We are told by multiple sources to snack regularly , eat every 3 hours and avoid skipping meals to keep our metabolism elevated. Uncertain as to when this became a trend, it has led to a lot of debate over the benefits and disadvantages and if snacking actually helps elevate metabolism or aids in weight management. So the question is ” Is snacking actually beneficial to our health, weight and metabolism or is it a bunch of hogwash?”
Let’s bust some myths.
Myth 1: Eating frequently helps rev your metabolism
We wished it were true too. At least, we would have a reason to snack in the office.
The New York Times states:
“As long as total caloric and nutrient intake stays the same, then metabolism, at the end of the day, should stay the same as well. One study that carefully demonstrated this, published in 2009, involved groups of overweight men and women who were randomly assigned to very strict low-calorie diets and followed for eight weeks. Each subject consumed the same number of calories per day, but one group took in three meals a day and the other six.
Both groups lost significant and equivalent amounts of weight. There was no difference between them in fat loss, appetite control or measurements of hormones that signal hunger and satiety. Other studies have had similar results.”
Myth 2: Snacking aids in weight management and curbs hunger
When it comes to weight management, people restrict their calorie intake and are more likely to feel hunger. Limiting calorie allowance into smaller , more frequent meals can reduce hunger. The truth is the more often you eat, the more calories you tend to consume which attacks your attempt to lose or maintain the weight. For weight management, it is important to note that with the concept “small frequent meals” , the focus is not on “frequent” but ” small “. If you are going to eat more often, eat less at each meal.
Snacking also raises insulin levels, which makes your body readily store fat. This is due to our body producing more fat-building and age accelerating hormones. With insulin levels raised, you never really allow your body to learn how to burn fat for fuel.
Mystery solved, now we know why our waistlines are expanding.
Essentially we should not be snacking for the sake of it. If you feel hungry, follow your gut. Remember that quality always beats quantity when it comes to your diet , health and weight management.