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Do this, not that: tips for living good, feeling better

I would be a complete liar and lose all credibility as a journalist or a writer if I denied that I sometimes skipped my meals. Sure, it might not happen intentionally (our hectic schedules sometimes dictate our lives, no?), but once we get to the point where we acknowledge we don’t eat enough and don’t do anything about it, then we have problem.

I often keep myself busy and find it difficult to habitually eat meals throughout the day. There are times when I can go for days without eating a decent number of meals, or without eating much at all. This is not healthy.

Especially in this day and age, I feel we have become accustomed to the notion of skipping meals to help better ourselves; if we skip meals, we eat less calories/fat/cholesterol, etc. and we will be healthier, right? Wrong.

If we deal with hunger and eating issues in this way, our plans will only backfire on us.

According to studies run on and spoken about over the New York Times health blogs, when you forego the calories that you would otherwise gain from the meals you skipped, you are getting an uneven distribution of calories throughout the course of your day, causing an imbalance of energy that won’t allow your body to function properly.

Once skipping meals become a habit, it can pose serious health risks; most commonly is low blood sugar and delaying your body’s response to insulin, which can lead to diabetes. A healthier approach to dealing with the difficulties of finding a balance in our eating habits is to actually eat more.

Instead of passing up meals or choosing to eat an occasional snack that lacks any real nutritional value, we should deal with hunger as if we feel it happening within our bodies. In every way, shape and form, we should listen to our bodies; whether we are tired, happy, sad, excited or even hungry (yes, I said the dreaded word).

If we pay attention to our bodies and when it needs to be nourished (about every three to four hours), we will decrease the amount of times we act on binges and unhealthy cravings throughout the course of a day. This plan is fool-proof as long as we eat our food as healthy meals and don’t binge eat on junk food.