Even though the reputation of fasting has been restored in recent years by groundbreaking research results, some myths about fasting persist. And this is perhaps one of the most common.
Each time you eat, your metabolic rate increases slightly for a few hours. But you have to understand that the increase is due to the digesting and absorption of the energy. This is the thermogenic effect of food (TEF). The total number of calories your body burns during the digestion of the meals you ate.
Food contains energy in the form of calories. so the body uses his energy to digest and make use of them. so to simplify things imagine that your body is a car and the calories, of course, are the fule. the engine converts the potential chemical energy in gasoline into thermal energy which is transformed into mechanical energy.
So, in order to do what, your body needs to expend energy above your regular Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is known as the Thermic Effect Of Food – or TEF for short.
Generally, it is often said that the TEF of the food we eat is about. And of course, different foods have extremely different TEF. for example, 20-35of the protein is burned in the digestive process, of Carbohydrates, and only of fats.
TEF and the metabolic rate:
the body not only burns calories during training. The digestion itself can consume calories.
For example, if we consider a diet containing 2,700 kcal and protein, carbohydrates, and fat. And look at it differently, changing only the meal frequency. And we will try to observe the different developments in the TEF.
- A- 3 meals: 900 kcal per meal
- B- 6 meals: 450 kcal per meal
- C- 9 meals: 300 kcal per meal
For example A there is a larger and longer increase in the metabolic rate, which slowly decreases again until the next meal follows. The TEF would take a “hill and dale” rhythm. In example “C” we would see a weak but continuous increase in the metabolic rate, while for example “B” we would move somewhere in between.
When we talk about eating a few meals a day, we are talking about two or three meals a day. If we talk about several small meals per day, then we are talking about considerably more than three meals per day, which must also be small. In some studies, up to 12 or even 14 small meals per day were used to observe their influence on metabolism.
In a study conducted in the 1990s on the topic of “Frequency of daily meals”, hardly any difference in metabolic activity was found, whether you eat several small meals or a few large meals. And most of the studies came to a neutral result, it does not matter how often one eats. What matters is the total energy intake.
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Frequent small meals are not healthy.
Frequent small meals do not help you lose weight
Almost twenty years later, in 2009, another review was published in which more than one hundred studies were reviewed. All of them had looked into the connection between eating frequency and weight loss. The researchers conclude that there was no link between eating small meals frequently and weight loss. They also said that there were no health benefits from eating frequent small meals.
Several small meals are no better for blood glucose levels in the long term than a few large meals. According to researchers at the University of Missouri (in 2011) several small meals per day influence negatively blood sugar, insulin, and ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger, for example when the stomach is empty. However, if you look at the overall values during the day, again there are no differences.