‘Eat smaller meals more often for weight loss…’
This is a common advice that is being echoed by many ‘experts’ in the media that is outdated and misleading!
In this series ‘weight loss secrets’ I am exposing some of the biggest lies and misconceptions in the weight loss industry told by personal trainers and nutritionist.
Unfortunately many of these ideas have caught on and are now talked about on popular talk shows and featured in many diet books, which lead people astray from real solutions.
One of these lies is ‘eating frequency’.
The idea suggests that eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours is superior to skipping meals when trying to lose weight. And the follow up there is – eating smaller meals more often speeds up your metabolism.
This is not what the research supports and definitely not what I’ve seen in my coaching career!
Despite the popular belief that eating smaller portions more often is a good way to lose weight, a new study from the University of Warwick in the UK (along with dozens of others) says that keeping an eye on calories is the most effective way of shrinking your waistline.
And another study from the British Journal of Nutrition concluded that the number of meals or frequency does not enhance or lower metabolic rate.
In a 2010 study from the same publication when they’ve compared 3 vs 6 meals/day and it’s affects on weight they found no difference between the two. Both groups had similar weight loss results as long as they stayed within a given caloric range.
And other research done by PLoS One suggests that eating bigger and fewer meals per day (3 square meals) is better for calorie control as it increases your satiety and reduces your hunger levels which prevents overeating which helps with weight loss.
With this research you can stop stressing over who said what and simply have an expert develop a meal plan that will fit into your lifestyle and help you reach your weight loss goals.
I have clients who are losing weight on 3 meals/day and others who are eating 5 meals/day. How many meals you’re having is not as important as the overall context of your diet is.
Otherwise any meal frequency will work as long as it works for you.
Ruslan ‘Ottawa Weight Loss Expert’ Kedik