How many meals per day to eat for optimal health/fitness!

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http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3q8rve

3 meals and 2 snacks per day. 2 big meals per day. 6-8 small meals per day. Only 1 meal per day. These are all legitimate numbers of meals people promote eating.

Who do you listen to? Which is the MOST optimal?

These days there is SO much information out there and on top of that everyone has an opinion that they want to offer you about health/fitness.

Ask 10 people how many meals they eat per day or how many meals per day they should eat, and you will get 10 different answers! *shakes head*

So what should you do?!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that my favorite answer is it depends.

Maybe your friend loves snacking and has lots of time to prep small meals, so 6-8 small meals works great for her. But if you have a busy schedule, making the time to eat 6-8 times per day may not work well for you!

Maybe your friend isn’t hungry in the morning, enjoys feeling full and eating 2 big meals per day. If you get hungry right when you wake up and don’t enjoy huge meals, 2 big meals may not work well for you!

We get so distracted looking at what everyone else is doing on instagram and forget to think about what works best for our schedule, our preferences and our body.

And this is important because………

it doesn’t make that much difference how many meals you eat per day.

If anything, intermittent fasting may have some benefits for some people, but for the most part the overall quantity of how much you eat and the quality of what you’re eating is the most important thing.

But what about eating more often to “boost your metabolism”?!?!?!

This is a total piece of bologna. Your “metabolism” in terms of burning calories from the food you eat is equal to the energy it takes to burn the food you are eating. For example, if you eat 2000 calories per day, you will burn the amount of energy that it takes to digest those 2000 calories. No matter if you eat that all in one setting or spread out throughout the day!

So keep your eye on what is most important: eating the proper quantity of food for your body & energy level and making sure 80% of the time you are eating good quality-nutritious foods!

Action Step

Do you really have no clue how many meals to eat per day? TEST IT! For two weeks try sticking to the first eating schedule you want to try. Reflect on those two weeks and see if you liked how you felt? If it didn’t work for you, test another one for two weeks!

 

Here’s some studies about number of meals per day and how not-ground breaking it is to your health and fitness goals:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/eating-frequency-and-weight-loss

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-meals-per-day#section5

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4683169/

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