Vegetarian Fat Loss Mistake #2- Meal Frequency
And that tip is that you should eat 5 or 6 small meals per day (once every 2-3 hours) instead of the more typical diet which consists of 3 large meals.
I have to admit I did fall for this craze as well.
For a better part of my twenties I was convinced that if I don’t eat every 2-3 hours my metabolism would slow down, I will gain fat, I won’t build any muscle also I will get super weak, tired and ugly (the last one is a joke 🙂
Ahhh…well this is what I learned…
This magical meal frequency is total BS.
Really! There is a science to prove it! So that would make it a scientifically proven BS 😉
I am not even kidding about this.
A ton of studies and research have been done over the last couple of years looking specifically at meal frequency and whether or not scheduling your meals a certain way has more benefits than other ways.
Do you want to know the results?
There is absolutely nothing showing any sort of significant benefit whatsoever as far as “speeding up your metabolism” or any similar hocus-pocus goes.
As long as your total calorie and nutrient intake is what it needs to be at the end of the day, how many meals you eat or how frequently you eat them really doesn’t matter at all.
So then, how many meals SHOULD we eat a day?
That is totally up to you.
What you need to do is figure out the total calorie need for your body and lifestyle. Then you can spread your calories however you like.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say you are a woman who is looking to lose a few pounds. Based on your current height/weight, activity level and genetics, it’s very possible that your calorie intake will need to be between 1200 – 2000 calories per day.
Now, if you try to eat 6 small meals per day, each meal would contain between 200-300 calories.
You’ll never feel full. You’ll never feel satisfied. You’ll always be hungry. You’ll always be checking the clock waiting for the next “meal” to come and when it’s finally “the time” it’s incredibly easy to go over your allowed calorie budget.
When your calorie intake is fairly low (which is often required on fat loss program) trying to eat 5-6 meals a day is in my opinion borderline torture.
For some people it might work, however most of us do much better with 3 meals and possibly one snack.
Here is the last thing to keep in mind about frequent meals.
Eating in itself, is stressful to the body.
Digestive stress ages you and causes inflammation.
Basically if you are “busy” eating whole day long you don’t give your body the chance to recover and heal properly.
What else can I say….
… David Hasselhoff, florescent track suits, Air Jordans and this myth about frequent meals all belong to the 90’s and there is NO need to bring any of them back 😉
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