Healthy Lunch Ideas – Is It Bad To Only Eat Once a Day?

Eating frequency throughout the day has been a long debated issue.  Does it matter if you eat 3 meals a day?  What if you eat the same number of calories in 1 meal instead?  Most research suggests eating once a day is not beneficial.  Here are some reasons why you may want to eat more than just once a day – Healthy Lunch Ideas

Blood Sugar

Eating one meal a day means you’re getting a huge amount of food in 1 sitting.  This will cause your blood sugar to spike after that meal.  A 2007 study from Metabolism- Clinical and Experimental analyzed the effects when subjects ate 1 large meal a day or 3 meals a day.  The 1 large meal and 3 meals per day were the same amount of calories.

Results from this study showed that when subjects ate 1 meal a day compared to eating 3 meals a day blood glucose levels had higher fasting blood glucose levels, delayed insulin response to an oral glucose tolerance test and greater elevations in blood glucose after eating.

Based on this study, eating 1 meal a day can increase blood sugar and possibly blunt insulin response.  This could increase risk for type 2 diabetes and weight gain.  Subjects in this study were healthy and normal weight, and consumed either 1 meal a day or 3 meals a day for 8 weeks each.

See also: How to increase your metabolism naturallyIncreased fat formation

  • As mentioned above, eating 1 meal a day can increase glucose and insulin secretions.  Insulin promotes fat storage in addition to taking glucose from the blood and bringing it into body cells for energy.
  • A huge intake of energy at one time each day causes high insulin levels that can increase fat storage.  A 2008 study from British Journal of Nutrition analyzed the effects on metabolism with varying meal frequencies.  Subjects either ate 3 meals, or only breakfast and dinner.  The 3 meals was equal in calories to the only breakfast and dinner experiment.
  • When subjects ate 3 meals, fat oxidation was increased compared to when subjects ate 2 meals.  Although this was looking at 2 meals not 1 meal, other research studies have shown similar results with eating 1 meal a day.
  • Eating 1 meal a day can increase fat storage and decrease using fat as a fuel.  As mentioned in the 2008 study, eating 3 meals actually increased using fat as a fuel compared to eating 2 meals a day.

See also: How many calories should I eat to lose weightLower satiety

  • Eating only once a day decreases satiety.  Satiety is a measure of satisfaction after a meal, and will tell your brain you no longer need food.  In the 2008 study, subjects had a higher satiety with eating 3 meals a day instead of 2.
  • Higher satiety throughout the day means you will probably eat less throughout the day.  Eating 3 meals compared to 1 meal will leave you more satisfied, meaning your food intake will probably be lower.
  • Generally speaking, eating 1 meal a day could also affect mental health and emotions.  If you’re feeling hungry all day, you will probably be cranky.
    Are more meals per day always better?
  • Eating 1-2 meals a day can increase blood glucose levels, possibly even the day after, and can decrease using fat as a fuel when compared to eating 3 meals a day.  So does that mean eating more than 3 times a day is even better you’re your metabolism?
  • Not necessarily.  Sometimes eating every few hours can increase over all calorie intake and keep blood sugar and insulin levels elevated.  Some people do better with eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day, but it may not be best for everyone.

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High Protein Foods : That Are Good For Your Digestive System 2015

The digestive system is a complex, highly organized system that breaks food down into microscopic compounds the body can use for fuel, storage, repair, etc.  However, there are many places the digestive process can go wrong.  Unpleasant side effects with digestive issues include cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation – High Protein Foods

There are many reasons why the digestive system may be off, but here are some general tips for foods that can help keep your digestive system healthy.


Ginger has been used as a digestive aid for centuries.  Ginger root is packed with antioxidants, fiber and phyto-chemicals that work against inflammation in the body.  Many digestive issues are caused by or result in inflammation.

Ginger also can help alleviate stomach discomfort and is a common aid for morning sickness during pregnancy or motion sickness.  Fresh ginger can be added to stir fries, baked goods or in ginger chews or teas.

Many cultures suggest having ginger after eating to improve the digestion of a meal.


Peppermint is similar to ginger in that it has a natural calming effect on the digestive tract.  Drinking peppermint tea or using peppermint oil can help alleviate symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indigestion or gas.  However, some people may find that peppermint may exacerbate symptoms of gastric reflux.

Peppermint candy may not have the same positive effect on the digestive tract as peppermint oil or tea, as the sugar in candy may irritate your digestive tract more.


Yogurt is a source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria in your colon.  The digestive tract is home to hundreds of different bacteria strains.  Beneficial bacteria can help fight off pathogens from entering the body, and can affect healthy bowel movements. (See also: Health benefits of yogurt)

A typical Western diet high in processed foods, sugars and added fats will not support beneficial bacteria in the colon as well as a diet high in fruits, vegetables, beans, grains and fermented foods (like yogurt).  The bacteria in the colon can get off track with a highly processed food diet.  Harmful bacteria can increase risk of cramping, bloating, flatulence and inconsistent bowel movements.

Eating foods rich in probiotics, like yogurt, can help keep the digestive tract healthy.  Other sources of fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi or other fermented dairy products.

