I apologize in advance if meme is insensitive, I keep accidentally implying things that I don’t mean whenever I make posts on the internet

  • @[email protected]
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    fedilink
    84 months ago

    I only get hungry once to twice per day, and usually for only about half of a standard restaurant entree amount. Why is that bad for me? I have not been underweight, and I work from home, so I’m not burning a bunch of calories with routine activity.

    I do know I should work out more though.

    • @DillyDaily
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      34 months ago

      It’s not bad for you. There’s a lot of research into portion timing, sizing, and the effect of food quality on health at the same caloric intake, and the inverse.

      Some studies are well funded without bias, some studies have dubious funding bodies, most are too small to be able to read anything much into the results, many use subject diaries and retroactive observations to gather data, which is one of the least reliable ways to collect study data.

      So when you hear people saying “One Meal A Day OMAD is great for your glucose levels” and someone else says “grazing on 7 small meals a day is good for cortisol levels” or whatever they are saying, chances are there is scientific evidence for the claim, but it’s such a minuscule improvement or impact on an individual level, it’s not worth trying to forcefeed yourself more frequent meals, or restrict yourself to less frequent meals - if you already have an intuitive system of eating that let’s you maintain a healthy weight, maintain good nutrition, avoid dietary deficiencies, and feel comfortable after and between meals, then that’s the way you want to be eating for your body. Because it’s sustainable (it’s so easy you do it without even trying) and it works.

      The reality is that humans have only really had this specific lifestyle issue where we simultaneously have a calorie surplus and a movement deficiency for a tiny, almost insignificant slither of our existence as a species. We have to go out of our way to get movement in because desk jobs prohibit it. And sometimes we have to go out of our way to avoid food when we aren’t actually hungry.

      You don’t need to go back far on the human timeline to see that for almost our entire existence as a species it’s been the other way around. Movement is unavoidable, and you must always be seeking food for survival.

      So really, we don’t know what this means going forward, what does “eating for optimal health” looks like in a world where we have highly nutritious fortified foods so we don’t need to eat as many calories to get the same nutrients as our ancestors. We have nearly unlimited calories at our hands for very little physical input from us as an individual, and a daily routine where we need to actively set time aside to exercise and wear buzzing watches to remind ourselves to take a few steps this hour.

      If you are a healthy weight and don’t have any nutritional deficiencies, then I wouldn’t change anything about your eating habits, I’d look into ways to increase NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) basically the calories you burn on incidental movement. Small things can add up. We moved the rubbish bin, kettle and phone in the office to the other side of the room so we have to get up and walk across the room to answer the phone or throw away a post it note. It’s added 1000 steps to my day without even having to try, that means I’m closer to my movement goals for the day, and that movement is important. A healthy balance would be increasing your daily NEAT while also doing 10-15 minutes of dedicated cardio a day, increasing to 30 minutes if possible (though the health benefit going from 15 minutes to 30 minutes isn’t as significant as the health benefit you get when going from 0 to 15 minutes cardio. So if aiming for 30 a day burns you out, know that 15 is great too). Adding in strength training a few times a week, noting that training strength is very different from building muscles when it comes to the medical definition of physical fitness.