Dietary and nutritional content reviewed by Jasmin Gorostiza, DT, DM, DSS, CFPP.️
Women who are trying to lose weight often have a difficult time determining how and when they should eat. In addition to being concerned about nutritional requirement, calories, carbohydrates, and fats, it can be a bit confusing setting up a plan that works for you.
The most common piece of advice is that dieters should eat five or so small meals each day, as opposed to a regular three meal a day regime. But, does this really help you shed pounds and keep them off?
Many dieticians have almost made it their mantra and preach to clients that a grazing approach – consuming several smaller meals a couple of hours apart — helps maintain energy levels and actually boosts your body’s ability to metabolize foods more efficiently. However, studies to determine the validity of this common recommendation have shown otherwise. Related read: Here’s where you can buy healthy frozen food
The Skinny on How Meal Frequency Impacts Weight Loss
The April edition of the journal Nutrition published research reports from assistant professor of kinesiology Michelle Kulovitz Alencar from the California State University at San Bernardino. She spend several months monitoring, testing, and tracking the health and weight loss of a group of women who were either instructed to eat two or three meals a day or told to eat five or more smaller meals.
She found that meal frequency had absolutely no affect on how much weight a woman would lose. In fact, eating fewer meals throughout the day actually helped overweight and obese participants reduce their cholesterol levels.
The most surprising finding of her work was that grazing throughout the day almost tricked your brain into thinking you were more hungry instead of less.
The most surprising finding of her work was that grazing throughout the day almost tricked your brain into thinking you were more hungry instead of less. Regardless of how often you eat, she also showed that your body will burn the exact same amount of calories in a single day. Related read: Find out how this diet can help you lose weight
Dr. Milan Piya of the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research echoed these facts in a lecture he gave at an Endocrinology meeting in Liverpool, England, this past March. His research has yielded similar results. When he tracked twenty-four women’s ability to lose weight — and they all had varied approaches to mealtime and frequency — he found no difference in who lost more weight. This is further proof that a simpler approach is the real key to successful weight loss.
While no study on whether or not men’s bodies behave in a similar manner have been conducted, both professionals believe that the results will be very similar to those of women.
The bottom line is that it really does not matter how many times you eat in a single day. Though this does run counter to everything you may have heard in the past, the research is indisputable.
An Ideal Approach to a Weighty Issue
The bottom line is that it really does not matter how many times you eat in a single day. Though this does run counter to everything you may have heard in the past, the research is indisputable. This simple fact means that you do not have to drastically alter your lifestyle to accommodate more meals.
You are still free to be yourself, enjoy a lunch or dinner with your family and friends, and manage to successfully diet. As long as you are reducing your overall caloric intake, you will lose weight … and that is something that we can all easily accomplish on our own. Related read: Diet coupons with great discounts
How about you … do you graze or eat full regular meals? What are your thoughts on this?