Is 6 Small Meals a Day Making You Fat?

Is 6 Small Meals a Day 
Making You Fat?

But isn't that what I'm supposed to do?
We've always been told we need to eat every couple hours to keep that metabolism burning, keep that furnace stoked! But what if I told you that advice is likely making you fat, or at the very least keeping you fat? 😱 
#sorrynotsorry if I just blew up your whole eating paradigm, but it's for your own good!

Eating every couple hours, or 6 small meals a day, is completely working AGAINST the way your body was designed.  Your body wasn't made for a constant intake of food energy (calories) all day long and when it's constantly being fed, you're more likely to be storing those calories as fat.  I mean, just think logically; does it even make sense that eating all day long would be good for weight loss? EVEN IF the food is in small portions.  

Just because you've heard advice over and over again DOESN'T mean it's good advice! Spoiler Alert: there's not one bit of scientific evidence showing that eating every couple of hours does ANYTHING to either speed up your metabolism, or burn more calories through the day.  There is however a mountain of evidence that shows it could absolutely be detrimental to your metabolism, reduce insulin sensitivity, and cause you to store more fat.

In today's episode we'll discuss: 
  • what the science says about HOW you should eat
  • what happens in your body when you eat and how to optimize it
  • what it really takes to lose weight (aka lose fat)
  • how to eat instead of 6 small meals and what it takes to do that

 Need more help with some of these concepts and want to actually KNOW how to put them in place in your life? Then make sure you're on the mailing list for the next launch of the Weight Loss and Wellness Program!   


Full transcription available at the bottom of this post

Next Group opens July 2021

Are you ready to Break Free?  
outlining 5 simple shifts to jumpstart your health!

Show Notes: 

Weight Loss & Wellness Coaching Program!
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You’ll learn to :
  • Properly set goals so you'll actually stick to them and succeed
  • Retrain your mind for success and food freedom
  • Overcome emotional eating for good
  • Create new, healthy, lasting habits for long term success, and remove habits that no longer serve you
  • Use food as fuel, how to determine what foods are right for you, and how food works in your body
  • Simple ways to incorporate movement and exercise into your busy life
Take control of your mind, your body, and your life!
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Full Transcript: 
0:00:00.0 S1: Just because you've heard something over and over again doesn't make it true, just because diet advice has been repeated even by experts, doesn't always make it good advice, if you really want change, you're gonna have to be willing to rethink some of your long-held beliefs about diet nutrition, fitness and weight loss. One of those things you're gonna have to be able to rethink is the idea of six small meals per day, something you're probably doing right now, so we're gonna discuss that today, and tell you why, it's probably something you're gonna have to change. Let's Go. 

 0:02:04.7 S1: Before we get going today, I wanna make sure you had to and make sure you are on either subscribe to the podcast or on the newsletter mailing list. I've got some really exciting things that are gonna be popping out here in the next couple of months, and I wanna make sure that you are the first to know about them, don't worry, I don't send a lot of emails, I don't spam you, but I wanna make sure that you know about what's coming, so that you can take part in it because it's gonna be real limited and it's gonna be real awesome, so head to podcast and subscribe to the podcast or coaching and get on that coaching reminder newsletter. Alright, you guys, my health and wellness journey, among many things, has taught me to be a skeptic, I at this point, question everything. Especially "conventional" wisdom when it comes to health and wellness. We clearly in this country have an epidemic of overweight people, obesity, auto-immune conditions, preventable diseases in general, the leading causes of death in this country are preventable diseases, yet somehow I'm the crazy one, for questioning the conventional wisdom that has put us in this position. I think it's crazy to not question it, so sometimes I'm wrong, sometimes I'm right, but all the time I'm gonna ask the questions, I'm gonna seek the truth, and then I'm gonna share it with you.

