Intermittent fasting - meaning, you eat all your meals of the day during a certain time window, for example during eight hours - seems to be a very logical approach to eating - at least from an evolutionary standpoint. In the caveman times, food wasn't always available. The idea that you should eat breakfast and lunch and dinner and perhaps a snack as well is a relatively new concept. It almost sounds like it was invented to support the cereal manufacturers.
The early men were often hungry - and while today the idea of choosing being hungry instead of eating is considered insane, back in the day, humans were used to it. As there were no supermarkets and 24/7 stores or refrigerators where you could get a snack the minute you noticed you craved food, being hungry from time to time was a natural state of things for us. And it seems unlikely that the human biology would have changed so much since the invention of toast.
So, if you're looking to changing your lifestyle more to the direction of the early hunter-gatherer men, starting intermittent fasting could be the key - along with a paleo diet. That being said, intermittent fasting can be hard for someone who's used to eating four to six meals a day. The situation is not hopeless, though; here are some tips on how to make it happen.
- Decrease the number of meals you have one at a time, moving the food from the extra spot to one of the kept ones. Continue this until you only eat once or twice a day (large amounts at each meal).
- Move breakfast to the afternoon and instead drink just tea or coffee in the morning. The hunger will go away, and it'll be easier to resist eating if you haven't had anything yet that day.
- Eat an adequate amount of protein and fat at each meal.
These tips will help move even the most chronic snacker towards a more regulated eating pattern. Once you've reached the situation where you only eat once or twice a day, your insulin is more under control as you don't give it a chance to spike too often. Intermittent fasting also makes cooking and other meal prepping easier. But, as always, it may not be the best habit for your individual preferences, so if you try it and it doesn't work (you get tired or hungry or depressed), abandon it and try something else.