The Truth About Meal Frequency

by James Kerrison on April 13, 2011

Before you start reading this I want you to “empty your cup”. If your mind (the cup) is full you don’t have any room for more information. “Empty your Cup” and take in some new ways of thinking.

Here comes the truth about meal frequency and fat loss. I have borrowed the following summary from Lyle McDonald and you can read the whole article here. This is the ‘James Notes’ version that requires less reading and less thinking!

Here are the four possible scenarios when it comes to eating and gaining or losing weight. If you think there are more options, ‘empty your cup’.

  • If eating more frequently makes it easier to control/reduce calories, it will help you to lose weight/fat.
  • If eating more frequently makes it harder to control/reduce calories, or makes you eat more, you will gain weight.
  • If eating less frequently makes it harder for you to control/reduce calories (because you get hungry and binge), it will hurt your efforts to lose weight/fat.
  • If eating less frequently makes it easier for you to control/reduce calories (for any number of reasons), then that will help your efforts to lose weight/fat

Does eating more frequently help with weight loss? Yes. And No.

Does eating less frequently help with weight loss? Yes. And No.

This is a classic example of better being better.

If you eat more food because you are eating ever 2-3 hours, guess what? You’ll be putting on weight no matter how much you think that you are ‘stoking your metabolism’. But if having 5-6 small meals per day means that you are eating less food overall, guess what? Low and behold eating less means you will lose weight.

Same goes on the flip side. If you only eat once or twice per day and this means that you’re getting less calories in than when you eat every few hours, your weight is going to drop. If you plan to eat less meals and you turn into a ravaging beast that starts eating like a bear preparing for hibernation, you’ll put on that winter coat.

What about my metabolism?!?!?!

Slow down buddy. Empty your cup!

Your metabolism, metabolic rate, BMR etc etc ain’t going nowhere. What you do with your body (muscles) will have far greater impact on your metabolism than what you do with your fork.

Numerous studies have show that not eating (fasting if you will) for even up to 72 hours will not slow down your metabolism. That’s 3 days without eating. Metabolic rate unchanged. Empty your cup.

Find out what works for you.

Eating more often? I have clients that are successfully losing weight with this method. (I’m guessing I have some clients that are successfully gaining weight with this method too, there’s only so much eating easter eggs and easter buns every 2 hours that your body will tolerate!)

Eating less often? I have clients that are successfully losing weight with this method. I also have clients that are gaining lean weight with this method (losing fat, gaining muscle) but that’s an article for another day.

If you like reading, and like to read the research behind any of this, empty your cup and grab a copy of ‘Eat Stop Eat’. Last check it had over 150 247 cited references which should keep you busy for a while!

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