In terms of weight loss, it doesn’t matter! That’s the short answer.
You might be asking because maybe you’ve heard somewhere that eating more meals throughout the day kickstarts your metabolism into overdrive, causing your body to turn into a fat-burning Megatron.
According to this myth, when total calories are controlled, it means eating your 6 donuts across the entire day will burn more fat off your frame than having all 6 donuts in a single sitting 🙂
FYI, that was a donut (above) I had after winning a fitness model competition 🙂
What people are referring to is the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF.)
Whenever you eat ice cream, donuts, carrots, or drink a protein shake, your body’s metabolism increases slightly to break it all down.
The amount that your metabolism increases by depends on the food type and quantity.
In other words, 6 donuts will cause a larger spike in metabolism than 1 of those donuts alone. So… Brad… doesn’t that “eating more frequently” myth stand, then?
Let’s look at basic science.
In one study which looked at a whole heap of other studies, investigating meal frequencies of up to 17 meals in a single day (I know, right!) found there was no difference to body composition between nibbling and gorging.
As a competitive fitness model, I can tell you right now that two camps exist: the IFBB professional bodybuilder that will have 6–8 meals per day. And the intermittent fasting guru that will gloat the magical fat burning benefits of 1–2–3 meals per day.
Which camp stands correct, then?
If we draw from the science and the practicality of meal planning and dietary adherence, it comes down to this:
The meal frequency you create within your meal plan must work within your lifestyle.
Many competitive fitness models and athletes can drop fat on 2 meals per day using intermittent fasting protocols, or 6 to 8 meals per day.
Some eat breakfast. Some skip it. The choice is yours!
In terms of hunger control and meal plan adherence, most people prefer 3 to 6 meals per day, with snacks thrown in here and there.
Make the meal frequency you choose work around your busy schedule and lifestyle, not the other way around.
So how many meals per day do I have?
At this moment, I am eating 5 to 6 meals per day. That’s because I prefer to eat smaller calorie meals and snacks without it impacting my concentration levels (I think a lot!)
If I am bulking to build muscle, then I might need to scale this to 8–9–10 meals per day so I can get all of my 5000+ calories that I need in one day 🙂
Do you have anything you want to add? Please share in Facebook and smash the love button, it will mean the world to me!
P.S: I can teach you how to create your own meal plan to build a great body. Get 90% off lifetime enrolment for Meal Planning Mastery. Click here to learn more.