Eating more often is the key to stimulating your metabolism, we have all heard this.
Frequent meals is not a new idea but if we were to pick this sentence apart frequent would likely be defined as four to six small meals daily.
What I am getting at is to get past your next hurdle might mean eating even more frequently.
If this sounds bizarre then I have your attention so let me try to explain.
In the normal mode of exercise and nutritional programming we consider a simple equation of calories consumed versus those restricted and or expended.
Weight loss or fat loss is typically considered a simple product of a reduction or consumption of calories.
At some point it isn’t practical to exercise more, in fact I would say many people willingly cross over this point simply because they are unsure of other alternatives.
In the same sense at some point it isn’t safe to further reduce calories. As before I would say that almost all people whose primary goal is weight loss crossover this point, and in fact many consume too few calories on a daily basis even not trying to lose weight.
In consideration the objective becomes finding ways to stimulate our bodies to burn more calories without further restriction or additional exercise. The magic is that if we can achieve this our body will do so with far more precision in safety and regulation which will produce better results while maintaining health and performance. This result is strongly dependent on hormone regulation that is often damaged by significant calorie restriction or the physical stress of over exercising.
Now back to eating more often.
When we consume food our metabolic engine has no choice but to go to work.
From calories expended operating the muscles to chew the food and transport it to the stomach to the creation of the necessary stomach acids to break down the food and then begin to move it through our intestines our body is required to expend a lot of energy just processing the food we eat.
Digestion is one of the best-known calorie burners available to the person trying to make dramatic physical change, the beauty is it happens without you doing anything other than eating and continues for long periods after you eat.
Because the body is also receiving a fresh supply of nutrients with the food you consume there is no danger of hampering your metabolism in any way, in fact quite the opposite.
So if you regularly consume two meals per day and increase to four to five there will be a significant increase in calories burned and you will maintain a much higher metabolic rate throughout the day.
But for those that have already being eating four to five times per day you can still reap the same benefits by breaking your meals down even further to seven to eight small meals per day.
Now of course this may not be practical long term but for a period of three to four weeks may be the push you need to get through that stubborn hump with no rebound or detriments like those experienced with a further restriction of calories or more exercise.
The moral of the story is developing the habit of constant grazing is still the best way of feeding our bodies.
Cabel McElderry is a local personal trainer and nutrition coach. For more information on fitness and nutrition, visit the Fitness F/X website at www.oneto1fitness.com.