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  • How Many Meals a Day to Lose Weight?

  • 1...

  • 3…

  • 4, 6.

  • Perfect!

  • Oh, prepping for the week?

  • Nah bro, prepping for the day!

  • Gotta eat 6 meals to keep that metabolism on FIRE BRO!

  • Huh Meal frequency, one of the many popular tweaks

  • often recommended to people that want to lose weight and burn fat fast.

  • Perhaps the most popular recommendation is to eat 6 meals per day!

  • Your digestive system will have to keep working, which supposedly will keep your metabolism

  • high and burn more calories throughout the day.

  • Plus, if you wentt too long between meals, you put yourself at risk of a slowed metabolism!

  • And, looking at it face, there's… some sense to it.

  • More eating equals more bodily activity, sure.

  • But, when we look pass face value, the truth begins to unravel.

  • In the research of eating more meals to increase your metabolism, to put things short, it's…

  • metabolic nonsense.

  • As far back as 1997, we already had epidemiological reviews which found weak evidence linking

  • greater weight loss or energy expenditure to eating more frequent smaller meals.

  • The overall conclusion was that total food intake was the only thing that really mattered.

  • Flash forward to more recent research, and we'll see that not much has changed.

  • In 2009, a review of 25 studies once again concluded that there was no association between

  • eating frequency and weight loss.

  • In terms of metabolism, a 2012 study compared 3 meals to FOURTEEN meals a day and still

  • found no differences in resting metabolic rates within a 24-hour analysis.

  • Same goes for one study two years prior, which noted 3 meals and 3 snacks a day was just

  • as effective as only 3 meals a day for weight loss when the total food amount is equal.

  • As far as digestion, measurements of thermic effect of food, the amount of energy it takes

  • for your body to digest your food, showed that changes in meal frequencies, again, did

  • not alter thermic rates.

  • The only thing that mattered is the size of the meal, with larger meals requiring more

  • energy to break the extra food.

  • But the proverbial coup de grace came in a 2015 meta-analysis.

  • In their analysis, they initially found that higher feeding frequencies DID associate with

  • greater reductions in fat and body fat percentage as well as an increase in fat-free lean mass.

  • But, the researchers realized that all of these positive findings stem from one single

  • study out of the 15 analyzed.

  • This study, which looked at boxers eating 2 or 6 meals per day, might have run into

  • the issue of accurately reporting physical activity.

  • When this study was removed from the review, statistical values point towards meal frequency

  • having, again, virtually no effect on fat mass, lean mass, or weight loss.

  • So, it seems like it's settled.

  • Alone, eating 6 meals or more a day won't provide extra benefits.

  • Also, when it comes to the claims of fewer meals slowing metabolism, we might be able

  • to learn a bit from the research on fasting.

  • On such research, one study in 1994 found that fasting for 12 hours had no effect on

  • metabolism.

  • Same in 2005, where eating every other day did nothing to metabolism after 3 weeks.

  • Interestingly enough, the 1994 study saw that after 36 hours of fasting, metabolism increased.

  • Not exactly standard practice for most, but it's interesting to see that research actually

  • suggest the opposite of the initial claim.

  • Now finally, the big question: How many meals should you eat a day?

  • (cut to it depends) As always, your main goal should be eating

  • a healthy diet, tracking your intake, and proper exercise.

  • Whether you choose to meet this goal with 2, 3, or 6 meals per day is ultimately up

  • to whichever you can stick to the most.

  • Some research does show that more meals can help with hunger and satiety, but on the same

  • note, some studies show it does not effect it at all.

  • Knowing which direction of the research you favor is simply something you need to test

  • for yourself.

  • All that being said, the claims about six meals per day and metabolism is mostly more

  • fad talk.

  • As with other fads, just ignore it.

  • It won't be long until another fad rolls along.

  • Still doing six meals a day?

  • Nah, bro.

  • It didn't work for me

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How Many Meals a Day to Lose Weight?

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How Many Meals Should You Eat a Day?

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/09
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