Usually when people think of losing weight they think of eating less. Most of the time when people are trying to lose weight their first thought isn’t to eat more meals throughout the day but it should be. I know it sounds kind of crazy but hear me out, it’ll make sense.
Oddly enough, to be successful when losing weight we need to increase our meals each day to five.
Often times when we are only eating 3 meals a day we get so hungry because we are going several hours between meals, as a result we typically eat much more than we need to at each meal. Sometimes in addition to overeating during meals, we often snack too much throughout the day. This wouldn’t seem like a big problem if you were staying within your recommended calorie intake, but even if you are staying within your recommended caloric intake, overeating in each meal can still cause problems.
The average person will only burn between 300-400 calories in a three hour period at rest, so anything eaten in excess of that will be stored away as fat and cause our metabolism to slow.
When we are trying to stay trim and lose weight the last thing we want our body to do is to store fat. Instead of that, we want to increase our metabolism so that our bodies will burn fat and use nutrients as fast as possible to provide us energy. So if we eat 5 small meals throughout the day, instead of eating 3 big meals plus snacks, we can increase our metabolism to make sure that we are never getting too hungry or eating more than we should.
Another mistake people make when trying to lose weight is starving themselves by drastically decreasing their daily calorie intake . When we don’t get enough calories our body can easily go into starvation mode and our body will begin to use our muscles as an energy source, which then causes a decrease in a our lean muscle mass, this will eventually lead to a decrease in our metabolism. The more muscle mass we have the higher our metabolism runs and the more calories we are able to burn, even during rest, so its a good idea to keep those muscles around.
Sometimes when we tell people that when trying to lose weight it is best to eat 5 meals throughout the day they think we are nuts. Of course you will think we are nuts if you are imagining 5 “normal” sized meals throughout the day. If you are doing that, you will definitely NOT lose weight. The best way to make sure that you are not overeating when you are doing 5 meals a day is to divide your total recommended caloric intake by 5 and then make sure that the calories for each one of your meals doesn’t go over that amount.
For example, a person who has a recommended caloric intake of 2000 calories per day would not want to eat more than 400 calories per meal. (2000/5=400)
Eating five small meals a day is like putting small logs on a burning fire. As soon as they hit the flames they are consumed. By keeping the meals frequent and small, your metabolism will increase and your body will effectively turn food into energy instead of storing it away and allowing it to turn into fat.