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November 30, 2010

Keep Your Body in Balance: Small Meals

by Stephanie Carnes
OHN Contributor

A good after-Thanksgiving reminder: Eat smaller portions more frequently! Refraining from food to prepare for an extra large one is never a good idea when it comes to keeping your body in balance.

Since smaller quantities of consumed food are apt to flow through the digestive system without becoming toxic, it makes sense that we eat food in proportions that improve our digestive abilities rather than put a strain them. Eating every three to four hours is recommended.

Providing the body with a continuous supply of usable nutrients throughout the day allows individual body systems to function with efficiency. This way your blood sugar level will remain more consistent and spare your body from the typical unhealthy fluctuations you have been subjecting it to for years. A second key reason for eating every few hours is to keep the adrenal glands in top shape. When you eat infrequently, you force your body to run on adrenaline.

Modern living easily drains our adrenal glands. The adrenal glands, located one on top of each kidney, are stress glands that help us cope with internal and external stress factors, both physical and mental. It is essential to give the body adequate nutrition to lessen chances of adrenal exhaustion; and, in many cases, to assist the healing of the adrenal glands themselves. Persistent fatigue, a racing brain, an inability to “turn off” the feeling of being stressed out, as well as a lack of vitality, all point to adrenal exhaustion. The good news is that by keeping your blood sugar balanced, by eating small amounts of food often, and by eating animal protein throughout the day, you can keep your adrenal glands in a vital state of health.

Recognizing that we are all unique in our food needs, the actual size, as well as the ratio of macronutrients, (carbohydrates to proteins to fats), of meals consumed every three to four hours can vary. Eat what will keep you satisfied for three to four hours. If after a meal you have an adverse symptom or worsening of existing negative symptoms, including: specifically sweet cravings, hunger too soon after eating, lowered energy, worsening moods, and others, then you are not eating the correct foods in appropriate ratios at your meal.

If toward the end of your meal, you find yourself full and yet you continue to eat until you are stuffed, then you are not eating the right proportions of macronutrients. Start by cutting down on your carbohydrates, and keep in mind that the meal size and proportions can change as your body accommodates the cumulative effects of the Optimal Health Center Plan.

Given how much stress is inherent in modern living, “having” to eat every few hours can appear impossible. But it is important to remember that you are at an exciting point in your life where you are changing habits, and that this takes time!

Feel free to call or email our office with questions or for support in this venture.

SOURCE: Ten Days to Optimal Health (Amelong 2006)

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