Debunking The Idea That 5 Mini-Meals A Day Are Better Than 3???

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Joined: Jan 08
Posts: 520

Posted: 04 Dec 2012, 16:37
The title of this photo-journal doesn't really speak to the topic they cover. It's more about how lower or higher levels of insulin affect our weight.

Interesting. But just further proves that nobody knows what they are talking about when it comes to weight loss. Every new discovery contradicts the last!



Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 916

Posted: 04 Dec 2012, 16:42
the multi meals a day nonsense has always been rubbish

calories in (preferably healthy ones mainly) vs calories out

Joined: Jan 08
Posts: 520

Posted: 04 Dec 2012, 16:45
But it's interesting that they are saying that the multiple meals keep our insulin levels elevated - steady, yes, but elevated - and that makes us store more fat. So even snacks between meals can be responsible for this effect. And this actually makes sense when you think of how society has gone from a 3 square meals a day regimen to munching all the time (and on high calorie crap, too).



Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

Posted: 04 Dec 2012, 17:36
What's missing from that article is actual human research.
Meal frequency has been studied in humans - and no direct effect on body mass has been found. In other words, if fewer meals helps indirectly limit calorie intake because of satiety/less overall hunger/etc., then it can be relevant. But because meal frequency has no direct effect on energy balance and weight loss, then everyone is free to eat in whatever pattern is most effective for them personally - whatever helps minimize their hunger, reduce total energy intake, maximize exercise performance, and overall mood.

See, e.g.,:
Effects of meal frequency on metabolic profiles and substrate partitioning in lean healthy males.
CONCLUSION: The higher rise and subsequently fall of insulin in the LFr diet did not lead to a higher fat oxidation as hypothesized. The LFr diet decreased glucose levels throughout the day (AUC) indicating glycemic improvements. RMR and appetite control increased in the LFr diet, which can be relevant for body weight control on the long term.

Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet.
However, there were NS differences between the low- and high-MF groups for adiposity indices, appetite measurements or gut peptides (peptide YY and ghrelin) either before or after the intervention. We conclude that increasing MF does not promote greater body weight loss under the conditions described in the present study.

Compared with nibbling, neither gorging nor a morning fast affect short-term energy balance in obese patients in a chamber calorimeter
CONCLUSIONS: In the short term, meal frequency and a period of fasting have no major impact on energy intake or expenditure

Meal frequency and energy balance.
More importantly, studies using whole-body calorimetry and doubly-labelled water to assess total 24 h energy expenditure find no difference between nibbling and gorging. Finally, with the exception of a single study, there is no evidence that weight loss on hypoenergetic regimens is altered by meal frequency. We conclude that any effects of meal pattern on the regulation of body weight are likely to be mediated through effects on the food intake side of the energy balance equation.

Frequency of feeding, weight reduction and energy metabolism.
There was no significant effect of the feeding frequency on the rate of weight loss, fat mass loss or fat-free mass loss. Furthermore, fat mass and fat-free mass contributed equally to weight loss in subjects on both gorging and nibbling diet. Feeding frequency had no significant effect on SMR after two or four weeks of dieting. The decrease in SMR after four weeks was significantly greater in subjects on the nibbling diet. 24 h EE and DIT were not significantly different between the two feeding regimens.

Effect of the pattern of food intake on human energy metabolism.
EE in free-living conditions was measured over the 2 weeks with doubly-labelled water (average daily metabolic rate, ADMR). The three major components of ADMR are basal metabolic rate (BMR), diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) and EE for physical activity (ACT). There was no significant effect of meal frequency on 24 h EE or ADMR. Furthermore, BMR and ACT did not differ between the two patterns. DIT was significantly elevated in the gorging pattern, but this effect was neutralized by correction for the relevant time interval. With the method used for determination of DIT no significant effect of meal frequency on the contribution of DIT to ADMR could be demonstrated.

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 1,368

Posted: 05 Dec 2012, 00:38
Yeah, science has debunked this. Look up "insulin, an undeserved bad reputation." Also, do some research on intermittent fasting. I recommend it.

I was skeptical because I believed the myth for so long. I put it to the test with great results. Some days I only eat one large meal. It has made no difference in my weight loss. I am actually outpacing what the calories show I should have lost by now.
Consume whatever foods you prefer, whenever you prefer to consume them, while ensuring nutrient sufficiency and meeting caloric goals.

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 287

Posted: 13 Dec 2012, 11:46
@Diablo360X I love that quote. It sums up all "dieting". I was laughed at when I used the words, "lifestyle change" but I really wanted to start eating better. Don't get me wrong I do take the easy way out during lunch a lot of times and buy a healthy choice frozen meal, but I make a fresh salad every morning, I've tried eating more fish, decreased my portion sizes, eat at least two fruits a day and if I go out to a restaurant I look at the menu and nutrition facts prior in order not to go crazy. I'm changing and if I don't lose another pound at least I'll feel better. Thanks for that.

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

Posted: 13 Dec 2012, 14:55
It has been estimated that 80% of excess calories Americans consume come from snacks. Americans do not need to be encouraged to eat between meals. It is already our downfall.

Johnson concluded that extra insulin produced in the normal mice by the high-fat diet caused their obesity, which strongly suggests that mice – and, by extension, humans – may make more insulin than they need.

Keep in mind that fat is not a normal part of the mouse diet, so it was only normal that healthy mice fed fat would become obese.

Fat is, however, a part of the human diet, one which our digestive system is able to use for energy as the lean mice did, at least provided there is not an excess of total calories.

If minimizing insulin production is potentially healthy for mice, and minimizing insulin production in humans has the potential for being healthier than maximizing insulin production, an obvious conclusion they tiptoed around would be that humans should eat a moderate or lower carbohydrate diet to minimize production of insulin. I guess that would have been too iconoclastic, or perhaps the research was funded by agribusiness, which makes their profit by processing a few pennies worth of wheat and selling it to consumers for big bucks.

One thing that the research did not support or even address was the idea that this will lead to a pill people can take to end obesity. The reporters probably felt the story would get more readers if they threw that in.

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