0:03:35.5 S1: So one of the things I started looking into and learning about was this idea that we're fed of the six small meals a day, eat every two to three hours, you've heard this advice for years from literally everyone, your doctor, your nutritionist, the Instagram guru, the trainer on TV, literally, everyone trainer at your gym, everyone, you have been told this analogy, this analogy that to keep your metabolism running, your metabolism is like a furnace, you gotta keep feeding the fire, you gotta keep it stoked, you gotta keep it burning. And the way you do that is to keep feeding the fire every two to three hours... Right, the trouble is, that is a terrible analogy for one, and it's also not at all how your body works, like just think logically for a second, like take away all the things you've heard and all the expert things that you've been told. Does it even make sense that if you eat all day, you would lose weight, like just flat on its face. Ask the question, does it make sense that if you ate food all day long, you're gonna lose weight... No, it makes zero sense.

0:04:46.5 S1: Before now, in history, has there ever been a time that humans ate all day, and has there ever been a time that we've been sicker or more overweight than we are right now, correlation... I think so. I mean, think about earlier civilizations, they hunted the gathered and then they farmed, but they did not have food to eat all day long, they maybe got two meals a day if they were having a good day, this idea of eating all day long really started about... After the 70s, late 70s, early 80s. I mean, if you think about just in this country in the early 70s, we had much less metabolic disorders, in the 70s, we were eating three square meals a day, we didn't snack, we didn't get cupcakes after a soccer game, we didn't... We didn't eat all day. We had three square meals a day, if you're as old as me or older, you had parents that were saying things like, You can't have a snack, you'll spoil your dinner, so we didn't have a neck... We waited until dinner. I truly don't know why this idea of eating every two to three hours or six small meals a day, where it came from, or why it has been so widely perpetuated, one of the reasons I don't understand it is because there is literally no scientific evidence that proves this to be beneficial to you.

0:06:11.2 S1: And when I say one, I mean one, I couldn't find one single study that showed that eating every two to three hours or six small meals a day, it was ideal for weight loss in any way, I could however, find several studies that prove that it's not true and in fact, can be very detrimental to your weight loss efforts, studies have shown that six small meals a day gives you absolutely zero advantage to your metabolism, total calories burned or overall weight loss. Let's say that one more time. For the people in the back, studies have shown that eating six small meals a day or every two to three hours gives you absolutely zero advantage to your metabolism, total calories, Burg or overall weight loss, period. It is not helping you in any way, and in fact, I'm gonna talk to you about the ways that it's probably hurting because more than likely, it's going to make you feel hungry and actually consume more calories than you need in a day, it's gonna impair your ability to tap into the store fat to burn, and it actually just goes against the way your body is physically designed to work.

0:07:19.8 S1: Let's talk about that. What happens when we eat calorie energy? Calories in calorie is just another word for energy, energy in, in the form of some kind of food and or beverage when you eat, it begins a cascade of chemical and hormonal responses in your body, food into the stomach makes the summit grow. That starts a process of releasing insulin and several other hormones, your blood sugar rises, it kind of starts off all of these chemical processes and the digestion process, those are the three main signals, the insulin, the stomach growth in the blood sugar that are signaling to your brain that you are satisfied and you can stop eating once the food starts digesting and gets into your intestines, that calorie energy is being broken down and sent to all your cells either for use or for storage, your stomach shrinks back down, your insulin and blood sugar drop back down to their normal levels, and your brain will then start receiving signals at saying, hey, we could eat again, everything dropped back down, let's eat. If you are constantly putting calorie energy into your body, your body doesn't have time for all these remodel processes to take place, this is why eating less frequent meals has shown overall to decrease hunger and increase satiety, so satiety just being...

