All I heard when I was growing up from family, friends, colleagues, was “eat little and often, that’s the way to see results”. Is there evidence to back this theory up?
The short answer is, no. No study has backed this information up. In fact, studies have actually signalled towards increased Body mass Index, waist circumference and obesity risk.
There has also been several studies where the calories have been equal in both groups, group one having 3 meals per day, group two having 6 smaller meals per day, they concluded that increasing meal frequency does not promote greater body weight loss.
There was a similar study, this time on Type 2 diabetic patients where they followed at 12 week hypoenergetic (less calories than usual) diet split in to 2 meals vs 6 meals. The subjects that had 2 the 2 meals lost more waist circumference (5.14cm vs 1.37cm), improved oral glucose sensitivity was larger and there was a greater thermogenic response of larger meals, which means you burn extra calories.
So if studies are anything to go by, which they most certainly are, in order to lose body fat, maintain muscle and stay more healthy, the answer would be that the old phrase of “Eat little and often” is definitely not the way to go. As long as you adhere to your diet, do whatever works best for you.
The only time eating meals more frequently would appear to be more beneficial is if you are in a phase of trying to gain muscle, where studies back this up.
I learnt all of this information during my course with Martin Macdonald
Here is a lovely picture of myself and Martin himself having a jolly old time on his trip to Dubai earlier this year. Clearly very proud of his Triceps 😂💪🏽