Before we even begin this blog the key point to understand is eating more often is not the same as eating more. Now we’ve got that out of the way, what am I talking about?
When many people decide to try to lose weight they immediately fall in to the mindset of skipping meals. “Well I’ll just skip breakfast, or I’ll only have an apple for lunch”.
Technically speaking skipping meals (therefore reducing calories) will lead to weight loss, however it is extremely hard to keep this up for an extended period of time.
If you skip breakfast you’re more likely to simply eat more at lunch or dinner. If you manage to skip meals for a week, exhaustion will set in, cravings will become unbearable, and you’re highly likely to start gorging on pizza and cake, reversing all the hard work.
Our bodies are used to having about 3 meals a day, because most of us have always followed this routine. Likewise your body is used to the amount of food you consume because your eating habits have probably been the same for years. Immediately altering this regime is both physically and psychologically stressful. Skipping meals in particular, and walking around with an empty stomach is a sure fire way for your brain to start screaming foooooood!
So how do you reduce food consumption effectively?
Instead of being in the mindset of going hours without food, battling the cravings and then eating a big meal, today’s experts say you should eat smaller portions but more often.
So let’s say you eat about 3,000 calories a day at your current weight. Maybe you’ve cut that down to 2,500 by skipping breakfast or lunch. However by time dinner rolls around you add a few extra potatoes and slices of meat because you’re hungry and end up back at 3,000 or even higher.
It’s a painful psychological game.
However, what if you didn’t skip breakfast and ate bacon and eggs at about 500 calories. Then at lunch you have another 500 calories. (You’re definitely not craving at this point). Then at dinner you don’t have a big meal, but a small portion and maybe even desert, totalling another 500 calories. Then before bed you top it off with some healthy snacks staying under 500 calories.
Well there you go, you consumed 2,500 calories or less and had 5 meals. Because they were spaced out evenly throughout the day you didn’t have time to feel an empty growly stomach or for the cravings to set in.
Eating more often is not just about keeping cravings at bay either. It’s also a great way to keep your metabolism active. If you skip breakfast your metabolism is essentially still asleep. By time lunch rolls around you’re only just kicking it in to gear, making digestion and lots of other internal processes less efficient.
This combined internal activity itself burns on average 75 calories a day when active throughout. So by skipping breakfast you’re actually burning less calories each day. Losing weight is tough, don’t throw away the freebies!