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Eating Patterns

September 10, 2008

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Most people do not pay attention to eating. Most of us eat habitually at regular, clocked times: before work, during lunch break and in the evening. We may take a couple of coffee or snack breaks during the day or make late-night visits to the fridge. Few of us pause to check whether we are really hungry when we eat. Before you sit down to eat, do you ever check in to see whether you are really hungry? Take a moment now to write down the times that you eat. Are you hungry when you eat?

The time of day determines how well our bodies break down food. Some people have a large meal at breakfast and lunch and then have a small snack for dinner; while others may eat a large meal at breakfast or for dinner. There are also those who feel best when they eat five meals throughout the day. Do you have one large meal or do you prefer to eat many small meals throughout the day?

Many health practitioners, dietitians and nutritionists emphasize that we should not eat after 7 or 8 PM. This may work for some, but it is not for everyone. It is true that when we sleep digestion slows and food tends to stay in our stomachs the whole night, which may impact energy levels the next day. Only you can determine what is best for your body. Experiment with the sizes and timing of your meals to see what makes you feel most energized and satisfied throughout the day.