Monday, July 24, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 3

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (cont'd)

Here's step 3:

Quantity and Frequency of Meals

Does the size and quantity of your meals really matter? You’ve probably heard many times over that it’s best to have smaller more frequent meals throughout the day. In other words snacking is preferable to gorging. Is this fact or fiction?

Well, the fact of the matter is that scientific research with respect to this area of study has been largely contradicting. There really is no overwhelming evidence to support the idea that increased frequency and decreased portion size of meals is associated with weight loss efficiency. This eating method, however, has been shown to benefit athletic performance in trained athletes. (1)

A study with ice skaters suggested that meals taken throughout the day to correspond with periods of physical demand associated with training, help to maximize performance.

Keep in mind that improving athletic performance in athletes is one thing, but increasing the rate of weight loss is something quite different. Although, when taken to extremes, it is probably better to eat 8-10 smaller meals per day than 1 large one for example.

As it turns out, the customary three meals a day method is just fine. There just hasn’t been enough convincing evidence to prove that it has a negative effect on weight loss. Eating 5-6 meals a day is also fine.

Changing to a more frequent eating style, however, may cause you to over eat, if you’re not careful, especially at the beginning. This is because, subconsciously, you’re used to having larger food portions at meal time. So, it’s important to keep track of the food quantity of every meal, until you get accustomed to the new way of eating.

References:

http://www.jacn.org, "Contribution of Meals and Snacks to Nutrient Intake of Male and Female Elite Figure Skaters During Peak Competitive Season", retrieved 19 May 2004 from http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/21/2/114

Tomorrow we'll go over step number 4.
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