Life can feel unbearably overwhelming at times, don’t you agree?
In the midst of feeling overwhelmed, taking care of yourself is often pushed aside. As nutrition counselors, we often hear our clients describe eating as chaotic – whether it’s about the food choices, frequency of meals and snacks, location of mealtimes, or more. Why is that?
Well, life isn’t always easy and simple, and there can be a lot going on at once! Plus, the nutritional research out there is extremely confusing and, with new diets being introduced almost daily, we’re not sure how to feed ourselves anymore! We are so confused.
When eating feels chaotic, what do you do?
Do you just skip meals? Do you push meals off to the last second until you’re feeling inevitably hangry (angry+hungry)? Can you remember the last time you sat down and fully enjoyed a meal without distraction? Research shows that skipping meals and going longer than 5 hours between meals and snacks can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels with an increased preoccupation of food and likelihood of binge eating.
Because we now understand the dangers of inadequate and inconsistent eating, we’re here to introduce a resource that encourages “flexible structuralbility” (structure and accountability combined) specific to feeding yourself. You may have heard of this tool, as it was introduced in Maria’s titled Nutritional Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders. Whether you are dietitian working closely with clients or an individual experimenting with your own eating patterns, this framework is simple and manageable (with a little fun thrown in!).
Drum roll please! …. This flexible, structured food plan is called: The Rule of 3’s
Here at Better Gut Better Health, we use The Rule of 3’s with our clients all the time and we wanted to introduce it to you so that you can also learn more about this invaluable tool.
Here’s a little sneak peak!
But what are the benefits?
- Enhanced and optimal blood sugar regulation → blood sugar (also known as glucose) regulates hormones and energy levels – we need both for the day
- Less binge eating, undereating, overeating
- Improved focus, concentration, brain function → no, those 10 cups of coffee won’t give you more energy if you’re going long periods of time without eating food
- Decreased negative self-talk, negative feelings, self-criticism
- Decreased preoccupation around food → We’re less likely to think about food if we feed ourselves regularly and avoid extreme hunger
- Restored hunger and fullness cues → The body loves consistency and thrives off of regular eating patterns. Surprise! These cues are also created by hormones.
- Restored metabolism from long-term inadequate eating
What’s are the Rule of 3’s all about?
The Rule of 3’s includes guidelines specific to:
- Frequency of meals and snacks
- Number of meals and snacks
- Nutrients and food groups to include at meals and snacks for optimal nutrient variety
Here is a simple sneak peak into what a Rule of 3’s food plan could look like for one day.
Sounds simple, right? It really is. Courtney uses it with her clients dealing with eating or feeding concerns and Maria uses it to alleviate signs and symptoms associated with complications of the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological, and reproductive systems, and more!
Want to give it a try?
For more information and support, we’re offering 2 different e-books:
Better Gut tip: It’s okay to plan your meals out a few days in advance when eating feels chaotic! Start with planning dinners for the week – it will likely help out with grocery shopping and budgeting as well! Having leftovers for lunch also simplifies planning.