By now is it is a well known fitness fact that six smaller, more frequent meals are better than three big meals during the day.
Earlier the accent was on eating during meals and not snacking in between; now however, nutritionists and fitness experts have come down heavily in favor of the six small meals (or three meals and three healthy snacks depending upon how you look at it) as being good for health and for weight loss is that is one’s aim.
The converse view is that all that matters is how many calories you are eating at the end of the day; not in how many meals or snacks. However there are several arguments in favor of the 6 meal theory.
What this eating pattern does is it speeds up your metabolism helping you burn more calories than you would otherwise have done. The body is given the impression of plenty, giving it the signal that there is no need to store and horde calories in the form of fat rather that there are enough calories available for all the body’s needs. This is what keeps the metabolic rate up.
Also if you are dividing your daily intake of calories into 6 or more meals a day that means that you are taking in smaller portions at every meal. Cutting down on meal portions has repeatedly shown itself to be an effective weight loss gambit.
For many it is important to have that sit down meal rather than six or eight snacks. For these people they may continue to have three substantial meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner but also intersperse those with a mid morning snack, a snack late in the afternoon and perhaps a post dinner snack as well.
What this does is it helps a person not to get too hungry between meals. In particular the gap between lunch and dinner can get very long if a person has a big commute. Further when you do sit down to your meal, it will consequently be a smaller one; portions are likely to be smaller since you are not going to be starving.
Things to make sure when you have to take six meals are:
- Make sure the meal portions are small not more than 500 calories
- Make sure your snacks are healthy and low calorie not more than 100 calories
If you can do this, then 6 meals may well work really well for you!