Ask a Health Coach: Why You’re Confused About What (and When) to Eat

Woman eating vegetable salad at home.Hi everybody, today Erin is back to respond to more of your health and health concerns. If you’re puzzled about carbohydrate consumption, curious if you ought to actually consume breakfast, or questioning how to remain on track throughout the vacations, continue reading for today’s edition of Ask a Health Coach. Got a concern for Erin? Post it in the remarks listed below or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.


Melissa asked:
“I’ve been hearing a lot about carbs now being good for you, especially if you have adrenal issues. I thought carbs were supposed to be bad. What’s the straight answer?”


There’s absolutely nothing I like more than to rework the old “good foods/bad foods” dispute that diet plan culture continuously smothers us with. Web influencers attempt to demonize entire food groups and guide us in the all-or-nothing camp so frequently, it’s no surprise individuals are puzzled about what they ought to be consuming.

The fact is, numerous foods, excellent and bad, consist of carbs (cookies, cakes, kale, carrots, green beans, bagels, beets…the list goes on). And when you take in those foods, your digestion system breaks the carbohydrates down into glucose, aka sugar, which goes into the blood stream. As blood sugar level levels increase, the hormonal agent insulin is launched, triggering your cells to take in sugar from the blood. When blood sugar level begins to get low, another hormonal agent, called glucagon, takes that soaked up sugar and utilizes it for energy. Our bodies are seriously incredible, aren’t they?

Handling Adrenal Tiredness with Food

The believing behind advising more carbohydrates for those with adrenal concerns, is that it can be harder for your body to metabolize protein and fat for energy. That being stated, when you take in more carbs than your body requirements, or extremely processed, sweet foods, your blood sugar level increases greater and crashes lower (exceeding typical the insulin-glucagon action) and triggers a spike in the tension hormonal agent, cortisol. You’re unintentionally triggering more tension in your body — not something you wish to do if you’re attempting to handle adrenal dysfunction.

Do this regularly and you’ll be on a metabolic rollercoaster that makes your adrenals work even harder. Even standard medication concurs that processed foods and fine-tuned sugars increase cortisol and can cause unhealthy crashes.

The objective, actually for everybody, is to keep your blood sugar level steady. And the very best method to do that is to consume nutrient thick foods at every meal. Notification I stated “meal” and not “snack” because under-eating is another type of tension on the body. Concentrate on consuming protein, healthy fats, and complicated carbs like sweet potatoes, root veggies, and leafy greens.

If you attempted consuming low carbohydrate for a while and it made your signs even worse, consume more. Yes, even if you’re sneaking into the 100–150-gram variety. Consuming a lots of carbohydrates and still seem like crap? Consume less. And if you’re packing up on processed energy bars, presuming that they’re healthy, switch them out for entire foods for a couple of weeks.

As a parting idea, what if you forgot all the food guidelines for a minute and leaned into listening and trusting your body’s signals? Nobody understands your body much better than you do.


Lee asked:
“I’ve been following Primal for a good part of a year and don’t think I can commit to staying on track during the holidays. We’re having a lot of family in town and I won’t be able to do all my usual shopping, meal prep, and workouts. How do I survive the holidays and not totally derail my progress?”

Sure, the vacations are a hectic season. However truthfully, when isn’t life hectic? If it’s not the vacations, it’s the academic year, or summertime break, or you’re beginning a brand-new job or relationship or whatever.

I hear this with my health training customers all the time. When life gets hectic, they choose they require to take a break on the “health stuff.” Rather of calling it back, they not do anything. At all.

How to Remain On Track Throughout the Vacations

If I might share one piece of suggestions with you today, it’s that your health doesn’t require to have an on/off switch. This isn’t an all-or-nothing scenario where you’re either accomplishing or falling off the wagon.

Think about your health like an adjustable dial. Can’t crank everything the method approximately 10 today since you’re hosting the vacations at your location? Great, how about a 7 or a 5? Heck, even a 2 is much better than absolutely nothing. Possibly you can’t do all your normally shopping, meal preparation, and exercises, however I wager you might:

  • Consume at least one healthier meal each day
  • Put a couple of veggies on your plate
  • Choose a walk
  • Consume some protein
  • Consume a glass of water
  • Go to sleep early one or two times
  • Have a fresh piece of fruit
  • Do a 1-minute meditation
  • Breathe

The objective is to maintain the momentum you’ve started so that if/when life does decrease, you can ramp it back up. It’s method simpler to call things up from a 2 than to totally desert all the healthy routines you’ve developed and go back to square one.

Likewise, keep in mind that similar to one healthier meal won’t make you fit, one unhealthy meal or missed out on exercise won’t hinder your development. Some sort of consistency is your best choice. Throughout the vacations and all year long.


Joon asked:
“I wake up in the morning with a growling stomach. I read in Mark’s book you’re supposed to wait until you’re hungry, yet it’s best to put off eating in the morning if you can. Should I eat? I feel like I might harm someone if I didn’t, lol.”

I’m going to make this actually basic for you, Joon. If you’re starving, consume. The very first guideline I teach my customers is “Always answer hunger with a meal.” (Please keep in mind: I’m not an IF coach)

I imply, just how much simpler does it get than that? You’ve been offered the present of acknowledging your appetite hints — a present a great deal of folks out there would happily remove your hands. Your body is informing you it’s starving and all you need to do is react by providing it food.

The Advantages of Consuming Breakfast

Yes, there are advantages to fasting. However there are likewise advantages to consuming in the early morning, specifically if you’re feeling starving. Maybe you saw this study from University of Alabama at Birmingham about early time-restricted feeding (eTRF). Participants were put into two groups: one ate from 8am to 2pm; the other ate from 8am to 8pm. Both groups ate the same foods and same number of calories, but researchers found that the meal-timing strategy of the first group reduced swings in hunger and altered fat and carbohydrate burning patterns.

Or this study where 93 participants between the ages of 30 and 57 were put into two isocaloric weight loss groups: one had their largest meal of the day at breakfast; the other had their largest meal at dinner. Over the course of 12 weeks, the group who consumed the most calories at breakfast lost two and a half times more weight than those who had a light breakfast — or skipped it altogether. They likewise had significantly reduced fasting glucose, insulin, ghrelin, and triglyceride levels.

If your natural rhythm is to eat earlier in the day, there’s no reason to fight that. There’s no reason to white knuckle it through the first few (or several) hours, just because some people have success with that.

The Number One Rule of Hunger

Here’s what not to do when your stomach growls: ignore it. We’ve been programmed to believe that hunger is a sign of weakness — something we should push through. Or even better, that if we feel starving, we’re actually thirsty and that we should go have a glass of water instead of sitting down for a meal.

If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re new to fasting, or recently switched from Standard American fare, you might start to notice a change over time and can push back your very first meal if desired. But don’t feel compelled to exhibit great feats of willpower and ignore your appetite because you think you’re supposed to. That’s no way to live. #mytwocents

Got more questions? Ask ‘em below. Or check out the brand-new myPrimalCoach where you can work 1-on-1 with your own health coach.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.