Three squares a day has long been a mantra for healthy, normal eating, but is there really any justification to this for weight loss? In actuality, the three meals a day standard is just an arbitrary one, and if you look at many cultures, it’s not really followed.
Many studies have looked at the question of how often we should eat, and there is no one good answer that links how often you eat to weight loss.
Problems with the Three Meals a Day Model
Three meals a day encourages us to eat large amounts of calories all at once during a relatively small number of eating periods. This may encourage our stomachs to expand and always expect larger meals. It can cause spikes in the blood-sugar levels and may lead to energy crashes. It may encourage the body to store more calories as fat, which can lead to weight gain.
In addition, having longer periods between meals might cause you to feel hungry between meals, leading to more snacking that can increase your calorie intake, leading to weight gain.
Benefits of More Small Meals
According to the advocates of eating more small meals throughout the day, this plan improves your metabolism by keeping your body in a constant state of utilizing energy. Because there is never an excess of calories, your body is less likely to store it as fat and more likely to burn it as it goes.
In addition, because you are always eating, you are less likely to snack and therefore you will have a lower caloric intake overall.
It Doesn’t Matter How Often You Eat
The problem with this model is that there isn’t really any scientific support for this. Many studies have shown that it doesn’t matter how often you eat. What matters is how many calories you consume overall. Whether you plan on eating a few large meals (and maybe a snack or two) or count on grazing throughout the day, you need to be accounting for all the calories you consume and make sure they’re low enough to reach your weight loss goals.
Pick a number of meals that makes you feel happy and keeps you from wanting to break your diet. For medical guidance on what is the right weight loss plan for you, please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver today.