Blood Glucose and Energy

In addition to the types of fuel you put into your body, your energy can be directly linked to the amount of energy you put (or don't put) into your body, and the timing of it. Nutrition is about fueling the body for optimum function. Many Americans have become so preoccupied with weight loss that they have lost sight of the main event: you need food and the energy source in it — glucose — to live.

If you don't give your body glucose through balanced meals, the brain sends messages that make you feel dizzy and weak. You may also feel irritable, get a headache, and have difficulty concentrating.

If you are not careful when you are hungry, you will eat anything around just to feed yourself because it's as if your brain thinks it's starving. This is why we end up craving high-sugar foods.

Most high-sugar foods are also high-fat foods, which packs a double caloric whammy. In fact, nutritionists have postulated that we are as addicted to fat as we are to sugar. This is why balanced, well-timed meals prevent weight gain: you are less likely to reach for non-nutritious foods because you don't get hungry as often.

When you eat quickly, you override the built-in “I'm full” mechanism that the stomach sends out to the brain. This causes you to overeat, and to feel overfull and, sometimes, ill. You also have taken in more energy (calories) than your body needs.

Then in frustration, you chastise yourself: “Why did I do that?” So, you proclaim, “Okay, I'll skip the next meal to make up for it.” When you try to skip meals, you end up feeling so hungry you tend to overeat all over again. This cycle is physically undesirable and emotionally draining. But you can avoid it.

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