One of the challenges of our work is the unending stream of conflicting, confusing information pouring into social media on a daily basis. The health industry has spent decades peddling “the next big thing,” whether that’s a goofy new exercise device or a miracle supplement. And our society devours these promises, no matter how outlandish they are, because many of us have felt desperate for a solution that actually works and want to believe that this new thing will finally be the easy answer.
From this confusion, we field many questions from clients because the Habits of Health Transformational System—forged out of decades of medical research and years of direct work in the field—is sometimes at odds with this week’s new health fad. For example, our approach to healthy fuelings where we eat every three hours is a common topic.
Here’s what we know about fuelings:
Many studies suggest that eating more frequently may offer benefits by decreasing hunger and food intake at subsequent meals. One study involving close to 2,700 women and men found that those who ate at least six times per day ate fewer calories, consumed healthier foods, and had a lower body mass index than those who ate fewer than four times over a 24-hour period (check out page 183 in Your LifeBook for more).
There are conflicting studies, of course, but we have discovered that eating three meals a day in a modern world is difficult and can leave you feeling sluggish. Waiting longer, six hours or more, can make you feel shaky, tired, and weak as you become hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). This is especially true in both prediabetics and diabetics.
On top of that, we have found that those who avoid breakfast or wait too long between eating become over-hungry and are then more likely to overeat. So, we have used smaller feedings, which we call fuelings, throughout the day to ensure that your body has a constant source of healthy food to maintain energy and to keep the body in a balanced state of energy intake and utilization without overloading your digestion.
For us, the Habits of Health are working on several fronts at once. Our goal isn’t just to help you reach a healthy weight. Our goal is to help you create a new, sustainable, healthy lifestyle, and that means we have to be more thoughtful and look at the big picture of your life today, tomorrow, and several years from now.
Habits of Healthy Fuelings are not just about dropping pounds. They are about teaching you a better way of fueling your body, an approach that you can continue indefinitely once you have reached a healthy weight.
We don’t want you to fight dramatic periods of feeling hungry because eventually you’ll crack and binge eat.
We don’t want you to adopt an extreme nutrition plan because someday you have to go off of that plan and that’s where most people regain weight and then some.
The Habits of Healthy Transformational System is designed for the short-term and the long-term. It gives you the tools to reach a healthy weight and to continue living a healthy, thriving life because you learn sustainable, practical habits for healthy eating. I spend time each day reading the latest literature in the space, and this is still the path I wholeheartedly recommend. It’s accessible. It’s proven to be effective. And it is sustainable.