6 Meal a Day Myth

For the past 30-40 years or so, we’ve been told that we should be eating 6 small meals spread out throughout the day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack) and to eat mostly low fat and higher carb/protein.

The idea that we should be cutting calories and exercising more in order to lose weight has been a big focus as well.

The fact is, this doesn’t work.

“Dieting” or restricting calories doesn’t work. Eating more meals a day has never been proven scientifically and nowhere in history has any culture or society eaten like this (except for in obese America!)

If you think of life in the 1960’s and 70’s, there was no “snack time” in school, when kids came home from school and wanted a snack, they were told “you’ll spoil your dinner.” When they wanted something before bed they were told “there’s nothing to eat, go to bed.”

The average of 3 meals a day in the 70’s (which was the average for a looooong time) increased to 6 meals a day in 2004.

This all came from clever marketing by big snack companies. Snacks that are made of highly processed carbs, low fat candy’s and sugary yogurts.

The truth is that when you eat, your body stores whatever it doesn’t need right away so that it can have energy while you’re fasting (say while you’re sleeping). It pulls out whatever energy it needs and regulates the calories out based on however many calories you put in. This is why you don’t die every night when you go to sleep!

If you’re eating 2000 calories a day, your body will spend those 2000 calories and maybe store a couple hundred just in case. But if you’re eating high fats, it will know that you’re not in a famine situation and will be more likely to spend all those calories.

When you decide to cut calories to say 1500, your body has to reduce how many calories it will burn. This is like if you were making $100,000 per year and got a pay cut and now had to live off of $50,000. You would spend less in order to survive, right?

Now you’re eating 1500 and burning only 1500 (maybe less because your body is like what the heck and decides to store more as fat so it will have fuel in case you stop eating.)

You’re now cold, tired, hungry, feeling lousy and not losing weight!

When you give your body rest (aka fasting… like what we do when we sleep or eat only 3 meals a day and let the body rest in between), even if you’re eating more, the body will adjust and the calorie expenditure will go up.

So all this to say, the myth that you’ve been fed (and even some of the nutrition plans in the BOD programs have said this too…) that you should be eating more often but cutting calories and be at a “calorie deficit” is actually harming you!

Some of you have maybe even forced yourself to eat breakfast even though you’re not hungry because we’ve been told “it’s the most important meal of the day.”

So what should you do?

Try experimenting with eating 3 meals a day within a 12 hour or less window.

For example, if you start eating at 7AM, stop eating at 7PM. BUT if you’re not hungry at 7 AM, it’s okay! Don’t eat yet!

Try experimenting with a higher fat meal whenever your body is ready to eat. Then wait 3-4 hours to have lunch whenever your body is ready to eat again, then dinner 3-4 hours after than.

If you must have a snack, try a higher fat snack or if you’re going to have a vegetable, pair it with something higher fat so you can absorb the nutrients.

From here, you can experiment with a smaller window of eating. Maybe push it to 9AM or 10 or 11. Making sure that your last meal is at least 3 hours before bed.

You’ll be surprised at how you won’t feel hungry-especially if your’e eating higher healthy fats and lower carbs (especially no processed or artificial crap!)

(For more on this topic, check out this episode of the Chalene Show: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chalene-show-motivation-leadership-confidence-family/id911042029?mt=2&i=1000384493055)

You can also check out DietDoctor.com, Mercola.com or Bulletproof.com for more information that has been backed by SCIENCE!

Leave a Comment