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.