0:08:47.2 S1: Feeling satisfied, feeling like you had enough, eating less frequent meals has been shown overall to decrease hunger and increase satiety, studies have shown that over the course of the day, those who eat less frequent but larger meals have overall lower blood sugar levels than those who eat several small meals, this is very important for those of you with blood sugar problems or if you have way to lose, because when your insulin levels are constantly elevated from this constant consumption of energy, your body's ability to burn fat is impaired, basically eating every two hours results in a constantly elevated blood sugar level and insulin level, which reduces your ability to burn that store fat, your body is designed to have a lower baseline blood sugar level that raises after you eat and then Lowers back down to its baseline again, so when it's constantly elevated like that because it's constantly receiving food, it just goes into storage mode, chronically elevated insulin, creates higher percentage of storage as fat eating all day long creates chronically higher levels of insulin. Are we seeing good connection here? So when you're trying to lose weight, what you're actually trying to do is lose that, you're not trying to lose bone mass, you're not trying to lose muscle mass, you're not trying to lose water weight, 'cause you'll gain that...

0:10:16.3 S1: Right back, when you say you're trying to lose weight. You are trying to lose fat. When you consume calorie energy, your body at that moment decides how much of that calorie energy do I need to use right away, and how much of that calorie energy can I store for later when you eat more food energy than your body needs it, stores it and it stores it away in your fat, that's an amazing process that literally has kept humans alive for centuries, our ability to store energy to access it later. I mean, if you really think about it, that is an amazing miraculous thing that our body can do to keep us alive, and then later if there's a shortage of food energy, there's no food coming in, we can tap in to those fat stores and release the energy stored within and use it. This process is what is called fat burning, right? So everyone who's trying to lose weight, everyone who's going to the gym to burn fat, this is what you're trying to do, you are trying to tap into those energy reserves that are stored in your fat, however, if you are constantly putting food energy into your body, your body never needs to tap in to store fat for energy, meaning you're never gonna burn fat, aka...

0:11:38.3 S1: You will not lose weight. So back to that analogy about Stoking The Fire, when you eat constantly during the day, every two hours, every six man meals a day, you're not actually stoking the fire, you are just smothering the fire with too much fuel, effectively being able to tap into that store fat and burn, it is a pretty complex system, but essentially it requires a couple real main things, number one, you have to have no calories, no some energy coming in, so that your body is forced to use a stored energy... This is not the same as a calorie restriction diet, this would look more like fasting or not eating for a few hours. There is some really amazing science coming out about fasting that we will talk about, but I just wanna throw that out there at you for right now, the other thing that we need on board is hormone balance, so again, that's that insulin balance, that blood sugar balance, and the rest of your hormones, those are required to be in balance so that you are able to tap into that store fat and also not store more fat, and the third thing is being able to teach your body to not rely on carbs and glucose coming in for fuel, but teaching your body that it can access that store fat, most of us, almost all of us are sugar burners, we require a constant stream of glucose coming into our body for energy, that's why we're eating all day, because we are not efficient at tapping into those stored fat reserves, so we have to retrain our body, and there are some ways to do that that I'm not gonna get into today, but just know that being able to tap into that fat is an intricate process, and it requires a lot of steps, and it requires probably a lot of changes in action and intact, in addition, a recent study has shown that eating small frequent meals dramatically increases liver and abdominal fat contributing to say liver and obesity, this is related to the constantly raised blood sugar and resulting insulin sensitivity.

0:13:50.8 S1: So six small meals a day, eating every two to three hours is raising that blood sugar and keeping it raised, like we said, resulting in insulin insensitivity, resulting in that abdominal fat that visceral fat, that's the real bad kind of have... And fatty liver. So back to that analogy again, the analogy says that If you feed... If you stoke the fire all day, if you stoke the metabolism all day, you're really revving that metabolism... Well, we should probably talk about how your metabolism actually works, your metabolism most simply is just the chemical process of how your cells use the calories, the energy from food to carry out all of its cellular functions. So if the amount of calories in a day is the same, the timing of the intake of those calories doesn't really seem to matter too much overall in terms of calorie burn, so the rate that you use or store energy, that's your metabolic rate has much more to do with factors like age and gender and your muscle to fat ratio, the amount of physical activity, hormone functioning, it has a lot more to do with all of those things than it does with meal timing, there's no biological reason why six meals would affect your metabolic rate differently than just eating food at different times of the day, and it doesn't affect the rate at which calories are burned for energy, so in other words, the number of meals you eat per day has little to no effect on total calories burnt in a day.

