“Eating 5 times a day is going to speed up your metabolism”
I’m sure you’ve heard this at least once from a fitness professional. The truth is, there are multiple studies to prove this statement false. If you are comparing eating patterns containing the same amount of calories, eating 6 or 7 meals vs. 2 meals a day has no direct effect on daily energy expenditure (the number of calories you burn in a day).
So why do we recommend eating 4-5 times a day?
Distribution of Macros Throughout the Day
We like eating 4-5 times a day because we’ve seen it yield the highest rate of success with our clients! In our opinion, the reason is due to the distribution of macros throughout the day.
4-5 meals a day breaks up your macros into big enough meals to keep you satiated (full) throughout the day. Eating more than 5 meals a day will cause your meals to get very small and a lot of our clients have reported this to lead to a feeling of hunger more frequently. On the flip side, only eating twice a day can be disastrous for some people. Eating breakfast at 7 am and waiting 12 hours before eating dinner at 7 pm will cause many people to gorge and make poor food choices. This will also cause you to eat much larger meals. Large meals can be hard on your digestive system and be a cause of inflammation for some people.
Eating protein more frequently may improve nitrogen retention. If you are looking to pack on muscle mass, this is huge. Even if adding muscle isn’t the goal, this will help with recovery from your workouts.
Here’s the bottom line. As long as you hit your macros every day you are going to have great results. It doesn’t matter if it comes from 2 or 10 meals. Progress is going to happen from consistency and trying your best to hit your macronutrient goals.
If you are new to counting, we highly recommend eating 4 times a day. It’s going to help you stay on track and make planning your meals much easier. But if that isn’t possible, just make sure to hit your macros and you will have success!
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