DO YOU NEED TO EAT 6 TIMES A DAY TO KEEP YOUR METABOLISM UP?
I’ve always heard that the more often you eat, the better your metabolism will work.
I decided to dig into some research to get a true answer on this.
Different studies showed that increasing meal frequency (while keeping daily calorie intake unchanged), found that there was no difference in metabolic rate and no changes in weight loss at the end of the test period.
They did see a decline in metabolic rate when calories were dropped significantly though. The decline was not very significant, and was based on calorie intake, not meal frequency.
Not a lot of studies have been done to look at increased meal frequency and muscle gain correlation. But the limited studies now show that weight gain is due to calorie intake rather than the frequency of meals.
One study that surprised me noted better glycemic control, in the group that ate 3 meals
daily versus the group that ate 14 meals.
This has been seen before in a different study.
Lower frequency meals versus higher frequency meals, (when the overall daily calories are the same), appeared to be more satisfying and produced less hunger.
This was the surprising part to me since I’ve heard the more frequent meals are, the less hungry you will be. Apparently, it’s the opposite.
So to paraphrase, no, you do not need to eat 6+ times a day, unless you really want to.
The most important factor as always is your daily caloric intake.