Grazing – is it healthy? NOT REALLY!!!

Grazing – is it healthy? NOT REALLY!!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011 12:11

“Don’t be a Cow” …nothing personal, I’m talking about ‘grazing’. Grazing – eating lots of small meals regularly throughout the day has become an all popular pillar of many weight loss & energy boosting regimes in recent times. It came about because most people generally eat ‘too much’ at any given meal, thus overloading their digestion, leading to sluggishness & weight gain etc.

Science therefore looked for ways to increase our metabolism. Of course, research showed that eating food increases metabolism! Therefore it made sense to modern science to advise eating smaller meals more often – as a way of keeping metabolism active! Now, this logic makes sense when you consider metabolism ‘in isolation’ – which modern science loves to do. However, remember ‘health advice’ like this (and fad diets like Adkins etc) generally come about from findings based on one narrow result – e.g metabolic rate/weight loss – they are almost never based on the fundamental laws of nature that support ‘all-round health’. So, while many people feel better on this ‘grazing’ regime, the improvement is due to the fact they are not overloading their digestion at any one time, not the fact they are eating ‘more regularly’.

* The practice of eating more regularly is not actually a ‘healthy’ one unless you are a COW (who have very different digestive tracts to humans) – or an athlete / labourer etc who can’t get enough calories in a standard number of meals. While it’s better than ‘over eating’ during 3 main meals, we mustn’t forget that our DIGESTION (digestive fire) is far more important for our overall health (and long term energy/ weight etc) than temporarily increasing our metabolic rate.

From the science of Maharishi Ayurveda, the universal laws that govern ‘optimal digestion’, like many other ‘natural laws’ for humans, are based on alternating ‘Rest & Activity’.

For our processing/metabolism of food to be optimal, we need to give our digestion a period of rest between meals.If we continually put bits of wood on a fire, the fire dies out – it’s only when we give the fire time to burn the wood, that it gets stronger. It’s the same with our digestion.


So the advice to eat smaller meals more often is half right. The ‘eating less’ is spot-on. However, eating more often for the sole purpose of increasing metabolism is a perversion of the intelligence of Nature – food is for nourishing the body, mind & senses, not for artificially manipulating one factor affecting weight management.


1. Focus on ‘all-round health’ and not trying to artificially increase metabolism per se.
2. Generally stick to the ‘time-honoured’ 3-4 meals a day, but reduce the amount of food at these meals.

3. Eat according to HUNGER and your APPETITE (3/4 capacity). This is by far the most ‘intelligent’ & ‘natural’ way to ensure healthy food intake, metabolism, digestion and overall health.
4. If you still need to stimulate metabolism, increase your activity levels rather than your number of meals.

Final Note – Speaking of Cows!!!

Old man Frank goes and gets a loan from the bank to buy a high priced bull. A few days later, the banker comes along and asks, “How’s our bull doing?” Frank says, “Our bull ain’t doing too good. I got him out there in the pasture with a bunch of young cows and he don’t want nothing to do with them.” The banker says, “You better call the veterinarian.” A couple of days later, the banker comes along again and says, “How’s our bull doing now?” Frank says, “Plenty darn good. He has done serviced all of my cows, jumped the fence, and is working on the neighbors’ cows.” The banker says, “Wow! What did the Vet give him?” Frank says, “He gave him some pills.” The banker says, “What kind of pills?” Frank says, “I don’t know, but they tasted sort of like peppermint.

Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers.  Mark is also CEO of David Lynch Foundation Australia.