How many meals should I eat per day?
How many meals?
“Do I have to eat 6-8 small meals a day if I want to lose weight, lose fat, or drop a dress size?”
Over the years this question has come up, over and over again so today is myth busting day!
Simple answer is a resounding “No” there is no need to eat more often than you normally do.
For those who are interested this is the reasoning.
After which meal do you think you’ll feel more full and satisfied: A 500 calorie meal or a 200 calorie meal?
Assuming both meals have the same foods, my bet is you’ll feel more satisfied after the 500 calorie meal, this is because your stomach has no idea how many calories you’ve eaten, only how much volume it’s taken in. What this means is that after a 200 calorie meal, your stomach isn’t likely full and as a result you still feel hungry and are more likely to go and snack on something you shouldn’t!
We all know that losing weight, dropping inches, or lowering your body fat means being in a calorie deficit, that is eating fewer calories than you burn off. So long as by the end of each day and subsequent week you’ve burn off more than you’ve eaten, you’ll be closer to your weight/fat/inch loss goal. Eating more often isn’t going to change the number of calories you consume or burn and has no noticeable effect on your BMR (Basel Metabolic Rate).
In fact if you consider the control of your food environment (meal prep time and eating time), in relation to your daily schedule, do you even have time to prep and eat 6-8 meals a day? Probably not.
So where did this myth come from?
Bodybuilders and elite athletes from many sports have very high calorie needs, it’s rumored that Michael Phelps was eating 12,000 calories a day to fuel his training for the Olympics.
If he were eating 3 meals a day that’s 4000 calories per meal – that’s around twice the average mans calorie intake for a DAY! Imagine trying to consume (from healthy foods) 4000 calories in 1 sitting, what about 2000…1000? It’s just not going to happen, so meals were broken down into realistic portions and spread over the day simply for digestive comfort.
So unless you need more calories per day than you can consume in 3 meals, don’t worry about splitting your food up into tiny snacks all day.
Get your calories right for your goals, keep an eye on your macros and train smart.
Get out there warriors, train hard, eat right and don’t be sucked into this myth!