I recommend eating 4-6 smaller meals per day instead of 2 large ones like most do. To many, that can sound like a lot, and some might not understand this strategy if they’re trying to lose weight. Most believe that the fewer calories we consume, the more weight we’ll lose. Many try not to eat anything until lunch, don’t eat anything after 7pm either. Most end up eating only two real meals per day. The truth is that you can do more harm than good and messing with your weight loss goals and even your digestive health.
Here are a few reason why I believe eating smaller meals more frequently is important.
Helps Manage Appetite
Eating 4-6 meals about 3 hours apart is a major key in keeping tabs on your appetite. If you’re eating healthy whole foods each meal, like lean protein, veggies and slow-burning carbohydrates like whole grains instead of refined white flour and sugar, you’ll stay full throughout the day and will be less likely to have cravings and binge. Now, if you eat only twice per day, you may be so hungry that you over eat, eat less healthy foods and end up eating more overall calories than you would with 4-6 meals.
Keeps Energy Levels High
If you have just coffee and a pastry for breakfast, I’m pretty sure that you experience a mid-morning crash that can make you want to go for something sugary to try to keep up at work. Likewise, if you don’t eat much throughout the day and then eat a big lunch, there’s a second afternoon crash that hits. Eating too infrequently can cause major spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels. When we eat small regular meals 4-6 times per day we can keep our blood sugar levels steady. This will help regulate your energy levels throughout the day, and help keep you from giving into sugary cravings.
Here’s the best way that eating small frequent meals helps with weight loss. Eating more often helps stimulate your metabolism and keeps it from getting to a starvation mode. Though I love intermitted fasting “done right”, we have to remember that when we go without eating for hours at a time too often, our body will automatically slow its metabolic rate to conserve energy.
Keeps Hormones In Balance
There are several hormones in our bodies that affect hunger levels, metabolism and weight loss like insulin. Eating too infrequently causes larger insulin spikes when we do eat. This has two negative effects. First, the spikes increase fat storage. Second, the spikes are followed by crashes which cause us to experience strong hunger and crave sweets.
Eating smaller, frequent meals spaced throughout the day has important effects on our health, too. It helps us digest better – because we’re putting small, manageable quantities of food into the body bit by bit rather than a big food bomb twice per day. It’s easier for our gut to process and absorb vitamins and minerals from our foods when we eat smaller quantities more frequently. In fact, many doctors recommend eating smaller meals more frequently to help patients with digestive conditions like acid reflux.
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