Research has shown that people who eat five to six meals per day are able to lose more fat and stay leaner than those people who only consume three meals a day.
The absence of food causes the stomach to secrete a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is referred to as the “hunger hormone”. It exerts its effects by slowing down fat utilization and increasing appetite. Without consistent food consumption, ghrelin levels remain elevated for extended periods of time, increasing the urge to eat. Frequent meals counteract these negative effects Blood sugar is better regulated and because there is an almost constant flow of food into the stomach the hunger-inducing effects of ghrelin are suppressed, reducing the urge to binge-out.
To make the task of eating frequently a little less arduous, it is beneficial to prepare several meals in advance, store them in plastic containers and reheat them in a microwave on an as-needed basis, for maybe taking to work, or whilst traveling. By doing this allows you to consolidate preparation, thereby heightening efficiency. Another alternative is to supplement your basic meals with meal replacement powders (MRP’s) these “engineered foods” provide the ultimate in convenience. They are nutritionally balanced, easily transportable, and can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Over the long-term, these factors make them an excellent aid in the pursuit of lasting weight management. In fact, fat loss programs that use MRP’s are significantly more successful than those that don’t. In most cases, you can substitute these meal replacements for either of your daily meal.
There are also many nutritional bars on the market at the moment and these bars come in a wide array of different flavors and are often quite tasty. But you must check the nutritional content of these bars if you are going to use them, as some of them are just glorified, sugar containing snack bars. Look for ones that have adequate amounts of protein and moderate carbs, and low sugars. Don’t be too concerned if, at the outset, you find it difficult to eat so frequently. It has been said that any activity done consistently for one month becomes a habit, and diet is no exception. For some it might take a little longer and for others not quite so long, but if you adhere to the same nutritional protocol on a consistent basis, then it will become ingrained into your subconscious. Eventually, eating every few hours will be second nature.