Weight loss isn't a piece of cake and almost all of us, who
have wanted to lose those extra kilos for a while, are painfully aware of this
fact. While there seems to be an agreement about the fact that diet is of the utmost
importance when it comes to weight loss, there are still conflicting opinions
about which diet or diet plan works the best.
One of the most common confusions about a weight loss diet is the number of meals that one should eat per day. While some studies say that eating three meals every day, with no snacks in between works better, some others believe in eating six smaller meals for better weight management.
But which one of these is true? Many studies and quite a lot of research has been conducted on which meal pattern works better for weight loss as well as overall improvement of health. There is also a psychological fact behind the six meal concept. When we skip meals for long periods of time, our brain gives signals to the fat cells of the body to start storing fat as an alternative source of energy, which ultimately makes us fat. Splitting down meals into smaller ones can lead to better blood sugar control and also reduce cholesterol levels. This is in addition to the boost in metabolism that eating frequent meals gives you. However, logically eating more meals also means more calories to burn off, increasing the need for the body to get more workouts.
On the other hand, eating three meals per day (with no
snacking in between) means consuming a lesser amount of calories. However, it
also leaves your body with a lower level of energy and makes it vulnerable to
sudden spike or fall in blood sugar levels. Moreover, eliminating snacks from
your diet leaves you with pesky hunger pangs, which might make you crave
unhealthy junk foods. So although skipping that breakfast or that lunch may
look like the obvious way of consuming fewer calories, it might prove to be
harmful to your body in the long run.
In order to follow the 6-meal diet, start the day right. Keep each of your six meals about the same size and low in fat to help keep calories under control. For example, if you're following a 2000-calorie diet, limit each meal to 300 to 350 calories. Try to include fibre rich food, such as fruits and veggies in your morning breakfast. This should be followed by a mid-morning snack and a healthy and light lunch. The dinner should be consumed as early as possible. Your last meal of the day might include a steaming hot cup of milk.
Still confused as to which meal pattern should you follow? To figure out which meal pattern is best suited for you, you must first find out more about your body. If you are someone who has a large appetite and have a problem with portion control, you are better off sticking to just three meals per day. In this case, eating more frequently may be counter-productive. However, if you are someone who gets full faster, you may want to break your meals down and eat more often. The most important thing to keep in mind here is the calorie count. Make sure you consume only healthy calories and keep a count of them so that you know how much you need to burn off in the gym.
In conclusion- there's no hard and fast rule about which meal pattern is better suited for weight loss. It's all relative and depends on your body needs, type, your lifestyle and eating habits. Happy Eating!!!