Another Study “Shoots Down” The Idea of Eating 6 Small Meals Per Day

We all have been told that eating 6 small meals per day will “keep your metabolism high”, allowing you to burn more body fat throughout the day.

Now, research has shown that meal frequency has absolutely NO impact on metabolic rate as well as weight loss. What you have been taught all of these years about eating several small meals is quickly getting proved false with study after study!

Awesome Scene From The Matrix!

Warning: You have a choice to make…”This is your last chance. If you take the blue pill the story ends and you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes…remember, all I am offering is the truth, nothing more”.

Okay…So You Are Ready for the Truth!

The truth is this…it is daily calories that matter, not whether you eat those calories in 10 tiny meals or one large meal. If anything, there are slightly better benefits to eating less often.

I know this is a hard one to swallow, but I had a feeling this was the case long before these studies came out. You see, people who eat frequently almost always eat more calories throughout the day then people who eat less often. The weird thing about food is that the more you eat, the more you crave.

This is especially true with sweets.

The Study Which Proves 6 Small Meals Isn’t The Best Eating Strategy

This study was from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and is titled: A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults (this link is just the abstract, you have to pay to get the entire paper. I purchased so you don’t have to).

The reason for this study was that while 3+ meals per day are the norm in most industrialized countries, there has been little scientific evidence to prove the benefits. A diet with less eating frequency has improved health and lifespan in animals, but has never been studied in humans.

How the Study Was Conducted

The study on meal frequency was done over two separate 8 week periods. The participants were 21 healthy men and women ages 40-50 years old. There were two groups.

One group ate 3 meals per day and the other group ate one meal per day. Each group ate the enough calories to maintain body weight. Both groups ate the same amount of total calories each day.

Here is How The One Meal Per Day Group Ate

The first week they were allowed to eat 3 meals per day, the second week they were allowed to eat 2 meals per day, and from the third week on they just ate one meal per day.

During the study they would fast for 20 hours and got to eat their food between 5pm to 9pm. They reported that they felt hungrier than the 3 meal per day group, which isn’t surprising.

Surprising Results from The One Meal Per Day Group!

Although the 3 meal per day group didn’t show any difference in body composition, the one meal per day group lost fat and gained muscle!

The one meal per day group lost close to 5 pounds of body fat and gained a pound and 1/2 of muscle on average. This wasn’t expected at all! The researchers were really just trying to see if eating one meal per day would have the same effect as eating several smaller meals, they didn’t think it would actually prove to be a superior way of eating!

High Level Athletic Trainers Are Beginning to Take Notice

Right now there are a few groups that are “behind the scenes” experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (IF). Trainers are finding out how fasting before certain types of training followed by eating is having a major impact on fat loss, protein uptake, and athletic performance.

I have been telling people for years to fast at least 5-6 hours before training for optimal fat loss.

Within time I will have the studies to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is the case.

 

69 thoughts on “Another Study “Shoots Down” The Idea of Eating 6 Small Meals Per Day”

  1. 1 meal per day?? i mean common lets think about it.. if i need 1800-2000 calories to lose fat, ur telling me i could eat a meal of 2000 calories ?? wont that meal contain too much carbs and fats ?? isnt that gonna be a drawback because too much carbs results in higher insulin level? i’d be lucky if i can even finish my plate ! and what about the 2 most important meals which are pre and post workout..? anyone who ever trained can confirm the importance of both ! and what about starvation mode.. even if i could swallow my 2000 calories in one meal.. am i not likely to starve the rest of the day ? and doesn’t that automatically slow down metabolism ? and when u said ” more meals mean more calories” more than what exactly ? if i’m counting my calories right i can eat 7 meals without taking extra calories… i think one meal per day doesn’t make any sense..

  2. I follow the paleo template for my eating,and even though I started with 3 meals a day I now find that 2 meals,one in the morning and then one at night,is all I really need even after a heavy workout.Part of this is the fact that my body is starting to get used to burning fat as its main energy source,but the other factor is that eating semi-large meals with a large time between them has enhanced my metabolism and digestion.The idea of eating a ton of small meals seems flawed because you’ll just be putting new food on top of the stuff you’re already digesting.To me at least,it seems better to eat one or two larger meals and give your body plenty of time to digest and utilize what you put in it before adding more.Here’s an example of my typical meals.

    Breakfast @ 8:00 am

    Handful of bacon
    4 eggs scrambled w/ vegetables

    Workout @ 4:30 pm (I find this is the best time for me to exercise)

    Dinner @ 5:30 pm

    Large steak topped w/ cheese,sauteed onions,and mushrooms
    Large mixed vegetable salad w/ homemade dressing

    Sleep @ 10:30 pm

    No grains,processed sugars,artificial fats,or non-whole dairy.This may seem crazy to some people,but your body is designed to run on fat and it’s a vital component of many parts of your system.Eating like this has helped me shed fat,build muscle,and heal a ton of damage a typical western diet has done to my digestive system.Not sure I could go with one meal a day,I like to split my calories into two 900-1000 calorie meals.

  3. I do not ‘work out’. My daily activities are enough work out for me. I’m 5’2″ and 100 lbs. I’m strong and fit. I’ve always believed that people eat too much. Eating 3 meals a day just because it’s traditional. I’ve always told people, eat when you’re hungry, not just because it’s ‘time to’. After breakfast and lunch, it’s no wonder folks are grabbing those energy drinks in the afternoon, our bodies digest more efficiently when we are at rest. I’ve always found eating breakfast would make me fall asleep around 9am. So I don’t do that anymore. One delicious, wholesome meal full of variety, is all we eat each day.

  4. I added swimming to my workout regime and it was the best thing that I could have done. It is great upper body workout along with cardio. Plus, I love swimming, so I’m easily motivated.

    -Jackie
    You can find me in the best pools Nashville has to offer.

  5. Pingback: Eat 6 Small Meals A Day To Lose Weight - This Boosts Your Metabolism?
  6. So is there a certain time line you need to eat dinner? Like between 5-9pm and how long should you be eating dinner? I have 15 minutes to eat something before I go to my second job and I am not sure I can get in 700 cals that fast. Usually I will eat a small amount before work and then 3 hours later another small amount. Will that still work with the WD?

  7. “I had a feeling this was the case long before these studies came out. You see, people who eat frequently almost always eat more calories throughout the day then people who eat less often. ”

    Amen.

    Truer words were never spoken!

    The only question I have is about protein. Is dumping 200 grams of protein into your body in a 4 hour period really the best way . . . or is it better to dose your body with smaller amounts of protein 5-6 times during the day?

    I don’t know enough to know . . . but I’ve seen arguments that too much in too little time wastes protein . . . that it’s simply flushed out of you body . . . which is like flushing money down the drain.

    But overall, I’m a believer. The LESS often I eat, the better I feel and the less calories I consume.

    Having said that, that, I still think much of the “rationale” behind the WARRIOR DIET is absolute baloney. Ancient people did not eat that way and no true warrior COULD eat that way despite what Ori claims.

  8. Hey started 2 weeks ago the small 6 meal a day plan watch portion size so far lost 7 pounds and eating fullness got better not sure your studies but what works for some doesn’t for others and well so far so good u believe what u want i go with results!

  9. BJ,

    It is tough to give you an exact figure. Try 1,500 to drop body fat and increase once you reach your ideal percentage.

    I have a few posts that will go long ways to helping you with your other questions:

    Water Retention

    Perfect Diet Plan

    The ratio’s vary so much for fats, carbs and protein that it would depend upon what phase of the diet you are in. Read that “perfect diet” post and you will see what I mean.

    Hope that helps,

    Rusty

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