Maybe you’re gaining weight (or not losing weight) for the obvious reason: You eat too much.
Then again, maybe you’re just not eating enough. Not often enough. There’s too much time between your meals. And what that does is make you so hungry, you eat too much.
Scott Fisher, a registered dietician and a nutrition consultant to professional sports teams like the New York Knicks and New Jersey Devils, recommends that people not let more than four hours elapse between the times they eat.
Food is fuel, as he put it. And you shouldn’t wait until the fuel gauge is close to “e” before refilling. If you’re careful about what kind of fuel you put in, and the amount, you may even increase the longevity of the engine.
You should eat every three or four hours, Fisher said, even if it’s just a snack. If you wait more than four hours, your blood sugar plummets and you will have less energy. So, what does your body want then? Glucose. And the fastest way of your getting it is, unfortunately, via fat and sugar.
“The more frequently you eat, the more calories you will burn,” he told an audience in Ridgewood. “And the easier it will be for you to maintain a healthy weight. That’s why you should eat consistently.”
Yet nine out of 10 of us aren’t eating frequently enough, he went on.
It’s also unfortunate, he added, that Americans tend to have our biggest meal, dinner, at the end of the day – when we are least active. We should be eating more during the day, when we are the most active and need the most energy. One lesson: Don’t skip breakfast or lunch.
Fisher gave various suggestions for improving your diet, and one was: focus on carbohydrates. Examples: healthy cereals, whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Eat at least five servings of fruit and/or vegetables a day. One serving = one cup raw food, or one cup cooked food, or eight ounces of 100 percent fruit juice.
Your body can store an unlimited amount of fat, Fisher said, but only a limited amount of carbohydrates. And our brains rely on carbohydrates.
Also, limit your consumption of cholesterol and other unhealthy saturated and “trans” fats. These can raise blood cholesterol levels and contribute to hardening of the arteries.
And, he advised, limit your consumption of foods high in salt or sodium, which can raise your blood pressure. Keep in mind that most of the sodium we intake is not from the salt shaker but already in the prepared foods we eat, whether it’s food from a can or food in a restaurant.