Personally, I have never liked the term “meal replacement.” The major goal of any meal plan must be to teach its followers the basic principles of healthy eating. If weight loss, or the actual shedding of unwanted body fat remains foremost in one’s mind, that is wonderful. That often tedious and frustrating chore can most assuredly be accomplished. Might you need to replace very high calorie, low nutrient dense foods with healthier selections. Would it benefit you to replace your significant soda intake with more water? How about replacing the long empty hours you regularly allow your body to run on fumes with some consistent pit stops to fuel up on high energy foods? Do you believe it is possible that you can replace your whole way of thinking regarding eating? If you answer a resounding “YES!”, then I am excited for you.
Attaining that leaner, thinner, or skinnier figure will be a natural by-product resulting from the implementation of some fundamental truths concerning the human body’s natural and desired eating cycle. What should this daily ritual involve? In short, not meal replacements, but mini meals.
Think back when you were an infant. Alright, so that is stretching things a bit beyond the bounds of your memory. Nonetheless, to better understand a natural approach to eating we need only think about tiny, adorable babies. As a general observation, it appears as if our precious little ones are always desiring to be fed. I feel fairly confident that they are not having cravings for ice cream, chocolate, and pizza when they wail at the top of their lungs every couple of hours. That being said of course, the types of food which an expectant mother consumes does have tremendous influence on her child, including some rather serious and far reaching consequences.
To illustrate my point, I need only look to some close friends of mine. They kept a feeding journal for their first child. They were meticulous in their approach to monitoring the eating pattern of their baby. By recording the exact times, they observed how frequently their bundle of joy ate throughout the course of each day. As some new and inexperienced parents can be, they were somewhat surprised just how often they heard their baby scream “feed me!” Suddenly, a light bulb went on. Trust me, it wasn’t in dad’s mind. This brilliant mom concluded that the she was going to begin to graze all day as well, eating healthy mini meals. I believe, for a short while anyway, she used the identical crying method and, indeed, her husband brought her something to eat! Before long, this eating cycle, which she also logged, became routine. It was, she deduced, simply a matter of keeping her body fueled with regular, regimented feeding times. So, she began to eat on a set schedule just as her child was continuing to do. She discovered that she had more energy. She was losing her “baby weight” plus a few more pounds. “There is really something quite natural about this”, she remarked to me several months after adopting the baby approach to eating. Of course, I responded that she was absolutely correct. I reminded her that I eat every two hours from the moment I awake until I go to sleep. I am a grazer also! Moo! Believe it or not, after seeing the amazing transformation his wife made in six months, my buddy decided that he would join us in the pasture. What took you so long? He had, like so many of you, only been eating two times per day. So, by adding more feeding times, or mini meals, he also noticed a remarkable difference almost immediately. What I witnessed was this couple undergoing a complete restoration of their bodies’ natural and most optimal D.I.E.T. There was no replacing meals. EVERYTHING they ate was a meal!
The key here is to restore what has been lost. See if you follow my logic. When you have only been eating a couple times per day, and now you begin to eat on a very well thought-out, consistent schedule, including hours of the day previously never before reserved for fueling, you are not replacing anything. Right? You are restoring things to their proper state, which among other things, aids in regulating the all important blood sugar levels. This greatly influences your mood (say “goodbye” to being irritable and grumpy), your energy (you may discover you actually want to exercise), your ability to think clearly (the strange fog which rolls in unexpectedly at any time of the day is now lifting), and your over-all productivity (you will accomplish more in less time). There is no confusion remaining between your mind and your stomach now.
So,replace your old way of thinking with a newborn baby-like approach to your consumption of food. What about the traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you ask? Do you throw that out the proverbial window? Well, why would anyone ever assume that each person needs to eat at precisely the same time? This natural cycle I’m referring to is particularly individualized. Try it. You’ll like it! You will wonder why this didn’t occur to you before. Replace the unhappy or unfulfilled “you” with a wonderfully restored joyful, excited, grateful, and satisfied person. If you really want to see a mini “you” when looking in the mirror, then healthy and properly-portioned mini meals are just what the doctor ordered.