A nutritionist has explained why you may not have to eat three meals every day to stay healthy. It’s common knowledge that eating breakfast, lunch and dinner is supposed to give us enough nutrients, energy and calories to get through the day.
But according to Kyle Crowley, nutrition and food science expert at Protein Works, this may not be the case for people today. That’s because this three-time structure began all the way back in the 17th century, when people lived very different lives.
As well as lower incidental physical activity levels, jobs are generally far more sedentary in the 21st century and require far less physical labour than the work of our ancestors.
As a result, the health expert has given his professional insight into what meal structure works for you, based on your career and common daily routine. He has developed a comprehensive guide based on a new study designed to revolutionise the way we nourish our bodies based on modern lifestyles.
Kyle said: “Careers and lifestyles have evolved significantly since the 17th century, however, many of us still stick to the classic structure of three meals a day, a diet followed by those during the Industrial Revolution. It’s time for our approach to nutrition at work to catch up!”
Whether you work in an office, work actively during the day, have an on-call schedule or regularly work night shifts, there’s a way you can tailor your nutrition that works best. It’s important to remember that Kyle is not advising to eat less, but that people working in different fields may have different nutritional needs.
Read below to see what eating pattern, based on your work lifestyle, is advised by Kyle Crowley.
Research has revealed that people in low-activity desk jobs would benefit most from eating four smaller but more frequent meals during the working day, with a total of six meals daily.
This is because it will help provide a constant supply of energy and maintain your blood sugar levels when focusing for extended periods of screen time. This is gentler on the gut and digestive system when sitting at a desk all day.
Also, eating six times a day has been scientifically found to help lower cholesterol levels which people in sedentary and stressful jobs are more likely to be exposed to.
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Highly active day workers
Those working in more active and physically demanding roles like waitressing, retail and construction may benefit from a more traditional meal approach.
Consuming three well-balanced meals daily, focusing on a substantial breakfast packed with protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates, can prove instrumental in curbing hunger, stabilising sugar levels, and ensuring one has a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
Not only this, but by focusing on foods with anti-inflammatory and flavonoid-rich properties, workers can help to mitigate the side effects of prolonged standing which can affect your overall health and well-being over time.
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Night shift workers
Those working night shifts should have a large, satisfying meal when they wake up before their shift, followed by light grazing on high-immune boosting snacks throughout work.
Snacks should be light enough to keep workers satisfied but with minimal disruption to their circadian rhythm to ensure a good sleep later on. Finally, they should finish their day with a light but filling sleep-promoting meal before bed.
This is because night shift workers should aim to remain full and cause as little disruption to their circadian rhythm as possible when on shift in the early hours of the morning. Disturbing the circadian rhythm by eating larger meals in the early hours has been found to cause issues with sleep and overall well-being.
Also, science reveals night shift workers are also more prone to infections and illnesses like the flu so snacking on immune-boosting foods can help mitigate this issue.
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