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The Disaster of Eating 5-6 Meals Per Day

Be an electrician. It is easier. . . .

That was the advise of one of my first nutrition teachers. The reason he said is that so many people read a book, follow a twitter feed or pick up a magazine and now they are nutrition experts.  At least with electricians, people are truthful. They know that they really don’t know and reading a book or the Electrician Blog may help, but it does not make them an expert.

As a result of this, a number of ill-advised pieces of nutrition get circulated. One of the biggest disasters is the notion that we should be eating 5-6 smaller meals per day.

Pancreas

For starters, pick up any medical text and you will see that the pancreas is designed to release insulin 2-3 times per day. That is the ideal. Yes, if you eat 8 times per day, it will release insulin 8 times. Using an analogy, the heart is capable of beating over 180 times per minute  but that is under duress, not optimal, health-inducing conditions. There is a huge difference health wise between natural workings and continual over working of any organ, gland or system.

Some research suggests that eating multiple, small meals in fact, creates the groundwork for diabetes by continually overworking the pancreas (and liver).

Metabolism

The extension of the 5-6 meals per day myth is that we need to feed our muscles, lest they waste away. Also it will slow our metabolism if we do not eat every 3 hours.

Unless your body has been deprived of food for an extended period of time – at least one full day, the body does not go into any type of starvation mode or anything of the like. It has also been shown that it takes 2-3 weeks on extremely low-calorie  fad diets (Ex/ HCG Diet of 500 calories per day) for your body to begin adjusting its metabolism. (From the Textbook of Medical Physiology).

Miscellaneous

There are additional factors here that make the 5-6 meals per day notion useless . For additional reading, please go to . . . .http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/meal-frequency-and-energy-balance-research-review.html. This article, albeit it technical, is one of the best I have come across which dispels this notion.

Unless you are a bodybuilder or competitive athlete like Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps and burn some 12, 000 calories per day, a sensible eating style and training program will go a long way to reducing fat and increasing health. Cut out sugar, exercise intensely a couple of times per week, increase protein  and avoid as many chemically processed, un-natural foods as possible and your inherent health will rise to the surface.

Have you ever noticed that it is always the reasonable, steady approach that survives the test of time?


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