Hi there! Today we’ll talk about spacing and balancing your meals. It is a very common suggestion to eat 5 small meals a day. Why? In essence, to give your body the most favorable conditions to digest the food you eat, and, in doing so, to help it keep (or regain) a healthy and balanced metabolism.

Usually, if you only eat breakfast (if you do eat breakfast at all), lunch and dinner, by the time you reach any of these main meals, you’ll probably be quite hungry, and you can binge to the point of fullness and lethargy, or at least, you’ll probably eat more than you would if you had a mid-morning/mid-afternoon snack.

But if you eat a healthy snack in between meals, like a piece of fruit, yogurt, or a smoothie, not only will you keep your metabolism and blood sugar levels at top form, you’ll also feel less hungry when the next meal arrives, and you’ll eat less.

But don’t force yourself to eat it if you still feel full from the previous meal, that would be contrary to the entire purpose of these extra meals. Eating out of habit can be very detrimental because if you don’t notice how you feel (slightly hungry or still full) you can just grab your food and eat it while your digestive system is still trying to process the previous meal.

When this happens your body will turn its attention to this new ingestion, leaving the other meal half-digested, and this food will ferment and release toxins. Even the new food can’t be properly digested, because the body isn’t able to produce enough digestive juices to properly break down the food while it is digesting something (your previous meal). So you’ll end up with lots of half-digested food, not providing the nutrition you need and releasing toxins in your digestive tract. Not what we wanted at all!

But many people do eat before digesting their previous meal (I know I have and still do sometimes) because of stress, routines or food cravings (due to a lack of nutrients in processed foods). So, before you grab your healthy snack, ask yourself how you feel, and if you still feel full from your previous meal, don’t eat anything else, make a mental note of this and test eating less in that meal the next day.

Just as a note, the ideal amount of food we should eat during the main meals is the one that leaves us about ¾ full. Since we have no idea (I don’t, at least!) when we reach this ¾ full state, in quantity, usually this means about 2 cupped handfuls of food. This is the quantity that keeps us nourished and gives our digestive system the best conditions to digest it.

Try it, you’ll see you will feel better!