The debate rages on. Over how many meals you should eat, that is! Some fitness and diet experts believe that eating small meals throughout the day will give you better weight loss results. Others feel that three meals a day is more than enough to keep your metabolism in check. With so many different opinions out there, it can be hard to know who is right and who is wrong. So, how many times should you eat per day? Let’s find out.
You may have already heard about the three-hour rule. This is when you eat a small meal every three hours and stop eating three hours before you go to bed. This process is meant to increase your energy levels, metabolic rate, and even decrease appetite. With the listed benefits, it is no wonder so many people have been jumping on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, there isn’t any definitive proof that these claims have merit.
Whenever you eat food, your metabolism raises slightly. So, it should stand to reason that eating more would boost your metabolism more frequently throughout the day – causing you to lose weight more quickly. This isn’t necessarily accurate, though. Studies show that whether you eat three meals a day or six smaller meals a day, the same metabolic rise will occur. That means there is no difference whatsoever in terms of your body metabolism and how often you eat. However, it has been found that eating three meals a day is linked to having lower blood glucose levels.
The question remains: should you opt for three meals a day or mini-meals instead? What it comes down to is personal preference, rather than actual weight loss benefits. If eating small meals throughout the day works better for your schedule and your digestion – go for it. If you prefer your standard eating times, then stick with what you know. It’s all about what you feel comfortable with.
Something to be aware of is the fact that some people gain weight after switching to mini-meals. In theory, it all equals out to the same amount of food as if you were to eat three meals per day. Unfortunately, human error can make that more difficult. As a whole, we aren’t used to eating small meals. All our lives, we have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That means one thing: people aren’t used to those smaller portion sizes. This can lead to accidental overeating.
Think about it this way. If you were to make yourself a small meal right now, what would it consist of? A plate of pasta, perhaps? Instead of a full serving like you’re used to, a meatball with a bit of sauce drizzled on top would be more appropriate. It is the mental shift that can cause overeating and weight gain. To avoid this issue, plan ahead. Write down all of your meals before you step foot into the kitchen. Think about your caloric intake as well as the nutrition each meal offers. By planning your meals, you can avoid those larger portion sizes and stick to your weight loss plan.
How many times should you eat per day? As many as you like! Remember, it’s not necessarily how often you eat – it’s what you’re eating and the quantity. The key is to make wise food choices…whenever you choose to eat.