At yet another dynamic session with one of our clients, we got questioned, “But how would eating every few hours lead to fat-loss?” Brilliant question of course and while there are several explanations involved to answer this question, we have made a sincere attempt to answer this query as thoroughly as possible. Read on to learn more.
Key explanation: Picture this: you eat a meal, your digestive system has converted most of the food into glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is what the body uses for energy. This glucose/blood sugar cannot reach your body cells all by itself. It needs a carrier. This is where the hormone ‘insulin’ comes in. Insulin will carry the glucose to the body cells. This is how we get energy for most of our everyday functions. Simple enough? Now if you eat a big meal, then there is more food being converted into glucose/more blood sugar. Once the glucose has been delivered to the cells for energy, there might still be some leftover. This excess glucose first gets stored in the liver and muscles as storage to be tapped during workouts or during periods when you don’t eat for 6-8 hours. If there is still more leftover glucose, it will get stored as fat. The body’s ability to store glucose in the liver and muscle is limited but the body’s ability to store glucose as fat is unlimited! So each time you eat more than you need to (which you would do inevitably if you eat infrequently)—you’re asking for fat storage! Additional research:
- A review by the IDEA Health & Fitness Association found evidence, dating to 1964, that those who “nibble” have lower body weights than those who “gorge.”
- Grazing was the way our body was designed to eat. Large meals burden the digestive system, often causing bloating and lowered energy while the body struggles to digest them. To understand why there is digestive struggle, we urge that you go back and re-read the key explanation. Big meal = excess glucose in the blood etc
- It isn’t just energy and sugar levels that stay stable with small meals. According to the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition unit, measurements of fatty acids in the blood also remain stable when you eat little and often
- Research by the University of Toronto suggests that switching to several smaller meals reduced participants’ total cholesterol levels by approximately 8% and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by 12%. In a 2001 study published inThe British Medical Journal, researchers found that people who ate six small meals a day had a 5 percent lower average cholesterol level than people who ate one or two larger meals.
- Your digestive system works more efficiently on a lighter load. You overeat, overload the digestive system, and see what happens. It slows down considerably. In addition, if you overload the system frequently, it may result in indigestion, which in turn might lead to other health problems.