Eating between meals – is it good for your body?
You’ve had a meal, and then decide to eat something else and hour or two later.
What happens here is that your meal is part way though digestion, and then you’re putting fresh food on top of it that needs to start from the beginning. What does your stomach do:
- Finish digesting the first batch of food?
- Start on the new one?
It can’t do both properly at the same time, because digestion is a process and your stomach can’t be in 2 stages of this process at the same time. So neither of these batches of food will be properly digested.
Eating between meals increases your stomach’s emptying time as it battles with trying to do two jobs at once. This can cause indigestion and heartburn. The effects of eating between meals can also ricochet right down the gut and upset the colon’s actions leading to constipation or being loose.
This stop start, stop start pattern of eating as a regular habit is pretty stressful for your body. It drains your energy and puts a big strain on your immune system – because your immunity has to be vigilant about what it lets into your system from your gut.
Why Are You Eating Between Meals?
People who have significant amounts of processed and altered foods in their everyday diet are often driven to eat more, because refined food increases your appetite.
White flours, white rice, sugar – there are tons of calories here but little nutrition. Your body needs nutrition and if you’re eating between meals because you’re hungry it’s likely your body is crying out for nutrition.
You either have to eats stacks of refined and processed food (getting a great BIG overdose of calories in the process), or eat nutritional food to fuel your body properly.
Escaping The Treadmill Of Constant Eating
The odd snack here and there isn’t going to cause much of a problem.
But if you grazing all day long it’s a sign all isn’t well with how you’re eating. If you’re suffering ill effects from this, either with your weight or health – experiment with something different. This doesn’t have to be a life-long commitment, it’s just about trying something out:
- Eat REAL food – give your body the nutrition it’s obviously craving
- Allow yourself to go through the initial cravings with awareness – they will pass
- Keep hydrated with water – dehydration can masquerade as hunger
In time your body will start digesting properly, and get the nutrition it needs from real food. Your cravings will reduce and eating between meals won’t feel necessary anymore.
PS If you feel totally out of control you might find this helpful – why am I addicted to food?