Will you lose weight and become fit if you eat more or less meals a day?
Breakfast in the morning, lunch at noon (or around that time), and dinner in the evening; that’s the meal plan most people try to stick to. Now, when people are trying to lose weight is when meal plans become a much more interesting topic to discuss. You will hear people swearing that they have lost dozens of pounds by eating five or even six meals a day, while plenty of people skip a certain meal, usually dinner. But which way is the right way?
‘Skip dinner’ and the likes
There is a belief that if you don’t eat after eight o’clock in the evening, you will make a difference and lose weight in the long run. Sounds good, but it is actually false; you won’t actually gain weight even if you have the habit of eating late at night. Or the ‘just eat one banana for breakfast’ trick: it will leave you hungry and nervous and you’ll eat plenty for your next meal. Your body should not starve, it makes things worse and you lose motivation if you’re constantly hungry.
Coffee is helpful, but not magical
Despite the fact it can give you energy in the morning, help you poop, and wake you up, coffee will not help you lose weight. Perhaps your appetite can be lowered for a while (half an hour approximately), but in the long run it can be a turn for the worse. If you start taking too much coffee, it will lead to sleeplessness and increase your heart rate. With your heartbeat increased, you will start feeling a bit anxious and exhausted, and it is a well-known fact that anxious people eat more snacks (or smoke more cigarettes) just to calm down, and that is exactly what you do not want to happen.
The main question is whether you should eat three big meals or six smaller meals per day. The answer is: you should listen to your body. Different people react differently to the same type of diet and unless you give it a try, you will never know for sure which one is the best for you. While your body will store more fat when eating the typical three meals per day, by eating more frequently and having a slow metabolism, you will slow it down even more. The goal everyone is trying to achieve is to let their bodies burn fat using only the natural energy of their metabolism. So don’t be fooled by theories that eating more or less times per day has an incredible impact on your body. Both ways have exactly the same results, the only thing that counts is your metabolism and discipline.
The amount and quality of food
The conclusion is obvious: it is not about how many times you eat, it is about the quality and quantity of the food you take in. No matter if you decide to split three thousand calories into three or six meals, you will get fat anyway because your intake is higher than your basal metabolism requires it to be. So, it is up to you whether you can limit your intake to the recommendable amount of calories (2000-2500) or you want to hire an experienced personal fitness trainer who will tell you the fastest way to burn the excess fat.
In the weight loss war, there are two battles that count: the one in the kitchen and the one in the gym, and if you separate these two you are going to have to put in much more effort to get the desired results. Mind your meals, mind the amount of food you take in, and work out with determination and a plan – the results will soon follow and will stay with you much longer.
By Mathews McGarry
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Follow him on Twitter.