Meal Frequency for Better Body Composition

When attempting to make a body transformation, there are a number of places you can start to make changes.  These include getting on an appropriate exercise program, improving the quality of food you eat, and changing some of the priorities in your life to reflect your desired improvement in health and performance. Another important habit for improving body composition is increased meal frequency. Most people eat an average of 3 times per day, but many times this does not even include a proper breakfast. This infrequent meal timing can have very negative effects on the health and appearance of our body.  Ultimately, you should aim for eating between 5 and 6 times a day, which works out to a meal every 3 hours or so.  Here are some of the reasons why eating more often can help you look and feel better.

FEWER TOTAL CALORIES

One of the mechanisms behind the success of high-frequency feedings is lower overall energy intake. By constantly having small meals and avoiding the feeling of hunger, you are more likely to eat fewer calories throughout the day. By waiting until you are hungry, you are likely to overeat once or more times per day, leading to a higher daily caloric intake. When attempting to lose body weight, it is important to remember that your calories ingested has to be lower than calories burned, otherwise you will get frustrated by a lack of results.

INCREASED INSULIN SENSITIVITY

Another reason why body composition may be improved with increased meal frequency is an increase in insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone in our body that is responsible for shuttling glucose into our cells after we eat. Insulin is also responsible for storing energy as body fat, especially around the abdomen. Perpetually high levels of insulin are also associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes. When insulin sensitivity is low, your body has to produce more and more insulin until its desired function is carried out. By eating more frequently, insulin sensitivity is increased, helping to deter the deposition of body fat, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

BETTER NUTRIENT UPTAKE

                There is a limit to how many nutrients our body can absorb and store at any given time. When you let yourself get to a point where you are suffering from hunger pains, you are likely to overeat to compensate for this feeling. As a result, your body will not be able to take all of the nutrients out in time, or have a place to store it all. This means a lot of this food goes to waste. By eating less, more often, we allow our body to extract and store all available nutrients. This way, we are constantly ensuring our body is topped up with fuel and ready for any physical demands required of it.

As you can see, the traditional three meals a day approach isn’t ideal. Do yourself a favour, and plan out your snacks and meals ahead of time, so you can make sure you are making appropriate decisions about how you fuel your body.

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