The frequent, small meals practice is tagged as a myth, and has been debunked by several studies. Does that mean you shouldn't eat frequent, small meals though?
Everyone loves to dispel a myth especially in nutrition. It's a way to one up the scientific community or make a guru look foolish.
One of these myths is the frequent, small meals myth. Fitness gurus love to tell clients to eat small meals (not necessarily six) with a higher frequency throughout the day; including myself.
It's usually used in context of boosting your metabolism. Why? Because the average person doesn't understand nutrition. Yes, they should learn about it, but most do not want to understand the journey; they want results.
Why I tell clients to eat small meals
I tell clients to eat small meals throughout the day because my experience has led me to believe those who skip meals gorge. Or, if they don't gorge, they under-eat because they don't feel hungry.
If I tell a client to eat small, frequent meals I can expect them to eat two or three meals a day, which is better than one meal.
One meal a day is another type of extreme. Over-eating and under-eating are both unhealthy scenarios.
Why it works
Athletes or people who do adhere to smaller meals throughout the day can, and do lose weight. That's because they are vehemently tracking food macros and work outs.
They also try not to deviate from the nutrition program they are on.
Why it does not work
An issue with eating small meals is small portions grow over time. Small meals become medium sized meals and keep growing.
For example, someone may eat smaller meals, but take in far more calories per meal than they realize.
Should you use the small meals myth
Debunking a myth makes it sound like a myth is a bad thing. The fact is, if works for you, and doesn't put your health in jeopardy, who cares if it's a myth or not? Common sense plays a huge factor in the way you use any nutrition information.
If you do plan to eat small meals remember small meals must truly be small.
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White. All rights reserved.