More and more research is being established with the association of the bacteria in the colon and how it can influence the rest of the body.  Gut bacteria can influence digestive health, immune health, possibly body weight and mental health.

There are a wide variety of probiotic supplements available.  Before taking a supplement, research the specific strain(s) in a supplement to see if there is validity to the type of bacteria in the supplement, or talk with a health professional to see if a supplement is warranted for health benefit.

Whole grains

Whole grains are a good source of fiber, which are beneficial for digestive system health.  However, whole grains are also a source of antioxidants, B vitamins, immune compounds that can help lower inflammation and oxidative stress.  These other parts to whole grains can work synergistically with fiber to improve digestive health.

The fiber from whole grains can help alleviate problems with constipation specifically, and may help lower risk for colon cancer.  Increasing whole grains may be contraindicated when experiencing diarrhea.  Examples of whole grains include whole wheat bread, quinoa, oats, barley and brown rice.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are high in fiber, omega 3’s, calcium, B vitamins, iron and protein.  Because they are high in omega 3’s, chia seeds can help lower inflammation in the body in the digestive tract.  Certain conditions like IBS can be sparked by inflammation in the body.  The fiber in chia seeds can also help with regular bowel movements.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, which could help the immune system fight off pathogens in the digestive tract.  Coconut oil has omega 3’s and medium chain triglycerides (MCT).  MCT can be beneficial when the digestive tract is not working right.  Coconut oil can help lower inflammation in the digestive tract from IBS, allergies, colitis or other digestive tract problems.

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What is the Best Exercise for Weight Loss 2015

There are many different types of exercise: running, interval training, yoga, Pilates, etc. and most proponents of each exercise claim theirs is the best for health.  Is there one exercise that trumps all the others for weight loss?A variety of exercise can be beneficial.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous exercise and muscle strengthening exercises 2 days a week.  However, exercising more than these guidelines is probably needed for weight loss.

Cardio exercise- high calorie burn

  • When trying to lose weight, increasing calorie expenditure is important.  Certain exercises burn more calories than others.  Cardio exercises that keep the heart rate elevated continuously are considered high calorie burn exercises. Examples of cardio exercise includes walking, swimming, running, biking, playing soccer, dancing, etc. See also: How much cardio to lose weight fast
  • Cardio exercises generally engage many muscle groups, have a high calorie burn and strengthen the heart.  Running is often associated as a high calorie burn exercise, but running is not the only high calorie burn.  Other high calorie burn exercises include kick boxing, biking, jump roping, rowing and aerobics.
  • Interval training is growing in popularity for exercise and weight loss.  Interval training cycles between bringing the heart rate way up through intense exercise for a short period of time, and bringing the heart rate down with rest.  Even though the heart rate is not consistently elevated, like cardio exercise, interval training will also have a high calorie burn.
  • Some research suggests interval type training can increase metabolism hours after exercise.

Muscle strengthening

  • Lifting weights, Pilates or yoga don’t give as high calorie burn as cardio or interval exercise.  Does this mean they’re not important for weight loss?  Weight lifting can help increase or keep lean muscle mass when trying to lose weight.
  • Keeping lean mass is helpful when trying to lose weight because increasing lean body mass can increase basal metabolic rate (BMR).  A combination of high calorie burn exercise plus strength building exercise can have a greater benefit during weight loss.
  • Strength training major muscle groups two times per week is generally recommended, but to get an individual recommendation for your goals talk to an exercise professional.
  • Exercises like Pilates or yoga can offer additional health benefits to an exercise program.  These exercises can also help strengthen muscles, and Pilates focuses primarily on increasing core strength.  They can also be beneficial for increasing flexibility and mental health.
  • Advanced yoga and Pilates that move faster will have a higher calorie burn than beginner classes but need to be worked up to appropriately.  Yoga has many different forms of practice.  Hot yoga will have a higher calorie burn than more meditative yoga practices.

What are you going to stick with long term?

  • One of the biggest factors for considering what exercise is best for weight loss is to consider what program you will stick with long term.  Everyone is unique, and there are many types of exercise to fit individual needs.
  • In general a type of cardio plus strength exercises is a good combination, but there are many types of exercises within the cardio classification to pick from.  If you have issues with your knees, running may not be best long term.  Swimming, Zumba or bike riding may be better alternatives.
  • Weight loss is a long term commitment, so find exercises that you can keep as part of your lifestyle long term.  Add in variety; change up the type of exercise you do so it doesn’t become monotonous.


  • In general, the higher the intensity the higher the calorie burn when exercising.  Does this mean you always want to exercise at a high intensity?  Probably not.  Exercising at a lower intensity, often called moderate, will still burn a high number of calories and the body will use a higher percentage of fat for fuel.
  • Both moderate and high intensity cardio exercises are beneficial for weight loss.  With moderate exercise you are still working hard, but you could carry on a conversation.  High intensity exercise you are reaching closer to your max effort, and it is hard to talk in full sentences.  High intensity exercises will burn more calories, but moderate exercise will have a higher percentage of fat burn.

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