If you’ve followed every diet, you’ve probably eating every two hours, had normal meals or packed all your meals into a short time frame in an effort to lose weight. It’s been popular for weight loss experts to tell clients to eat more often for weight loss, because some studies showed that it boosts metabolism and keeps you burning calories in high gear throughout the day. However, other studies show that eating normal meals works just as well. Finally, there are also studies that show that intermittent fasting for 16 hours and eating all meals in an eight hour window also has weight loss and other benefits. Which one is right? Maybe they all are.
The benefits of eating small meals throughout the day.
Just when you think you have the world of fat conquered and found the perfect way, based on science, to help you lose weight more easily, another study comes along to burst your bubble. That’s what happened to the theory of eating smaller meals throughout the day to boost metabolism and lose weight faster. While it works well for some people, new studies show that it has no effect on the number of calories burnt and doesn’t really affect overall hunger. In fact, in some people, it actually induced them to eat more.
So it’s intermittent fasting that’s the key to the golden gate of weight loss?
Well, yes and no. Packing all your food into an eight hour window of time may boost your metabolism, at least that’s what the last scientific study showed. While long term fasting slows the metabolism, these short 16 hour fasts actually boost it by 14 percent, according to ONE study. It does boost fat loss and help prevent muscle tissue loss, too. Since you’re not giving up food altogether, just ending your eating at around five, six or seven and starting back again at nine, ten or eleven, it can be incorporated into a lifestyle. There are other reported benefits, such as improved skin, a more robust immune system, increased longevity and improved heart function.
Which way will help you shed those pounds? It doesn’t matter.
Everyone is different. Some people fare far better eating small meals throughout the day. It helps prevent a feeding frenzy at meal time. For others, just eating normal meals works like a charm. Finally, there are those people who simply aren’t morning people and can survive on a cup of coffee for the first six hours of the day. Intermittent fasting was made for them. What does matter, far more than meal timing, is what you eat and the number of calories consumed. It doesn’t matter how often you eat, if you’re eating healthy, high nutrition, lower calorie foods, you’ll lose weight.
- Eating whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is important. Not only are they lower in calories, they’re also higher in fiber. That helps boost the feeling of fullness.
- If you’re using the grazing method, eating more frequently, make sure you plan meals and snacks to include all nutrients. One easy technique is creating three balanced meals and break them down to six smaller ones.
- While intermittent fasting may have other benefits, the weight loss benefits occur because you don’t have as much time to eat as many calories. You won’t lose weight if you gorge yourself when during the eating phase.
- Make sure you have high quality protein in your diet and healthy fats. Nuts, seeds and hard boiled eggs are good sources of protein, while avocado, nuts (yes, again), egg yolk (or a whole hard boiled egg) and cheese provide healthy fat.