Eating to lose weight requires you to do three things:
- Eat the right foods
- Consume the right amounts
- Eat 4 to 6 times a day
If you eat the right types of foods in the right amounts and add a solid exercise program to the mix, your body will constantly melt fat.
Why You Should Eat 4 to 6 Times Daily
The first rule of eating to lose weight is to eat between four and six times a day. That means you eat roughly every three to four hours.
Wait, why do I have to eat so darn often?
Very good question. It seems counter intuitive to eat so much if the goal is to lose weight right?
Let’s compare your metabolism to a fireplace. When you throw wood into the fire, what happens? The flames grow.
When you throw food into your fireplace (your metabolism), it burns more intensely. In other words, you burn calories when you eat calories!
“Skipping meals (or leaving long gaps between meals) is the cardinal sin of fat burning and muscle-building nutrition. Missing meals slows down your metabolism, causes muscle loss and triggers your body’s starvation responses.” — Mike Geary, author of The Fat Burning Kitchen
Here’s something that may surprise you…
As a Personal Fitness Trainer, the problem for most of my clients isn’t necessarily that they eat too much. The problem was that they do not eat frequently enough!
Most of my clients only eat two or three large meals a day. If you want to gain lots of fat, that’s how you do it. Odd, I KNOW, but it’s TRUE.
Eating small meals frequently is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism – an important ingredient for weight loss.
By the way, if you know people who don’t eat much but stay lean, they have a genetic advantage. Period.
What’s best – 4, 5, or 6 meals a day?
There is little argument that you should eat more than 2 or 3 times a day. There are different views as to exactly how many times you should eat to lose weight.
Some experts say 4 times, others say 5, many say 6.
Here’s the scoop – the way I see it…
Definitely eat 5 to 6 times a day if you have a slow metabolism or you sit a lot (like at work).
If you have a super slow metabolism and you’re not very active, it’s more important for you to eat 6 times so you can force your metabolism to work at high speed all day.
You can get results eating fewer than 6 meals, but you probably won’t lose weight quite as fast.
What’s a good meal size?
When it comes to eating the right amount of food, there are two ways to do it. You can..
1. Watch your portions
2. Count your calories
We’re going to take a look at both, but if you want quick weight loss, count your calories. I’m going to show you how later.
If you choose the portion method, read on to find out you size up your meals.
If you’re counting calories, do some simple division.
Let’s say you’re a woman aiming for 1500 calories and five meals per day. You simply divide 1500 by 5. You’ll be eating around 300 calories per meal.
Let’s take a look at the Portion Method and the Calorie Counting Method.
I’ll give you the information. You make the choice. Fair enough?
The Portion Method
Here’s how the portion method works:
Eat a lean source of protein about the size of the palm of your hand with each meal. (THIS, my friend, is how you are able to eat 4 to 6 times per day! It’s the serving size or portion.)
Eat a portion of (good) carbohydrates equal to the size of your clenched fist.
Eat a portion of vegetables equal to or greater than your portion of carbs. Try to eat vegetables with at least 3 to 4 meals.
The portion method is not perfect. But it can work. To make it work, you have to listen to your body.
If you feel too stuffed after eating, you ate too much.
If you’re still hungry, you ate too little or you ate some empty calories (such as processed carbs). Try having a glass of water first, before deciding on eating more immediately after.
You must pay attention to your results to know if you’re eating the right amount of food.
If you’re following a solid, balanced exercise program and not losing at least two pounds a week or losing inches, most likely there’s a problem with your eating.
You’re not eating the right stuff. Or you may be eating too much. Or you’re eating too little.