The Truth About Eating 6 Meals a Day
Eating 6 meals a day has come along with some controversy in the recent years. However, it just might be a good path for you. If your energy levels dip, you struggle with mental focus. In addition, if you may feel bloated or lethargic after a large meal this is a red flag. If these issues hit home for you, you might be a bit open-minded to this information.
The Truth about Eating 6 Meals a Day
If you are athletic, do crossfit, bodybuild, or compete, then eating 6 meals a day can help you. We’ve all dealt with hunger pangs. Frequent, small, balanced meals can help with curbing hunger and suppressing irritability from being hungry.
If your gains have plateaued, regardless of how hard you are training, you may simply need to eat frequent meals. You may not need MORE food, just the same amount of calories and macronutrients spaced out differently.
Stabilize Blood Glucose for Increased Energy
Studies show that eating every 3 hours is a great way to stabilized blood sugar levels, which can benefit diabetics. When you keep your blood sugar levels stabilized, your energy is higher and more consistent throughout the day. An easy example of just the opposite is, think about the time you overate to the point of feeling bloated and uncomfortable. What happened to your energy? It plummeted and you probably fell into a food coma. When you have stabilized blood glucose levels you can think more clearly, have more energy, lower stress, and be more productive.
Slash Cravings and Potential Overeating
You can benefit from 6 meals a day if you suffer with extreme hunger followed by episodes of overeating. Today’s food is loaded with chemicals to make you a food addict. You will literally crave food, even if you are not hungry. If you are not eating enough calories or meals, you can have cravings as well. One of the benefits of having 6 meals a day is to help keep you fed so you don’t feel like you are being nutritionally neglected.
Bodybuilders eat frequent meals to keep a positive nitrogen balance. By eating several mini-meals a day, bodybuilders can blunt sugar and carb cravings to maintain body fat levels.
Improve Digestion With 6 Meals Day
The human body can only absorb a certain amount of various nutrients at one sitting. Eating smaller meals each day can help improve your digestion. Proteins and fats contain complex molecules that take longer for your body to pull apart. Add those to an already large meal, and your body can be digesting for a while. The MayoClinic tells us, “After you eat, it takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. It takes about 36 hours for food to move through the entire colon. The whole process — from the time you swallow food to the time it leaves your body as feces — takes about two to five days, depending on the individual.”
Bodybuilders came up with the frequent meals for their muscle-building benefits. Eating 6 meals a day makes the process of assimilating protein better. If you eat 250 grams of protein a day, it’s much better eating 42 grams of protein per meal than 83 grams for 3 meals.
Improve Your Metabolism
Keith, a random guy in the internet who doesn’t believe in frequent feedings stated, “Unfortunately I have to agree that eating 6 times per day does TECHNICALLY boost your metabolism, but so does eating 1, 2, or 3 times per day.” Keith likes to take the bodybuilding rules and manipulate them so they fit into HIS lifestyle. “The thermic effect of food is one of the components of metabolism along with resting metabolic rate and the exercise component,” is what is validated at Wikipedia.com.
But it’s not necessarily about the meals per sa. Studies show that eating protein-rich meals frequently boosts your metabolism. The key word here is, protein. Bodybuilding is about gaining the edge. Using your natural resources to amp-up, to whatever degree, what you are doing. The problem is when the general public tries to use bodybuilding standards for their fad diets or laxed lifestyle.
The thermic effect is the energy your body expends to digest and use the food you ingest. This themic effect is highest for protein, followed by carbs and fasts, not just “calories” in general.
The 6 Meals a Day Plan
The 6 meals a day plan is not just to lose fat, build muscle, or condition your body. It won’t work unless you are eating nutrient-rich meals balanced in the macronutrients you need. The more structured you eat, the better the results you get. A balanced meal is not a piece of chicken; it’s not a baked potato either. A balanced meal contains a complete protein, essential fat, and either a complex carb OR a non-starchy vegetable (NSV).
Example of Meal Plan
- Breakfast – 4-6 egg whites with 1-2 yolks and 1/2 cup to 1 cup of oatmeal
- Snack – Protein drink
- Lunch – 3-6 oz chicken breast and baked potato
- Snack – Protein drink
- Dinner – 3-6 oz steak and roasted asparagus
- Snack – Protein drink
But What’s Most Important is…
Stop wasting time and start using your resources to change your body. You have to start now if you want to build a better body. Clean up your diet, make a plan, and stick to it. If you do that, you will start seeing changes in just weeks. For more guidance, see below…