How Many Times per Day to Eat for Healthy Weight Loss?

by | Apr 19, 2012 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

You have probably read it a few times at various online sites that you can aid your weight loss program by switching to “several small meals during the day”. Most fail to explain in clear terms what precisely they mean by it. Today I will explain the size and how many ‘small meals’ you should eat to aid your weight loss plan.

First, switch to smaller meals.

When humans evolved, we foraged for food i.e. we ate what we found and so we ate many small meals throughout the day. We moved from place to place and if the opportunity presented itself, hunted game. The food we ate typically consisted of fresh fruit, edible roots, flowers and leaves (we probably imitated the monkeys and gorillas). The energy in turn was spent in foraging / walking great distances and hunting game.

Over time, our digestive system and body logic evolved to understand that many small meals during the day indicated plenty of food whereas, one or two meals a day or worse, no meals during the day, indicated food scarcity. Similarly, it associated irregularity of meals with problems in gathering food. This many small meals = good times body logic took tens of thousands of years to develop.

Today humans may have adopted a different approach to food (three meals a day approach). Unfortunately, our body intelligence and logic has not changed – it will take another few thousand years to evolve and incorporate the change. In the meantime, the body is and will continue to assume that we are going through a tough period of food scarcity and aided with high-fat or junk food diet, has been busy accumulating fat in the mistaken belief that the food scarcity will soon require the accumulated fat resources.

While we cannot go back to our foraging techniques, we can breakup our existing two square meals into several small meals and aid our weight loss goal.

Start eating 5 or 6 times per day to lose weight.

The easy but imperfect way to do so is to visualize (or physically accumulate the two meals into one large serving plate) and then – divide the entire quantity into five or six small portions.

A better way is to start your day with a large (12oz) green smoothie. Thereafter, every two hours have an 8oz glass of a different green smoothie or a small plate of mixed fruit and half a glass of low-fat milk. You can also eat a small turkey or chicken or tuna sandwich or a small bowl of salad, and so on. The theme is small quantity and low fat. Be creative.

Remember that these small meals are in replacement of your lunch and dinner and not in addition to lunch and dinner.

Once your body realizes that food is being consumed throughout the day, it will assume that good times have arrived and stop accumulating fat. Whatever eaten (non-greasy, non-junk) food will instead be converted into energy and kept ready for utilization.

For the strategy to work, you should utilize this energy (by exercising) otherwise the excess energy (sugar) in the blood could lead to diabetes. So

no more fat accumulation + energy utilization through exercise = weight loss.

Everything is inter-connected. Rather than blindly following a prescribed path, the trick is to understand the path and how it works. Once you have understood the basics, achieving your weight loss goal is relatively easy.