Why You Don’t Need to Eat 5 Meals a Day to Lose Weight
Ask any trainer, nutritionist or doctor and he or she will tell you that you that if you are trying to lose weight then you should be eating 5 meals a day. The reasoning behind this idea seems to be that eating more frequently will increase thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the production of heat by your body in order to perform the work of digestion. When your body is in a thermogenic state, it burns fat.
There are many people who will tell you that eating frequent meals worked for them. While this may be true for a number of reasons, it does not mean that if you eat less frequently you will lose weight more slowly or damage your metabolism.
There are some benefits to eating 5 meals a day. Eating frequently can help reduce the chances of binge eating because your blood sugar will remain stable and you won’t get to hungry in between meals. It may also help you manage cravings and hunger pangs. Since you can continuously eat all day long, you won’t feel deprived.
For some people though, eating all day long can make hunger pangs worse. It can also be difficult to carry around snacks or meals with you everywhere, making it difficult to stick with the diet and increasing the likelihood that you will become discouraged and quit altogether.
Where is the Proof?
Studies have shown that meal frequency does not affect the amount of energy expended by your body (1)(2). In other words, your body will work no harder when digesting 5 meals than it does digesting 3 meals. The results are the same as long as there is an overall reduction of calories.
Many people have found that the easiest way to lose weight is with Eat Stop Eat, an intermittent fasting style program. Intermittent fasting is quickly gaining popularity in the fitness world because its flexibility and simplicity. It is not a gimmick. Countless people have not only successfully lost weight, but have managed to keep it off long term.
So if you have been struggling to eat 5 meals a day because you think that’s the only way you are going to get the fat off, you can relax. As long as you can keep your calories restricted and stick with it, the weight will come off. Science says so. Anna also says so.
Anna is the author of this blog. She manages weight loss through intermittent fasting after 17 years of struggling with overweight, bloating and various kinds of digestive problems.
Intermittent Fasting Success