When were looking to become fit, lean & healthy its critically important that we listen to our body. Eating when your hungry and stopping when satisfied is a great combination – especially when your in maintenance mode. To put it simply, when you’re not trying to make dramatic and rapid changes to your body. This can mean eating three to eight times per day but don’t worry, over eating on a plant based diet to the point of excessive body fat gain and poor health is rare!
When on a plant based diet, weight regulation should require little to no cognitive control so long as you eat when you’re hungry, stop when satiated and you exercise.
Eating until your satisfied and stopping before you are full can seem strange at first. Especially if you’re used to using my fitness pal and counting calories. However, calorie counting isn’t for everyone and it certainly isn’t the only way to regulate your calorie and macro nutrient intake.
As humans we have internal mechanisms that regulate our food intake. If we can tune into those, they will be more sensitive than any calorie counting could ever be. Simply eating until your satisfied not full and eating when you’re hungry is a great start! Another drawback to counting calories religiously is it prioritises calories over nutrients.
I’m not saying calorie counting doesn’t work or that you shouldn’t do it – I am however saying its not for everyone and there are other ways of achieving the same result!
There are three key point that will help regulate hunger and fullness cues.
#1 Volume of food – You’ll be eating a lot of food which will trigger the fullness feeling.
#2 Nutrient Density – You need to be eating nutrient dense foods that give your body what it needs outside of caloric energy intake.
#3 Real foods – You wont be putting any “man made” food substitutes into your body when following a plant based diet.
There is no real meal frequency that works for everyone, experimenting with eating more or less often and let personal preference and results be your guide. Remember there are no particular rules on when to stop eating on a given day, you might have heard that no eating after 6 or 8pm is a magical weight loss cure.
Unfortunately this unicorn weight-loss hour does not exist.
What does matter is adjusting your food intake to your sleeping routine as when you eat large quantities of food before bed, your sleep will suffer!
For more information on how you can work with us, visit www.60smarter.co.uk/coaching and see how we can help show you the fun side of the health and fitness world!