0:15:28.8 S1: Are we seeing the connection here, so it doesn't affect the number of calories burnt in a day, but eating six meals a day can affect how many calories you actually eat in a day, studies have shown that six-month meals will actually increase your hunger leading you to eat more calories than you actually need, this is because your body is designed to eat until it feels satisfied, that's that satiety word again, even if you intend to eat a small meal, chances are it'll be more calories than you intended because your body and hormones and your brain, all want you to eat until your full... Your body wants you to eat until you are satisfied, trying to stop eating before your... Decide that you are satisfied requires a ton of will power, and we know that biology is always going to beat will power, what your body physiologically is telling you to do is always going to win over you, white knocking through... Truly, you're setting yourself up for failure, trying to eat these tiny little meals all day long, lots of people think they're eating these small meals because that's the way that they are kind of reducing calorie intake during the day, not understanding clearly that it's totally back, firing and you know, this is true, because if you've ever tried to eat those small meals, like I'm only gonna have half an apple and some peanut butter, that generally doesn't make you feel full, it doesn't make you feel satisfied, certainly not as much as an actual meal would have made you feel...

0:17:04.3 S1: So I think I've shown pretty clearly that eating every two hours, eating all day long, eating these six small meals a day are not increasing the rate of calories burned in your metabolism, it actually is increasing the amount of fat your body is probably storing... It's not helping you burn any extra fat, it's really not helping you lose weight, it's probably resulting in you eating more calories during the day, and it's also contributing to metabolic is undone by keeping your blood sugar in your blood sugar high all day and decreasing insulin sensitivity in your body, so there really is no metabolic or physiological advantage to eating six small meals a day. So what do we do instead? What is a better option? For health and weight loss goals, well, you probably won't be surprised to hear that you're gonna transition into eating larger, less frequent meals, this starts with ditching that snacking mentality, so whether you're eating six mammals or you're eating, say three meals plus snacks, you're gonna start getting rid of the snacks and just doing the three satisfying meals, you're gonna eat those three well-balanced meals about every four to six hours, this allows your body plenty of time to complete its metabolic and hormonal processes and reach into your stored fat between meals if it needs to.

0:18:33.2 S1: Your body is perfectly capable and actually prefers to go those four to six hours without eating, if you're freaking out about that, I'm gonna tell you why... What's happening in your body? And I'm telling you what to do about it. So if we're only eating three meals a day, what we eat for those meals becomes extremely important, doesn't it? So for example, if I go to McDonald's and eat, a burger and fries, that's a lot of calories, that is not going to be satisfying to my body, it's very high in calories and it's very low in nutrients, so my blood sugar spikes, but my gut bacteria is saying like, Oh, we didn't get what we need, you should probably keep eating, even though I just ingested a ton of calories, so I'm gonna keep feeling hungry and I'm gonna store all those extra calories as fat and my blood sugar raised, which now it's gonna crash and then I'm gonna be super hungry again and no time hungry, even if you will, compare that to eating a big chicken salad, if I have a chicken tell and it's full of lots of good veggies and some good protein from chicken, and it's got some good fats in the dressing or move some avocados, my gut bacteria and my body are telling my brain, yeah, we got what, We need who our calories, we got all of our nutrients, we've got everything we need, you can stop eating and you probably don't need to eat again in a while 'cause we'll just process all of this, how your body reacts is totally different, so in order to go longer between meals, those have to be good meals with all of your macronutrients and all of your micronutrients.

