keep the body feeling full throughout the day.
- Regulate blood glucose levels. When you consume food, your body breaks down calories into useable energy. This causes a temporary increase in blood glucose levels. Eating a large amount of food in one sitting causes a temporary rise in blood glucose. Chronic elevated blood glucose levels can cause long term damage to the body. That’s why it is often recommended that people with diabetes eat small frequent meals throughout the day; to help them maintain normal blood glucose levels. While the healthy body is highly efficient at regulating these levels, some individuals, like people with diabetes, can benefit from eating frequent, smaller meals.
- Stabilize energy levels. Waiting long periods in between meals can cause you to feel sluggish or tired. As your blood glucose levels drop, so does your energy. Eating frequent, small meals can help combat this by preventing the “crash” that sometimes comes after a large, heavy meal.
- Stay on plan. Going long periods of time without eating can cause you to feel tired and hungry. When this happens, people are more likely to reach for a food that isn’t as healthy or nutritious. Eating every few hours keeps you full and can also prevent the overeating that tends to come after a long period without food.
Meet a Medifast Intern!
Liz Borders is a Nutrition and Wellness Intern at Medifast, Inc. She hopes to receive her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Messiah College in May 2015. She has a very fat cat named Indiana Jones (after her favorite adventurer!) and loves being active (unlike her cat). Her hobbies include lifting weights, ballroom dancing, and playing video games.