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multiple small meals

Do you know the animal that eats 7-8 small meals daily? The answer is “only humans!”

 

Modern medicine and even many online sources say eating multiple small meals is beneficial. But what does Ayurveda have to say?

 

The Ayurvedic perspective

 

According to Ayurveda, contrary to the principles of modern nutrition, eating multiple small meals a day will not keep the metabolism strong. It works the opposite way – it lowers your “Agni” or digestive fire! 

 

Eat when you are hungry

 

Ayurveda says you should only eat when hungry and stop when you feel full. When you feel hungry, it indicates that the digestive enzymes are wholly produced to the finest extent. So, the food you eat will be broken down properly.

 

Ayurveda advises eating proper full meals 4 hours apart, sitting down, without talking.

 

Eat mindfully

 

It also suggests enjoying food with all your senses – touch, feel, smell, look, and listen to it! Eating four times a day has been proven to assist some people in controlling their blood sugar levels and avoiding overindulging in larger meals. Remember that the caliber and amount of food eaten at these meals matters just as much as how often they occur.

 

Give time to digest

 

Once you eat a proper full meal, you should allow the body time to digest the food entirely and for hunger to be formed. Once hunger is created and the previous food is completely digested, and you see signs like udgarasuddhi (belching without the smell or taste of the last meal), you can have the next meal. This usually takes 3.5 to 4 hours. It is essential to wait for hunger to form well before the next meal as it allows you to understand your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.

 

Be consistent

 

Eating on time is very important too, ideally around the same time every day! Eating on time every day helps your body adjust to a set routine. Maintaining a regular eating schedule encourages the body to acquire all the energy it needs and, in turn, reduces the intake of sugar, junk food, and fast food. Planning your meals and snacks can help you eat better and have more energy throughout the day. This keeps your body working at its best all day. Consistently eating at regular times each day helps our bodies recognize hunger cues. This enables you to identify your hunger better and satisfy it healthily.

 

Let’s start eating like real humans again! Will you still be eating 7-8 meals a day after this?

 

It’s not about how many times you eat in a day, but how you are consistent with your timings and what you eat that counts! This helps improve your digestion and your life expectancy.

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Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony