Meal Frequency is a hot topic these days in the fitness and weight loss community. The big question is, how many meals should you eat per day? Everywhere you look you are being told to eat 4-8 times per day to keep your metabolism going and make sure your are burning enough calories.
I think most people are misunderstanding the science behind this concept. The following video is a quick demonstration about the TEF or Thermic Effect of Food also known as DIT or Dietary Induced Thermogenesis.
This specific example is taken from Lyle McDonald’s website Body Recomposition and discusses the topics of meal frequency and human metabolism.
Correct Meal Frequency = Small, Frequent Meals
Many people who eat several small meals daily actually consume fewer calories. A small meal, for instance, may consist of fruit and plain yogurt or fresh veggies dipped in hummus. These low-calorie foods are packed with fiber and nutrition that supply energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
If you’ve paid attention to modern day fitness and nutrition advice over the past decade, I’m sure you’ve heard someone say that eating multiple small meals throughout the day is the ticket to fat loss.
This notion originated with a study published in 1964 where researchers found that eating small, frequent meals throughout the day enhanced fat loss and helped with weight management.
Researcher have continued to look at this finding adding that there may be a relationship between eating frequency and your risk for obesity due to positive effects on appetite regulation, improved glucose tolerance, and an increased thermic effect.
Meal Frequency and Metabolism
Although there is no solid evidence that eating many small meals throughout the day boosts metabolism, the eating technique does have other benefits, especially for people who are trying to lose weight or manage high cholesterol or diabetes.
Having many small meals can help you make healthier choices, and avoid overeating, and will also stabilize blood sugar throughout the day.
Metabolism is a term used to describe many biochemical processes, particularly those that involve energy production. One of the biggest myths about metabolism is that it may be boosted by eating many small meals each day instead of the traditional three meals.
Research shows this is simply not true. However, people who eat many small meals throughout the day tend to lose weight faster and maintain weight loss longer. The reason is not because of an increase in metabolism, but instead because of other benefits associated with having smaller meals.