How Many Times Do You Eat a Day?

Proper nutrition has a lot of benefits. It can help fight disease, improve overall health, and keep your internal organs functioning efficiently, while giving you the required energy to get through your day.

We all know about the obesity problem in this country and it obviously ties to nutrition. The problem many have, however, is deciding what approach to weight loss and nutrition they should take.

Two studies released this year offer very different perspectives on the importance of meal timing and frequency with regards to weight loss. Research published in January suggested increased meal frequency is a successful way to fight obesity, while a study released this month indicates that only two meals a day will produce better results.

Let me help you understand the differences between the two studies and why increased meal frequency is a better, healthier way to fight obesity and improve your body composition.

The first study looked at how meal frequency impacted obese individuals. Two groups were in “high protein” groups, where 35% of their daily calories came from lean protein sources. One group consumed three meals per day, while the other consumed six, switching after 28 days.

At the same time there was a control group that ate a regular diet consisting of three meals a day, with the recommended amount of macronutrients. Following the trial period, researchers found that although no group lost any scale weight, the high protein group consuming six meals a day showed decreases in body fat percentage and belly fat, while increasing lean mass (muscle).

The second study paid attention to body mass index (BMI). Researchers examined two groups with type 2 diabetes and fed the first group two meals a day-breakfast and lunch-and the other group ate six meals per day. Like the previous study, they all consumed the same number of calories per day. Following the trial, people who ate only two meals a day displayed a greater drop in BMI than those who had six.

Here’s the key: BMI does not acknowledge body composition. For example, two 160-pound males who are 5’7″ have the same BMI regardless if one of them has 10% body fat and the other is 30% body fat. Because of the difference in body composition, the 30% fat individual is at a much greater risk of complications resulting from being overweight. The 10% fat individual is much more likely to be a fit, healthy individual even though his BMI would indicate otherwise.

Not all pounds are created equal, and to be honest, the number on the scale doesn’t matter. What’s important to pay attention to is fat percentage and lean body mass. If a 160-pound individual, with around 30% body fat, loses 10 pounds for example, the person has done little to improve their situation if their body fat percentage remains unchanged.

If you’re trying to lose weight and improve your health, the best way to do it is to adopt a high-protein diet with five or six small meals per day, spread out every two to four hours. Look to get about 35% of your daily calories from lean protein sources like chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, tuna, turkey breast, egg whites or cottage cheese, and the rest from complex, unrefined carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Source for Story:

Doctors Health Press [e-bulletin@doctorshealthpress.com]

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