Lose fat by eating less? – Fat Loss Myth #2

sm-breakfastWe have looked at how futile it is to dramatically reduce your calorie intake in order to lose fat in myth #1. We now know that this approach to weight loss doesn’t work. The same people that try this method though may also take the approach of myth number two. They believe that reducing the frequency with which they eat their meals, will help them achieve fat loss. Their faulty logic assumes that they can lose weight by eating less frequently.

Actually, on the face of it, the logic doesn’t seem that faulty at all does it? If I eat fewer meals throughout the day then I will reduce the amount of calories my body takes on board. That means that my body will then have to start using up its fuel reserves which we know are stored as fat. That means I will lose fat and lose weight. In fact, you should be aiming to do the exact opposite of the above. It is certainly a good idea to alter the frequency of meals you eat during the day. However you shouldn’t reduce the frequency, you should increase it!

Our bodies have come to develop some very sophisticated defense mechanisms over the thousands of years we have been roaming the earth. However we have actually only been able to develop farming methods and other food production methods that allow us to have a continuous source of nutrition quite recently. In the past when we had to go out and hunt for our food it may not have been that easy to find and so we may have had to go for long

periods of time with no calorie intake at all. As discussed in myth number one the defense mechanism which keeps us alive during times of starvation starts to burn fat slower and actually starts to break down our lean muscle mass as a way to obtain valuable protein. This response comes into play much quicker than you might imagine. In fact your body starts to react in this way after you have been without food for as little as three or four hours. By sticking to the regular three meals per day routine, there will be several periods during the day where your body is in defense mode.

In order to promote weight loss and lose fat more efficiently, the number of meals you eat throughout the day should be increased in order to maintain a higher than normal metabolism for a longer period of time. Most people would typically consume two or three meals every five to seven hours. For example you might start with breakfast at 8am followed by lunch at 1pm (5 hour gap) and an evening meal at 8pm (7 hour gap). Don’t forget there is then another 12 hour gap before you eat breakfast again. It is easy to see why you might get hungry between meals and resort to raiding the fridge for a snack. This is because your metabolism starts to drop and so does your blood sugar level.

But what if you were to eat smaller more regular meals throughout the day? By consuming five to seven meals every two to three hours, your body comes to believe that its food supply is plentiful. It will therefore make more energy available to you and it won’t be too concerned with storing fat or using up your lean muscle for protein. Also, by allowing your body to release more resources for use as fuel rather than storing them up as fat, you will feel more energetic throughout the day. You will also notice that any snack cravings you may have had before should also disappear as your blood sugar will be kept at more consistent and healthy levels.

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