Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Claim: Eat Six Small Meals a Day Instead of Three Big Ones

It seems that the mainstream media is starting to finally catch on to some of the research about meals and metabolism: eating more meals does NOT speed up your metabolism (when calories and macronutrients are the same in a fewer number of meals). This “snack all day” mentality is probably making more people overeat in the first place, as they think they are doing the right thing to “speed up” their metabolism (which we know is not the case).

The notion behind eating smaller, more frequent meals is simple: spreading out one’s daily calories over six meals stimulates the metabolism, keeping it going at a faster pace and thereby burning more calories.

Some studies have found modest health benefits to eating smaller meals, but often the research involved extremes, like comparing the effects of two or three large daily meals with those of a dozen or more snacks. Six meals, according to some weight-loss books and fad diets, is a more realistic approach.

But don’t count on it. As long as total caloric and nutrient intake stays the same, then metabolism, at the end of the day, should stay the same as well. Read more

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