Is eating more to lose weight realistic?
The quick answer is yes, eating more to lose weight works.
But, there are very specific guidelines to follow. And we’re not talking about more junk food.
And no, I’m not trying to tell you what you want to hear.
The whole concept of eating more meals is about hormonal manipulation. Athletes and bodybuilders have used this method for decades. But it takes more planning and preparation. And it’s not as easy as you think.
Let’s look first at why more meals can work well. And then look more closely at calorie restriction. There are pros and cons for both methods depending on who you are. And that’s a very important point. So, it depends on who you are and your goals. One size does not fit all!
There are four important reasons why one may want to eat meals approximately every three hours.
Takeaways That Won’t Fail You
- Eating more does not include junk foods, but rather high quality foods.
- This type of eating style requires the most planning and preparation.
- The optimum plan for staying lean without losing muscle requires eating four to five small meals within an 8-10 hour window.
- Eating these small meals more frequently involves hormonal manipulation more than any other aspect.
- This method can also be used to age well.
1. Eating More Meals Influences My Blood Sugar
Meal timing and frequency keeps insulin levels from spiking. Remember, high levels of insulin pushes nutrients into cells and it impairs your ability to use fat as a fuel source. If you want to burn more fat while sparing muscle tissue, you’ll want to eat low glycemiccomplex carbohydrates that are absorbed slowly and do not spike insulin levels small meals more frequently.
This allows your insulin levels to remain stable rather than spiking. But the type of food you’re consuming also plays an important part. See what I mean… it’s not that simple.
It’s crucial each meal is balanced with the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. And not too excessive in calories. We’ll discuss this further later in the article.
2. Eating More Meals Elevates Your Thyroid Hormones
Eating small meals more frequently elevates your levels of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. This in turn helps to keep your metabolism stoked.
Elevated T3 and T4 levels allow you to burn more calories overall throughout the day and night.
A portion of this contributes to the thermogenic effect of food. In other words, it keeps your temperature elevated. And we’re not talking about a fever.
3. Eating More Meals Keeps Me Energized
The frequent meals offer more opportunities to get in all the high quality, essential nutrients that your body needs. Keeping you healthy, vibrant and energized.
I like this aspect of eating more. It allows for the optimal intake of a lot of great nutrients.
Again, it’s clear that we’re not talking about junk food here.
4. Eating More Meals Helps Me Absorb Protein Better
In my personal plan, I eat a lot of protein. This is important because higher protein amounts let me get the calories I need, without overeating starch and fat. However, the typical digestive tract can only break down and absorb approximately 50 grams of protein at any one time.
For a long time, the jury was out on that specific number. But 50 grams seems to be the average number. Of course, this is dependent on the person.
By spreading out my meals, and thus my protein consumption throughout the day, I ensure my digestive tract has time to absorb the protein I eat.
What’s Wrong with Calorie Restriction
Yes, you will lose weight if you restrict calories. But you’re sacrificing muscle tissue along with the fat loss if you restrict calories too much. This is what we want to avoid. It’s hard enough to hold onto muscle as we age.
It’s extremely difficult to cut fat while building or maintaining muscle tissue, but it can be done.
There are ways to restrict calories safely through intermittent fasting without causing any issues. I have found the most successful way to do this is to consume four-five meals within an 8-12 hour window.
The variation depends on your starting point, amount of lean muscle tissue, activity level, and your goals.
How Does Eating More Fit in with Intermittent Fasting
This is actually a great question. And it goes back to the previous point about the type of person you are and your goals.
So many factors play a role in your decision of how to eat well. We can take the example in the previous paragraph one step further. Think about it. Someone on a low income with very little time to prepare food is not going to fare well on more meals/food a day. It’s too costly and time-consuming.
What About Aging Longevity and Eating More Meals
This is an interesting topic. In my earlier years, I would have dismissed this concept. My objective was always to gain muscle and minimize fat.
But as I age, I really understand the value in not only maintaining muscle and staying lean, but also in aging well.
What I’m finding in the research and with my own experience is that four to five small high-quality meals in an 8 to 10 hour period is the most advantageous.
As mentioned earlier, it’s not easy and requires planning and preparation. But the value of the effort becomes real once one gets closer to age fifty.
Conclusions Eating More to Lose Weight
While there are other variables and factors, the initial four points are the main reasons why I take my overall calories and split them up into numerous meals. It’s also important to factor in meal timing, fasting periods, and the quality of the meals.
So, with careful planning, you can eat more to lose weight. But as you can tell, it’s not as cut and dry as typically interpreted.
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