How Many Meals should One Eat Daily?
How many times one should eat meals to lose weight and keep fit is a raging question. And, here is the answer you have been waiting for.
Often, we have heard that consuming smaller meals keeps the blood sugar level stable and prevents you from getting hungry very often. This is in fact true! Having a diet plan of consuming 5-6 meals in a day helps in continuous supply of energy to the body without storing any fats.
Many people do believe that consuming 3 square meals is a good idea. Their rationale being that when remain hungry for long periods of time, it stores the fat as it does not know when the next meal will be supplied. On the other hand, consuming 6 meals in a day convinces our body that the next meal will be served soon. As a result it does not store the fats, rather uses it as energy.
As it is widely believed to be true that eating 6 times a day instead of 3 is beneficial for your health, let us examine the effect of this eating pattern and evalute whether such an approach towards diet really helps to encourage weight loss or not:
- If you do not eat for more than three hours, it will cause hunger earlier and make you overeat in your next meal. Thus, having meals six times a day may look like promoting fat loss.
- The flip side to this is that you cannot possibly eat 6000 k/cal in a day by having only three meals. But it can be managed by having 6-7 meals daily. So, you can eat more by having more frequent meals.
- By having smaller meals, you can reduce your stomach size over a period of time. This makes the stomach feel full sooner. It also helps to stabilise your blood sugar and insulin.
- Having more calories in one meal, i.e. 1000 calories in one meal rather than 500 calories, you are going to be lethargic. Smaller meals give you better focus resulting in more energy.
- If you always have in your mind that there is a healthy meal coming within 3 hours, you are less inclined to feel indulgent towards any in-between snack.
It can be evaluated based on the above observations that, discounting the disadvantage of eating more foods by increasing the frequency of food intake, it would be advisable to eat 6 times a day rather than 3. Make sure that your calorie intake is limited to 2500 calories and then eat 6 times a day. This is the only situation in which you can actually gain weight by eating more rather than losing it.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Apr 10, 2012
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