June 18, 2019

How can eating 5 to 6 times a day improve your metabolism

Your body's metabolism is a process by which calories are burned to fuel various biological processes. While we don't usually think about how metabolism works outside of a weight loss plan, it's actually responsible for fueling the digestive system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system. While we have long held the belief that eating less and exercising more will speed up the metabolism, eating more frequently may actually make this process more efficient.

Here's Why You Should Eat More Frequently
When you follow a simple weight loss program, the philosophy behind the diet is to limit your intake of calories. This makes sense to most people, because it stands to reason that your body will burn more stored fat when you're consuming fewer new calories. However, the body can recognize a drop in calorie intake and register that as an emergency. The instinct survival kicks in, compelling your body to store those new calories as fat for later use as energy. Since you're not really starving in a life or death situation, you're actually slowing down your metabolism for no good reason.

Use Your Metabolism
The best healthy lifestyle program is one that allows you to utilize your metabolism to help you lose weight consistently. This involves determining how many calories you need to intake each day, according to your weight, height, gender, and activity levels. Unless you're a mathematician, you may want to use one of the calorie intake calculators available online. 

Keep in mind that this number will be the calories you need to maintain your current weight. Once you have this number, you should deduct 250 up to 1,000 calories from your daily intake. This will help you lose up to two pounds per week.

This is where eating more meals becomes helpful. When you eat fewer meals per day, you'll feel hungrier for longer and this will prompt you to overindulge at your next meal. Instead, eat smaller portions five to six times per day. This will even out your eating schedule and allow you to eat less at each meal. 

In a 2005 study, it was found that women who ate frequent, smaller meals had experienced a higher metabolic rate. The women were divided into two groups. One group ate six meals per day, while the second group ate three meals per day. Even though all of the women consumed the same amount of calories, the women who ate just three meals had a much lower metabolic rate.

While eating more frequently doesn't necessarily mean eating more food, how much you eat will depend on your own physical condition. Some people may need to eat a little more to keep their metabolism running efficiently, while others should make each meal a little smaller. It may take a process of trial and error to find the eating schedule that's ideal for you. At Wellness Next Step we can help with our health Journal guide.


About the author 

Vilmos Bond

Hi, my name is Vilmos, a Nutrition Coach for busy moms, and a wellness implementation consultant for private practice. I help moms overcome feelings of self-doubt and frustration with weight loss.

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