Weight Loss Myths and Facts: Eat Many Small Meals Rather Than Three Big Meals

Meal Times Myth 1A: Eat Many Small Meals Rather Than Three Big Meals

Debate = Many small meals, as opposed to three meals, is supposed to enhance weight loss by making you feel full for longer.  In a technical sense, this is supposed to prevent blood glucose from dipping low in between meals, which may cause you to become
hungry and overeat during the next main meal.

Like many of the myths about fat loss, there is strong acceptance of this premise on many health and fitness sites.  Naturopaths, weight trainers and body builders tend to be strong supporters of this idea.  The problem is, there is no substantial evidence that it works.  Even though a few early studies reported benefits, more recent evaluation has not found evidence to support this idea.

In fact, increased meal frequency may lower the “thermic effect of food,” which is the energy/calories your body requires to digest food.  This would theoretically result in just the opposite of the outcome anticipated by the “small meal” supporter, showing a comparative increase in weight.

Restricting the number of meals to three times per day may be crucial because during the five hours between meals,  the body essentially stops the production of insulin and begins producing anti-aging and muscle-building hormones; disrupt this timing and the body goes back to producing fat inducing insulin.  We can equate it to watering a plant all day versus just once a day; eventually it dies.  And one more clever thought, grazing is for cows, why mimic a farm animal with a completely different digestive system?

Even so, this idea is not as outlandish as some of the others, and more research may make the picture clearer. For now, though, you should not consider, more frequent meals for weight loss as providing an advantage.

My Personal Non-Scientific Common Sense Tip: This probably isn’t a game breaker in the grander scheme of things.  Feel free to experiment and choose what works for you and your lifestyle. 

And as always, I look forward to your feedback and words of wisdom.

Tomorrow’s Myths/Facts Meal Times: Skipping Meals is a Good Way to Lose Weight 

I have your back, we become what we think about!


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