Do you forget to eat? Do you go hours upon hours without eating and then suddenly realize you're starving and must eat immediately? Are you then at the whim of whatever you can get your hands on?
It comes from a good place. You are in the zone, getting your work done, taking care of your kids, you're getting sh*t done, basically. The issue is that in the process, your blood sugar is dropping, your cortisol (stress hormone that tells your body to hold onto weight) is kicking in, your body is going into stress-mode and all of this taxes the body.
If you feel light-headed, jittery, stomach growling, or like you'll become violent if you don't eat within the next 2 minutes, you've waited too long.
It's also quite likely that once you sit down to eat, you're scarfing down your food as fast as can be and missing out big time on THE HOW of eating. When, how, what... all of these things matter when it comes to your meal time for optimal nutrition, digestion, absorption and generally feeling good.
This is the most common pattern I see: Eating breakfast within a reasonable period of time after waking, then getting into the zone. Maybe you decide to exercise during lunch hour, you're working or you just get caught up in your day-to-day. Then, suddenly, it's 2 or 3 in the afternoon and you are RAVENOUS! You try to find something nutritious, but really, anything will do. You eat quickly. Within 10 minutes of eating you likely feel stuffed and then the fatigue sets in. Not long after, say 1 hour or so, you're craving something sweet. This is because your blood sugar crashed, then it spiked, then it crashed again because your body was tired, taxed, stressed and it was all too much for your hormones to handle. This might be a time when you "need dark chocolate" or something else sweet.
Or this all might happen with dinner for you... same routine, but you're suddenly starving at 8 or 9pm. Oy.
Here's my recommendation: As with everything, planning and preparation are essential. You need to schedule your meals. You need to have a good option on hand. If you tend to lose track of time, set a reminder in your phone or some alarm. Meals must happen. This is a non-negotiable. Getting in this routine will feel fantastic for your body. The body loves routine and eating meals at a similar time every day on regular intervals feels good.
Yes, you want to be ready for food when you sit down to a meal, but you do not want to be ready to bite someone's head off.
Please share any other strategies you have in the comments below.