We have heard several times that eating 5-6 meals per day improve our metabolism and our body will turn into a fat burning machine.
As per few experts, 6 meals strategy is outdated and it’s better if you’re consuming 3 or fewer meals a day. These types of mixed reviews often confuse us, and we often find ourselves in a Go or No-go situation.
In this article we will cover few points and based on that we will decide which one is optimal.
While it is true that consuming frequent meals increases your metabolic rate slightly by digesting a meal and the phenomenon is commonly known as the thermic effect of food but eating 3 meals of 1000 calories causes the same thermic effect as eating 6 meals of 500 calories, So we can say there is literally no difference.
Multiple studies have shown that if you are consuming the same total calories split between two versus six meals or two versus 3-5 meals, there was no difference in metabolic rate in overweight or obese individuals. Furthermore, no difference in metabolic rate was seen between consuming 2 or 7 meals daily in participants of a healthy weight.
Multiple studies have compared eating many smaller versus fewer larger meals and concluded that there is no significant effect on the total amount of fat lost.
If you consider fat loss, then calorie is the king. In hypocaloric diet with same macronutrient ratio, whether you consume 6 meal, or 3 meal it doesn’t matter.
If your calorie intake and macronutrient balance are right, you don’t need to worry about meal frequency. You don’t need to set an alarm after every 2-3 hours to remind you to consume your meal.
Every individual is unique.
Decide your meal plan as per your schedule and lifestyle. If you feel you are happy with smaller and frequent meals, go with that but if you are feeling better with less frequent large meals, that’s also fine.