When do you eat during the day?
How flexible are you? No, I’m not talking about your physical flexibility… I’m talking about how your body digests food. What happens to you after you’ve digested the last thing you ate, and you have no more glucose readily available in your blood stream? Do you feel a sugar crash or get hangry? If so, you have room to improve your metabolic flexibility.
Metabolic flexibility is the ability for your body to use a variety of sources for fuel. When we need energy, our bodies will first use the fuel that is readily available in our blood stream. After we burn up that fuel source, we may receive a hunger signal. At that point, we have a choice to provide fuel from the outside or the inside of our body. If you find yourself eating snacks throughout the day, then you are answering your hunger signal from an outside source. If you let your body go into a fasting mode, then you are allowing your body to source it’s energy supply from inside your body.
Why should it matter where your energy supply is being sourced? There are advantages to both methods and proving fuel from both of these sources is necessary for balanced health. If you are putting fuel into your body from an outside source, then you have the opportunity to provide nutritional building blocks that your body can use for necessary functions. You also providing an immediate source of energy. By allowing your body to source its energy internally, you are exercising your ability to break down fat stores in your body. This requires metabolic flexibility.
Benefits of Metabolic Flexibility
As you switch to breaking down fat stores, you allow space for some other body processes to regulate themselves also. Insulin is a major player affected by metabolic flexibility. Switching to a fat source allows your insulin levels to take a break. Diabetes and obesity are widespread in our current culture, yet, this one simple tool can be so helpful. As always, especially if you are medication such as insulin, consult your doctor before making any changes. That being said, how long can you let your digestion rest before you “need” to eat? Our ancestors had to survive periods of time when there was not much food available. Our bodies have fat stores for this reason. If you are not accustomed to waiting very long between meals or snacks, it may feel like the end of the world when you first try it. For the safety of those around you, please try this in small steps so you do not rip anyone’s head off.
As with most things in life, we need balance and moderation. Sometimes we need to feast, and sometimes we need to rest. We shouldn’t do just one of these all the time. How does your eating pattern look? Do you have a pattern or is it hap-hazard? Ideally, you should allow your body three hours to digest a meal. That means, you should eat something nutritionally dense, that will provide enough energy for three hours or longer. If you are grabbing quick snacks all day, you may not be getting the nutrition your body needs or allowing time for those nutrients to be absorbed.
There is not a cookie cutter eating pattern for everyone. You need to know and understand your body type. Your schedule can also change depending on time of year, stage of life, and activity level. If you are serious about getting your eating pattern on track, then my Healthy Connections Course may be the perfect fit for you? Schedule a call with me today and let’s talk about it!