Is it just me, or are there a LOT of completely arbitrary and baseless diet 'rules' out there?
- Don't eat past 7
- Stay away from fat
- Go gluten free
- Always eat breakfast
- Eat your treats in the afternoon NOT the evening
The list goes on and on, and most of them have absolutely zero scientific backing..
Today I want to break down one of the biggest and most damaging diet myths, because it's one I believed for a very long time. It's the thought that you should eat smaller, more frequent meals if you're trying to lose weight.
*if you'd rather watch, keep scrolling. Video is below ;)
When I was in the thick of my dieting days, I thought that eating smaller meals every few hours was the way to go. So I did that, and in doing that I created a blood sugar monster. You see, I was always eating, and the foods that I was choosing for these 'small, frequent' meals were mainly carbohydrate based.
What that did was create an environment where insulin was always spiking (remember, insulin is your fat storage hormone and we don't want it to spike....we want it low and stable) and then crashing leading to fat storage and insane carb cravings.
I'd say that's pretty UNideal for fat loss, no?
So let's look at this diet myth from a biology lens, shall we?
Eating small, frequent meals means relying on mainly carbohydrates, since they digest quickly and leave you hungry faster, If your small meals were fat and protein based you would have a hard time eating so frequently, since they digest slower and keep you fuller for longer. We know that carbohydrate based meals tend to spike your blood sugar, telling insulin to come and deal with all that energy. Insulin is your fat storage hormone, and so much of that energy is stored for use later (as fat). Then, because blood sugar is so low (it allll comes down to the blood sugar), we end up with insane carb cravings to get it back up again. Then we eat or next 'small, frequent' meal and the very same thing happens. Basically you're dealing with blood sugar spikes and insulin spikes alllllllll dayyyyyyyyy longgggggggggggg.
Oh...and if you're aiming for fat loss, but you're constantly eating all day long, how are you ever going to tap into that stored up energy (aka the fat stores) that are hanging around like leftovers at the back of the fridge? Thinking about fat as leftovers is kind of a neat idea IMO. If you make too much dinner, you naturally put in in Tupperware and put it in the fridge for later, right? But what if you continue cooking a new meal every time you're hungry? You're never actually using up those leftovers right?
That seems less than ideal for fat loss, no?
Let's now look at the unpopular option of larger, less frequent meals:
If your meals are larger and less frequent you're generally relying more on fat and protein since they fill you up and take much longer to digest, keeping you full for hours.
Fat doesn't cause insulin to spike and protein doesn't have a large effect on insulin either, meaning you're no longer dealing with insulin spikes, increased fat storage potential and then insane carb cravings. You're also going longer between meals, which lets your body actually use some of that stored up energy (aka fat) for fuel in between.
Somehow that makes a lot more sense for fat loss, doesn't it?
If this was eye opening to you, then I'm super pumped you took the time to read/watch and learn a little something about how food and fat loss actually work. If you want to go deeper, and learn more check out my FREE Webinar. We'll take an hour and go super in depth into the how to's for fat loss. Sign up by clicking the banner below, and bring your questions ready and your pencils sharpened. It's gonna be good!