By Michele Tenney
When I work on exercise and nutrition with my clients, many ask me how to eat best: eat five or more small meals a day or fast for 12 to 15 hours a day.
The answer is yes. There are many myths about how we should eat and when to eat. An example is eating smaller meals to increase your metabolism. While it is true that you will increase your metabolic rate this way, the rate is only increased slightly.
Another example would be intermittent fasting. This term is used to describe several eating habits that consume little or no calories for specific periods of time, which can regularly range from 12 hours or several days. While fasting has proven to be a successful method for obese adults, there are potential effects on gut hormones and reported risks of prolonged fasting such as nausea, dizziness, decreased bone density, and thiamine deficiency.
Another eating pattern could be the timing of nutrient intake. This can be a great way for professional athletes to eat to aid muscle recovery. However, for the average person who just wants to look and feel better, this is not a realistic lifestyle.
My customers will also ask me about protein shakes and the like. My answer is to investigate what the ingredients in these powders are because quality matters. I believe that food is medicine and I make my shakes out of it: food. I throw everything I have in the fridge first for vegetables, a piece of fruit, some ginger, maybe even half a lemon with skin, water and some almond milk, and then start my blender. I prefer plant-based protein to avoid the potential for hormones in milk.
There is nobody, the Holy Grail. Everyone has their own DNA, which makes them unique in every way. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. It is important that you eat healthy more often than not. Get the right amount of sleep every night. Stay hydrated and lower your stress levels.
Let this be your year for optimal health. The Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee is holding a Zoom meeting on March 3rd at 12:00 noon to discuss ways to stay healthy over the winter. Myself and two others will be speaking on the subject and we really hope you can join the discussion. Here is the link to register for the event.
Here’s about your health.
Michele Tenney is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist and wellness coach. She chairs the Healthy Lifestyle Committee for the Orange Elementary School System and is a member of the Orange Board of Health. She can be reached at 203-668-2969 or by email at Hmgbrd3@gmail.com.