Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything else in between. The average working human being eats at least four times a day, composed mostly of the Big 3 meals plus some room for a quick snack. We eat not just a lot of food during the day, but also a lot of times during the day. Why? Why do we eat that many times a day? Is it bad not to “eat on time”?
Let’s talk about smartphones for a minute. Smartphones come in all forms and degrees of sophistication. It could be from Apple, Samsung, LG, or even some of the lesser known brands like Huawei.
No matter what brand of smartphone, we’re all in agreement each one does a lot of cool things. From allowing unlimited access to social media and blogs, to telling us when our next meeting with the boss is and what we should bring with us.
On top of what we set smartphones to do, these devices also do a lot of “backend” stuff that involves complicated techie jargon I have little knowledge about.
Safe to say, our smartphones have many internal processes that allow it to function normally and what is the one thing it needs to do all that? Batteries, specifically the energy inside the batteries.
Smartphones are notorious for having pretty short battery lives, but when you think about the amount of things we do with it, you can say it’s justified. If it runs out of juice, we just plug it in with a charger and we can then continue debating with a stranger on Facebook about politics and why you think Jon Snow isn’t the the prince who was promised. (Sensitive topic, if I do say so myself)
When do we usually charge our phones? Obviously when it’s really, really low. Perhaps when it’s below 30 or 20%? Some even go as far as let the single digits roll by before scrambling for the nearest socket.
For most of us, this is how we treat our smart phones according to battery percentage.
100% – I can probably go on a short trip and not worry about my phone running low.
90% – 90 or 100? What’s the difference?
80% – good enough for a game or two with some online friends
70% – I can watch an hour long TEDx episode
60% – Shoot videos for Snapchat
50% – Random photo session in the office
40% – Browse Facebook and practice swiping on Tinder
30% – “Check out this funny cat!”
20% – Better switch to power saving mode
10% – Okay, let’s go charge you up.
Suffice to say, we don’t really charge our smartphones when it’s just at 90%, right? We usually charge the phone at around the 30%-20% mark.
We do this because we fear that what our phones can do might become limited due to low amounts of energy. The only time we really charge it up from above 50% is when we’re not sure if we’ll have the luxury of charging it again later.
Now let’s go back to the topic of eating on time. Like the smartphone, the human body is capable of a lot of awesome stuff provided it has a lot of energy. Depending on the amount of energy the body has, it can either last for a few hours or the whole day or more.
Our actions and internal processes consume energy and we get energy from eating. On that note, we should only eat if we need to “charge our batteries.” That’s all there is to it.
We don’t need to charge our phones 4, 5, 6 times a day unless the battery life sucks, so why should we eat 3, 4, 5 times a day when we’re not really that hungry? Why do we eat even when we don’t really need to eat?
Like phones, the human body comes in different forms and the “degrees of sophistication” largely depend on what the person does with their body.
You can say a person who sits around all day shouldn’t eat as much (or as frequent) as someone who lifts heavy boxes all day. For the latter, they are allowed to eat a lot of food because their body needs it. How about the former? Does the energy they expend the whole day justify the frequency of their meal time? No.
Like batteries, the more we eat, the more we damage our bodies over time and could effectively shorten our lifespan. Hey, batteries that become bloated are considered dying or just plain dead and so is the case for people who eat all the time and end up becoming morbidly and sickly obese.
“But, I only eat small portions at a time”
I can get technical around this topic, but generally speaking your body is better off eating large meals now, give it time to digest food, absorb nutrients, and expend energy, and eat again when it’s 100% done.
Eating small portions throughout the day makes your body and mind weak and susceptible to cravings. Those “small portions” can sneak in food you don’t really need to eat.
You won’t feel satiated and as long as you don’t feel satiated, the body will be programmed to store as much fat as possible, because it thinks – with the small portions it keeps getting – food will never come again.
Not only that, small portion eating allows your brain to be convinced the body “deserves” to eat sweets and sugary stuff because it’s been behaved all day. Instead of telling your body “we shouldn’t eat that, it’s bad for us” it gives it a pass.
Small portion eating is telling your body to go into emergency mode all the time. This also doesn’t let your body’s insulin levels to go down. Too much insulin all the time can lead to insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is just a few steps away from full blown diabetes.
“Okay, I get it. What should I do?”
Easy. Think of yourself as a smartphone. The best way to preserve battery lifespan is by charging only when you need to charge and stop the moment it hits 100% or close to it. Just like phones, you should only eat when you need to eat. Period.
Eat only when you’re hungry or when you think eating will not be optional later in the day. Eat to your heart’s content and stop when you know you’re full. That’s it. It’s practically common sense.
Of course, it’s better if you eat foods that are capable of allowing you to stay full for long periods of time such as nutrient dense foods, meat, and fat. If done right, it should allow you to survive on 2 meals a day, but that’s another topic.
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