Small and Frequent Meals

September 1, 2015, In: Cuisines, Health
Taru Agarwal

Recognizing when you really are hungry and eating regularly are keys to feeling great and staying on track with your goals. The first important rule is to always eat breakfast. Do you know why breakfast is the most important meal of the day? People who eat breakfast:

Get More Vitamins

Have a reduced risk of diabetes and CVD

Eat less in rest of the meals

Are thinners and reduce more weight

Do you ever skip meals? If you do, do you ever feel tired, moody, or unfocused? Or maybe you tend to snack later in the day, or overeat at your next meal? There’s a good reason skipping meals makes you extra hungry and often leaves you feeling sluggish and moody. It has to do with how your body responds to the threat of starvation.

Normally, levels of blood sugar and insulin rise and fall throughout the day between and after meals. Three to four hours after a meal, a drop in blood sugar signals the body that it’s time to refuel by eating again. The hunger hormone, ghrelin, also rises and falls throughout the day and 3-4 hours after a meal your stomach secretes lots of ghrelin to stimulate your appetite. When you eat in response to these hunger signals, your blood sugar rises, ghrelin falls and you are in synch with your body’s energy needs.

But what if you don’t eat when your body is telling you to? It’s been 3-4 hours since you had breakfast, your blood sugar is starting to fall and your ghrelin levels increase, but you decide to skip lunch. Your blood sugar continues to fall, and high levels of ghrelin cause a decrease in the fullness hormone, leptin. When leptin levels fall, your metabolism slows, you start storing any available calories as fat, and you get even hungrier.

By late afternoon, the messages from these hunger hormones are impossible for the brain to ignore, so you finally eat, and probably overeat. But now that it’s late in the day, your blood sugar and insulin levels rise higher in response to your dinner meal than they would have earlier in the day and, although ghrelin and leptin levels do recover in response to eating, your body has been set in “starvation mode” and you are more likely to store the calories you eat as fat.

What should you do differently?

Don’t skip meals

Always eat breakfast

Try to eat something every 2-3 hours

Recognize real hunger and resist cravings

Myth or Fact? If you get hungry before bed you should refrain from eating because all the calories will be stored as fat while you sleep.

Myth:  If you are physically hungry, it’s important to have a small snack regardless of what time it is to avoid sending your body into “starvation mode” which can increase fat storage and appetite the next day. Just be sure to plan your night time snack to fit into your total calorie goal for the day

While there are a lot of myths about eating at night, it is true that people often simply eat too many calories at night, which will lead to weight gain. There are a number of triggers for overeating at night. Do any of these trigger you to eat at night ?

Stress – or fatigue-induced eating is when you eat because you are stressed or over-tired and misreading your body’s needs.

TV-induced eating is when you eat because you are watching TV and are bored, or end up watching TV ads specifically designed to send you to the kitchen for some kind of sugary or salty snack.

Alcohol-induced eating is when you have been drinking alcohol and have relaxed to the point where you have a harder time resisting the temptation to snack.

If you are getting hungry by any of these triggers then try to avoid them and have 1 cup green tea/ 1 glass of lukewarm water before going to bed.  Set a strategy to avoid stress/ TV and alcohol.


Taru Agarwal 9999963208, 9811796585