0:20:12.7 S1: Generally, I teach the plate method when it comes to making a meal, you're gonna have about half of your plate is gonna be in non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of your plate is a good protein source, and then the other quarter of your plate is good fats, healthy fats with some starchy carbs and... Or fruit as tolerated, the amount of starchy carbs and that people tolerate really is kind of a personal thing, some people can eat a lot more, start to curb, some people eat a lot less and are better off that way. That's something that you have to play with while you're eating that satisfying meal, you are going to do it slowly, and you're going to do it intentionally so that your brain has time to receive the signals from your body that says, wore full. Were satisfied. You can stop eating now. But you have to eat slow enough, you've scarf down that burger, and in two seconds flat, your brain has not registered that you are full yet, even though you just ate a ton of calories, so you're gonna make this transition slowly over time, because here's what's happening in your body right now, and here's what's happening in most of our bodies, and this is for me a personal issue too, because this is what happens in my body, and it's something that I'm currently really trying to overcome, so I'm gonna tell you what I'm doing to do this, this will be an ongoing subject in the podcast by the way, how to get Taras body to burn stored body fat.

0:21:43.3 S1: So the way most of us eat right now, we are glucose burners, where sugar burners, our body requires a constant influx of glucose in order to function because we are not efficient at grabbing the store calories in fat and using it, we have lost that ability of it, because we have this non-stop intake of calories, most of them from glucose, aka carbs, processed foods, starchy foods, so if the side of going four to six hours without eating for you is like, there's no possible way... Here's the reason, you are a sugar burner and your body right now requires you to keep giving it glucose in order to keep functioning because it is not accessing host or fat cells over time, you're gonna make this transition. If you try to make it too fast, you're gonna get angry if you decide, I'm just not gonna eat for a few hours, you're gonna get hungry... You can only do that, you can only not eat for four to six hours if the meal that you just had was fully satisfying with enough protein and enough slow carbs and enough that he's in enough nutrients and enough that if it was a good meal, you'll be able to make it, if it was not a good meal, you'll get hungry in less than four to six hours, you'll notice that if you get hungry, it's because your blood sugar has completely tanked, that means your blood sugar is not balanced instead of just going up when you eat and then back down to baseline, when you eat, it goes up and then it takes down below baseline.

0:23:26.3 S1: That is when you get hangry. So being able to balance that blood sugar is going to be essential to this process, how do you balance your blood sugar will you have to eat better food and you have to eat enough of it. Okay, that's pretty much the most simple way I could put that. Now, I wanna be really clear that moving to three meals a day is not a calorie restriction program, you are eating until you're done eating, you are learning to listen to the signals that your body is giving you. This is a strategy to be able to understand and get clear signals from your body about its actual energy needs, about how to balance its blood sugar, about how to tap into those fat stores, you're kind of re-teaching your body how to do this, but we have to get out of its way, we have to stop putting all of these real strict calorie parameters around it, all these real strict eating parameters around it, have to eat good food, and we have to eat teller full, and then we have stop... The very best way to get healthy and to lose weight is to work with your body and not against it, all of these diets, all of these things that you've tried in the past are trying to manipulate your body into working a certain way, but it's not the way it wants to work, forcing your body to function in ways that it wasn't designed to is only going to result in long-term frustration and failure.

0:25:01.6 S1: So instead, I want you to learn and understand how to work with your body, and that is what I want to teach you. And that is what I am non-stop learning for myself as well as I learn, you learn and as I grow, you get to grow to... And that's what I wanna bring you in this podcast, it's what I wanna bring you in the programs and the other things that I am creating right now that I'm very excited about, I wanna bring you into that world because the more you understand about how your body works, the more you understand about how your mind works and the more you understand about how they work together, the more successful you will be, and I want that so much for you, I want this to just be second nature, I don't want... Have to think about it anymore. I want you to just be that... Right. So that's where we're going. I hope this was really helpful. I hope I was able to kind of give you a different perspective than what you may be getting from mainstream, and I hope I gave you a lot of food for thought on intended.

0:26:04.8 S2: Alright, my friends. Until we talk again. Next time be well.

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