Many of us work at odd hours of day and often night too. This results in skipped meals or meals that do not maintain regular hours. Our experts inform you just why it is so important that we stick to our meal schedules for healthy diets. Read on.
History is embedded in our genes – ancient meal schedules
Until these last few hundred years, human eating habits have essentially been no different from that of any grazing animal. Humans woke up at dawn and immediately began searching for food. We eat what we found, be it fruit, nuts, roots, edible leaves and when the opportunity presented itself, we also hunted and ate meat. Humans were omnivorous i.e. we ate vegetables, fruits and meat.
Humans like the animals, ate all day – the animals still do. The energy generated from the food was utilized to gather more food or for hunting. The only time humans relaxed was at night; lack of night vision and the need to rest ensured we did not forage or hunt during the night. Instead carnivores that hunted at night got a change to kill and eat humans. This also effectively controlled animal and human populations.
The above situation meant that the body had to maintain a steady supply of ready-to-use energy. Every last bit of energy was utilized. Sometimes, if the humans were lucky, they had more to eat in which case, the body quickly converted the excess food into fat to be utilized during periods of slack – and there used to be plenty of that too.
When meal schedules are disrupted
Many times the humans would wander into regions where vegetation was sparse and game few and far in between. During these periods of starvation, the body converted whatever little fat that was stored, into energy. If this system did not exist, humans would have probably become extinct many millions of years ago. Nature provided us with a backup energy module – fat.
How meal schedules got genetically coded
This went on for many tens of thousands of years and got embedded or coded into our genes. During the last few hundred years, things have rapidly changed. Thanks to mechanization, we have plenty to eat and there is no starvation. Unfortunately, the body requires thousands of years to reprogram the genes. The current change has happened in too short a period of time for the body to comprehend.
Understanding the current program
In the meanwhile, the body follows the current program i.e. the less we eat, or the more irregular our eating habits, the more the body squirrels away food and stores it as fat in the firm belief that it will be needed during periods of starvation.
Irregular meal schedules encourage the body to produce and store fat
Irregular eating habits, skipping meals, etc. only encourages the body to store more fat. Once we understand the simple fundamentals under which our body metabolism works, the rest is easy.
Stick to meal schedules for healthy diet
We need to eat and stick to regular eating schedules. Ideally, we have to break up our food into six or seven small meals and have them at regular intervals during the day – this is what the body expects and this is what we ought to be giving it.
Do this and your body will stop accumulating fat. Meanwhile the accumulated fat will need to be surgically removed or exercised out. The natural way i.e. exercise is always the better way. Don’t starve or you will trigger another round of ‘grab and store as fat’ episode.