Several nutrition, physical education, and health professionals, in general, indicate that eating every 3 hours is ideal for losing weight. But does the body need food at this frequency? Is this a myth or truth?
Let’s expose the theories around this discussion and understand if eating every 3 hours is beneficial or not in a weight loss program.
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Eat Every 3 Hours To Lose Weight
Eating every 3 hours can help prevent big spikes in hunger, but it doesn’t necessarily help weight loss. The weight loss process has much more to do with the quality of your food and your total daily calorie intake. It’s no use eating every 3 hours and ingesting more calories daily than your body needs.
Calorie Expenditure x Meal Frequency
Higher meal frequency will only cause you to lose weight if your daily calorie expenditure is more significant than your total consumption. It is necessary to plan a diet with a caloric deficit in any diet to lose weight. Another option or complement to weight loss is the practice of physical exercises, which will increase your daily caloric expenditure.
Ideally, to lose weight, your calorie consumption should be about 500 to 1000 calories less than the number of calories your body needs in a day. This caloric deficit will make your body look for other sources of energy, such as fat stored in the body, causing you to lose weight.
Myth Or Truth?
There is a popular myth where people often say that metabolism is faster when you eat food more frequently with no scientific basis involved. Eating every 3 hours would increase fat loss due to faster metabolism.
Already scientific research in the area indicates that eating every 3 hours does not change metabolism, and less frequent meals or even fasting also do not slow down metabolism.
The truth is that this subject is controversial. Although a lot of research indicates that the amount and frequency of meals do not influence metabolism, some experts say that eating more often helps keep metabolism high throughout the day, resulting in a more significant calorie burn than in the body. Who eat fewer times a day.
So why eating every 3 hours can bring any benefit to weight loss if research says it makes no difference to metabolism?
One reason is that eating at the same time every day accustoms your body to feeling hungry every day at that time. This helps a lot in organizing a diet plan that suits your goal.
Other benefits of eating every 3 hours include:
You will probably feel starving if you haven’t eaten for more than 3 hours. This can cause you to overeat at the next meal or look for midday snacks that are not part of the diet, hampering weight loss. As said before, it is not the fact of eating every 3 hours that will make you lose weight, but the number of calories ingested and spent in a day.
If your goal is to gain weight, you need to consume more calories than you burn daily. And it becomes much more difficult to split a lot of calories into a few meals. It is easier and wiser to divide your caloric intake into 5 to 7 meals a day in these cases.
Smaller, more frequent portions tend to decrease stomach size over time. Therefore, eating more often helps you feel full. This will also positively influence your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Eating a few times a day can make you very sleepy and low on energy for various periods of the day. By eating less at more frequent meals, the results will be more energy and more focus throughout the day.
When you eat more often, your blood insulin levels are pretty much constant. This is great because it prevents insulin spikes that occur when you eat after going too long without eating, which can cause your body to accumulate fat, which is precisely what you don’t want on a weight loss diet.
Knowing that you will have a meal every 3 hours makes it more challenging to get off the diet because you are too hungry, for example. It’s much easier to stick to a healthy diet knowing that you’ll be eating again soon.