Food should be enjoyable, even the healthy food you eat should be tasty and satisfying. Along the same lines, the way you approach food shouldn’t be overly rigid.

Having rules around food might make you feel more stressed when it comes to eating but there is one rule I would highly suggest you adopt. “The 5 – Hour Rule.”

I should mention, if you google “The 5 – Hour Rule” you’ll find posts saying that in order to be successful you need to spend 5 – hours a week learning. It’s largely applied to business and it’s a good one! However, The Whole Dancer 5 – Hour Rule is something totally different.

This rule is about food and how much time you allow to pass between eating. That includes snacks, meals, etc.

I have found a lot of the dancers I work with allow a long time to pass between eating. For example, maybe you have breakfast at 8am, lunch at 1pm and then don’t have dinner until 7 or 8pm. If there are no snacks in there, you’re going 6-7 hours between lunch and dinner.

Your energy and focus will drop. You’ll be “starving” when you get to the next meal. You’ll have a very challenging time listening to your bodies fullness cues.

Maybe you try and let a lot of time pass in the morning before you start eating thinking it will help you eat less overall. Or, you avoid snacks because you don’t want to feel bloated in rehearsals. I get it.

The 5 – Hour Rule is the premise that you shouldn’t let more than 5 hours pass between eating PERIOD. This rule can be satisfied by meals or snacks but if you’re eating snacks make sure it’s something with some protein and healthy fat to provide true sustenance (i.e. don’t just eat an apple, eat an apple with nuts or nut butter).

Think about what a day of food looks like for you. Do you allow more than 5 – hours to pass between eating? When you allow 5+ hours to pass you’re more likely to overeat or even binge.

Check out this related post :   Is portion control the answer?

Allowing more time to pass between eating is actually more likely to cause you to overeat than to eat less.

When you let more time pass between eating your body is also going to run low on energy. Without the fuel, you won’t perform.

Have you heard of this concept before? Do you follow the 5 – hour rule? I’d love to hear from you. Reply back and let me know if you think this rule will help you!

The 5 – Hour Food Rule

Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Coach for high level dancers. She founded The Whole Dancer in 2015 after identifying a greater need for balance, wellness and support in the dance world. Since The Whole Dancer was founded, Jess has worked with 100's of dancers worldwide at top companies and schools. She has been featured in or written for Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Spirit Magazine.

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