Despite the average diet calling for counting calories and cutting back as much as possible on the amount of food you eat, there’s a simpler way to drop those pounds – eating more.
The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Research shows that those who skip a meal here and there or eat less often are the ones most likely to gain weight.
How Does This Work?
One study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently discovered that among teen girls who ate more than 3 times a day versus girls who ate 3 times or less a day, those who ate less often gained more weight than the other group.
Not only does eating more often keep your metabolism revved up so that your body is constantly working to burn those calories off; but on the other hand, if you deprive your body of food and try to trick your body by skipping meals in an effort to lose weight, your appetite will run away with you. When you don’t consume enough calories or leave huge gaps between meal and snack times (more than 3 or 4 hours), hunger will kick in and go into overdrive, causing you to overeat and pack on more pounds. It just doesn’t work.
Food is primarily fuel and energy, which your body must have in order to function – not just a delight for your taste buds. Like the popular saying you may have heard before, your mantra then should be: “Eat to live, not live to eat.”
If you pace your eating to moderate-sized meals/snacks (alternating) every 3-4 hours and eat only when you’re hungry, you can get through each day without having to wolf down your food when mealtime does arrive. Your body will also get used to the rhythm and regulate your metabolism, so that you can lose weight quicker and without a lot of effort. You’ll be grateful, too, that you aren’t hungry all the time and your energy level will increase.
One thing you must realize, however, is that physical activity is still necessary for best results. This new eating schedule alone will make a huge difference in your energy and weight loss ability, but any amount of exercise will be an added bonus. Since your metabolism will be working efficiently like it was meant to, you will find that you won’t have to work hard to lose weight. Just walking leisurely, doing yard work or going for a swim 2 or 3 times a week, for example, will help melt away inches as well.
Exercise offers benefits that diet alone does not. For example, exercise strengthens and tones muscles, carving you into the physique you desire. Exercise also opens up lungs and breathing passages, improves flexibility and helps eliminate certain bodily aches and pains.
Eating more often is also no excuse to eat anything you want. You should still be mindful that what you eat is just as important as how often you eat. Putting good things in will give you a good output healthwise. Common sense tells you that eating junk food is not good for you, so though it’s okay to eat a slice of your favorite chocolate cake every now and then, it shouldn’t be the norm. Stick to what is historically known to work – a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lots of water. Anything else should be icing on the cake, so to speak.