How Often Should You Eat?

How often should you eat your meals? What frequency and what percentages? Some people get super neurotic about this stuff and there is no need to be.Bodybuilders think in terms of constantly feeding your muscle so you can make sure a constant stream of protein is given to your muscles.

This is a common question and after many[1]many[2]many[3] scientific studies (in fact there are WAY more than I need to put up here – 50+ studies), studies cannot find correlation between metabolic rate (metabolism) vs. meal frequency. Meaning: More meals does not mean more metabolism.

And to answer my main question: it does not matter how often you eat!

As long as you don’t eat MORE than you’re supposed to, it doesn’t matter how frequently you eat it in terms of metabolism.

Let’s look into it a bit deeper.

In non-obese people, studies have proven that even if you don’t eat for over 22 days (from Ramadan), people did not have a reduction in metabolic rate. Despite most people believe that you enter “starvation” mode, this is not the case!

Now that we’ve established that you can go on without eating, I don’t advise it. I love intermittent fasting where you have an 8 hour feeding window and a 16 hour fasting window. I prefer to go more extreme and even decrease my feeding window to 3 hours and increase my fasting window to 21 hours. This means, I usually eat a single meal with a small snack afterwards (or sometimes just a single meal). Studies show that fat oxidation (fat burning) is increased after 12 hours of fasting. It increases much higher between the 18 to 24 hour period. However, after 24 hours, there is very little change.

What are some other benefits of intermittent fasting?

You become more insulin sensitive. Because your body does not receive food often, your body adapts and learns to control insulin. This is especially beneficial to people with diabetes! Although you should consult your doctor, intermittent fasting seems to help diabetes patients control their blood sugar. Make sure you eat healthy, whole foods. If you eat 2000 calories of pure sugar, then you’re going to have a problem.

Ultimately, if you want to lose weight, you just need to make sure you burn more than you eat. However, eating less frequently via intermittent fasting will help you bust that fat.

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