Confused about how to eat healthy for fast fat loss. That's no surprise considering how controversial this subject has become. First came the quality vs. quantity debate which shattered the myth that cutting calories is all that mattered.
Shortly after that low carb was found to
be not so effective for certain metabolic types and now grazing to lose fat fast is under attack. 5-6 small meals per day? This may or may not work to lose fat fast. It really depends on many factors. Graphic courtesy of Healthy Times blog.
Regardless of what side of this debate you're on the latest findings will help you figure out how YOU need to eat to lose fat fast and get your best body ever faster.
first learned about grazing when I read Sliced by Bill Reynolds Editor in Chief
of Flex Magazine (at the time). That book was published in 1991 but the meal
plans in the book that included anywhere from 6-8 moderate size meals per day
had been the norm for decades for anybody competing in bodybuilding and even
for some athletes. Eating 6 meals a day for fast fat loss or for weight loss eventually became the
norm for everyday people when the book Body for Life by Bill Reynolds was
released in 1999. Since then virtually every diet book that has hit the shelves
has recommended 6 meal a day for fast fat loss or weight loss.
Hunger may or may not be a dieters worst enemy. That really depends a lot on your metabolic type and the eating habits that you've learned over the years. If hunger is something that you struggle with when you reduce calorie intake for fatloss or weightloss then eating 6 small meals per day CAN help prevent diet meltdowns.
The key is to keep it small and do the calorie math. If for example your
calorie intake for fat loss or weight loss is 1500 calories per day then divide that by 6
to figure out how much to eat at each meal; 1500/6=250 calories per meal which
is not much. When you do the math for a 1200 calorie intake it's even smaller;
1200/6=200 per meal (i.e. 1 egg, 1 piece of fruit, 1 cup coffee).
If your body is constantly in a fed state it never really has a chance to burn it's fat stores. In other words your glycogen stores never have a chance to become depleted which means your body never has to tap into its fat stores for energy. Depletion typically happens 4-5 hours after a meal so if you're eating every 2-3 hours you could be blocking fat burning.
In addition researchers have found that grazing all day stresses all your major organs including your liver, pancreas, blood vessels and heart which makes it even harder for your body to burn stored fat.
There is also a psychological downside to grazing which is that you never truly feel full with tiny meals. This often leads to non-stop grazing which results in unintentional high calorie intake. The reality is that humans were designed to be fed and fasted not constantly fed like cows so if grazing is keeping you in a fed state maybe it's time to cut back on meals.
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An easy way to stop grazing is to drop two meals from your eating schedule. The best ones to drop are your mid-morning snack and your after dinner snack. The easiest way to do this is to either merge those meals with other meals or to just drop them all together if you can afford to lose those calories.
take some conscious effort on your part since changing eating habits is
hard but your body will thank you by burning more fat. If you find this feels
great you may even want to drop the 4th meal or make it optional and only have
it on days when you are feeling super hungry. Just make the switch gradually
and you will soon begin to see the difference in scale weight bodyfat measurements clothes size and especially in the mirror!