Find what works for YOU!

Find what works for YOU!

One thing I find incredibly frustrating are the numerous health reports, publications, and research studies that are constantly being published and released to the public through various media outlets.  They range from exercising to nutritional habits to heart attack rates.  In these studies, we are being told that coffee is good for us one week and then the next week we have another study saying that drinking three cups a coffee a day over the age of 55 will lead to an earlier death.  The same goes for dark chocolate, eggs, butter, etc.  One week we hear they are good for us and the next week they are not.  This is frustrating because it can become very confusing to the average person.

A few particular studies I have personal experiences with and take issue with are the debate on what time you should eat dinner, how many meals a day you should eat, and the size of the meal based on the time of day.  Let’s first discuss the debate on the time that you should eat dinner.  Many studies have published that eating dinner after 6pm is bad for you because your food is then stored in your stomach and turns to fat because it doesn’t have enough time to breakdown and digest before you go to bed.  I take issue with this because it depends on your schedule and routine.  This could be true if you go to bed directly or soon after eating your dinner because your food may sit and be stored rather than digested.  On the other hand, if you eat dinner at 6:30, 7, 7:30, etc and then your typical bed time isn’t until 11 or later, your food should be able to be broken down and digested and therefore it should not be an issue.

Next debate, time and time again I read studies that suggest eating 6 small meals a day is better than eating 3 meals a day.  I certainly am not going to try to persuade you one way or the other.  I have tried both and found a variation of the two that works for me.  I actually kind of merge the 3 meals a day and 6 meals a day rule together.  I eat one relatively large meal (usually dinner) and I eat 4 smaller meals/snacks throughout the day for a total of 5 meals/snacks.  I usually start around 8 with a small breakfast, then eat lunch around 12:30/1 with a small snack at 2:30 and dinner at 7ish followed by a small snack at 8:30.  I’m not going to tell you to follow my routine, but rather to consider what your body needs and what might work best based on your lifestyle.  After all, you should do what works for your body and your metabolism.

Last debate, most studies suggest that you should start off with bigger meals and get progressively smaller as you go throughout the day.  I actually do the complete opposite because I am a rebel…just kidding, I am actually the good girl type ;-).  I start my day with a small breakfast (usually something with protein to help keep me full), then I eat a little bigger lunch with a small snack at 2:30 and then a relatively large dinner and another small snack after dinner like pudding or a few bites of ice cream.  Often times for me, I choose to split my dinner into two small dinners and eat one at 7 and the other part at 8:30, eliminating the 8:30 snack (depending on how I feel).

So what was the point of this post?  The point of this post is to realize that you will hear and read a lot of health tips, publications, and research studies, but the best thing you can do is find what works for you.  Don’t let the media, research studies, publications, etc make you feel like you need to change what you are doing in your workout, what time you eat dinner, or how often you should eat.  You can use publications and studies as guidelines to add variety or small changes, but my best suggestion and advice is to find what works for you and “run” with it!  If eating 6 small meals works for you, then great, do that.  If eating at 7pm works for you, then do that!  If eating one large meal and two small meals works for you, then do that!  In other words, find a routine that keeps you motivated and remember that you are better off planning your calorie consumption than your eating times.


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