Some of the fitness industries best concepts and ideas come to us via the trial and error of bodybuilders. Makes sense really. These men and women are probably the best group to look at when discussing ways to improving your body composition.
Although the bodybuilding community has given us plenty of quality information, there has been some instances that they might not have been entirely correct too.
Time to BUST another NUTRITION MYTH
Myth 3: “By eating more frequent, smaller meals, you STOKE your metabolic fire”
We’ve all heard it. Probably even believed it. Personally, we’ve at times recommended it (before knowing better of course)!
For a very long time, it was common belief in health and fitness circles that consuming small, frequent meals will out perform larger, less frequent ones. This for many people (and trainers) is still commonly recommended.
Like all good myths, the theory totally makes sense as well! Every time we eat, our metabolic rate increases. This happens due to a number of factors, one of the major reasons being due to the energy cost (calories) needed to digest food in your meal. So as the myth goes, increasing meal frequency, increases the frequency in which your metabolism bumps up.
Voila! Increased metabolism! Right? Well not quite…
The rate to which your metabolic rate increases is going to change based on the size of the meal and the contents of the meal. So for small meals, you have a small increase that quickly returns back to baseline. For larger meals, you’ll get larger increases. Either way though, the increase is short lived, and really quite minor in terms of the bigger fat loss picture.
In a recent study a group of researchers aimed to challenge this theory by comparing two groups, two large meals against six smaller meals. The groups both lost fat, but what was really interesting was that the larger, less frequent meal group actually lost around 25% more weight than the smaller, more frequent meal group!
Now does this mean that we should step everything and only eat twice daily for fat loss? Not quite. The massive point we’d like to drive home here is not that 2, 4, 6 or 20 meals is best for fat loss. What we want you to know is that contrary to popular belief there is not one best frequency or way to build a diet.
So what should you do?
The best approach is the one that you’re going to be able to stick with. Find out what suits you, your schedule, and your goals. Pay respect to the over-arching principles of calories and optimal macronutrient intakes (protein, carbs and fats), combine that with a meal frequency that suits you, and you’re on your way! Set yourself up for success by building a diet that works into your daily life.
Our 12 Week Shift addresses nutrition myths like this and many more! For more information on how we can individualise your fat loss approach, visit https://performance-pt.com.au/services/12-week-shift/, check out product details, and register for first chance entry to our program starting Monday 12th September 2016!