Question: Is It Better To Eat Four Or Five Small Meals Throughout The Day To Lose Weight?



Answer: Great question. Eating a large meal increases the opportunity for fat cells to extract fat from the blood and, therefore, grow bigger. Fat cells can actually adapt to a pattern of large, infrequent meals by becoming more efficient at storing fat. In addition, a 2-3 meal-a-day pattern causes the body to face long stretches without food. By the time lunch or dinner rolls around, you’re so famished you’re more likely to make unwise food choices and overeat.

Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the days not only prevents you from gorging on unwise food choices; it helps you feel energized and satisfied throughout the day.

In addition to eating smaller meals more frequently, try to plan so that you don't eat your largest meal late at night. The body's metabolic rate has a natural cycle of highs and lows, peaking late in the day and dropping to its lowest level during sleep. So, it makes sense to avoid putting a large meal into your system 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, when your metabolic rate is beginning to slow down. If you do feel hungry after this time, you don't need to go to bed hungry; just eat something especially low in calories and in a small portion.

It is important to note, just because you eat at night, it doesn't necessarily mean you’ll gain fat. If you’re still in a caloric deficit, whether you eat at night or not, you’ll still likely lose fat. But eating less at night is an easy way to keep calories under control, especially since these extra calories aren't needed at night before you go to bed because you’ll be inactive while you’re sleeping.

Key points to remember:
1. Eat small, frequent meals (4 - 6 meals/day) about 2˝ - 3 hours apart, and try to eat fewer calories later in the day.
I hope this helps. Keep up the great work and feel free to ask future questions in our online fitness community!



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