Modern society is now more challenging than ever to navigate. The availability of information and the accessibility of modern technology has resulted in a more sedentary lifestyle for both men and women. This reliance on information technology and computers to accomplish daily routine tasks also resulted in people resorting to fast food or junk foods for convenience and efficiency. However, this option is not always the most ideal for the human body and for optimal health.
Fortunately, a number of diet programs and plans are available for individuals to try out and they claim to assist people in weight loss and the enhancement of their quality of life. One such diet routine or eating strategy is the 6 Meals a day eating pattern. But can this kind of eating pattern really help individuals lose weight? In this article, let us look at what the 6 meal a day eating pattern is and some meal plans or ideas for the said diet.
6 Meals A Day Eating Plan: A Brief Overview
People may have already stumbled upon the idea that eating throughout the day in small portions can help with weight loss. This is based on the theory that if people maintain their intake of healthy food, their metabolism will work more efficiently, manage hunger and cravings better, and reduce levels of blood sugar. The expected result for this kind of eating plan is that people tend to reduce their total consumption and eating. However, this is not always the case.
One study conducted in a University in Ottawa showed that those on a diet that is considered low-calories did not experience any marked advantage in terms of weight loss once meals were divided further from three (3) six (6). A separate study found that individuals who changed their eating patterns from three (3) meals to six (6) did not experience any markedly drastic metabolic boost or burning of calories.
It was even observed by the researchers that those who shifted to an eating pattern fo six (6) meals per day were also prone to eating more. Ultimately, experts agree that weight gain and weight loss are determined by one major aspect of the human body and that is the number of calories consumed per day.
The best way to reduce or lose weight is to lower or reduce your calorie intake regardless of how many times you eat on a daily basis. People can eat more frequently as long they can keep their calorie count within the recommended levels.
What are the Benefits of Eating more than three (3) meals a day?
As stated earlier, people may not get any weight loss or metabolic boosting benefits from eating six (6) meals per day. That being said, people can still get some other health benefits from the said eating plan. One major benefit of eating more than three (3) times a day is that the wait in between meals is shorter, making it less like for individuals to overeat. This is because of blood sugar levels in the human body.
Three (3) hours of no food can cause the sugar levels in the body to drop. On the other hand, four (4) hours after a meal, everything has been completely digested by the body. Five (5) hours after your last meal, sugar in the blood completely dips which can lead to overeating and eating any food available, regardless of its nutritional or health value.
As such, it is understandable that experts emphasize the significance of eating breakfast. This is because individuals need to get up and use energy after sleeping for almost seven (7) to eight (8) hours. It was noted that people who ate breakfast on a regular basis weighed less than those who chose to forego the said meal in the morning.
These individuals also tend to get more of the critical nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. They are also more likely to choose healthier food options and fight off cravings throughout the day.
Those who start with a proper breakfast can then eat after every 3 (three) or four (4) hours so that the brain is steadily supplied with the needed nutrients ensuring that overeating is avoided. However, people must also be aware that eating more frequently can lead to eating more than your body actually needs per day.
One important thing to remember is that people should eat the right kinds of food items and to keep their food items within the appropriate serving size. This will ensure that cravings are adequately addressed and that weight loss can be achieved. One of the best ways to go about multiple meals or snacks per day is to incorporate fiber and protein into portion control mixing. Some examples of these snack items include:
- A cup of Greek Yogurt that is non-fat served with fresh berries on the side
- A quarter cup of mixed nuts combined with some cereal that is whole-grain and some dried fruits.
- Crackers that are whole grain served together with a tablespoon of nut butter or an ounce of cheese that is low fat
- Veggies that are raw with a tzatziki sauce as a dip or a quarter cup of hummus
- Fruits that are fresh served with some cheese that is low-fat
So regardless of your meal strategy, eating more than three (3) meals a day or strictly following a traditional diet within the regular eating schedule of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, what’s important is that people get the best kinds of calories for each and every meal they eat. This means that people should refrain from eating empty calories or food items that are considered junk.
People should focus more on eating food items that are high in protein and carbs that have a high content of fiber. People who may be having trouble doing this on a six (6) meal a day eating plan may want to consider sticking to the traditional eating plan of three meals per day.