Benefits/Significance of Small Frequent Meals
Most of us were raised with the idea of three squares (meals) a day for good health. For this, we owe thanks to the Great Depression! The idea behind three squares a day is, and always has been, a very good concept. However, the dietary habits of today’s society have changed how we actually follow the three squares concept. As a result, people have gained more weight & nutritional intake has worsened. Convenience is a killer and survival is too easy. A study published in the British Medical Journal showed that 6+ intakes (properly balanced) each day had beneficial total and LDL-cholesterol lowering properties when compared to two or fewer intakes each day. This study showed that healthful eating patterns spread out over 4hr increments (2-4hrs is preferable), in addition to other healthy lifestyle behaviors, can lower cholesterol. Furthermore, the body is better able to metabolize food in small increments vs. large ones = successful wt loss & better cholesterol levels.
What do frequent meals do for you? Here are a few of the benefits:
• Increased metabolic rate (Thermogenic Effect of Food)
• Increased energy level
• Reduced storage of calories as body fat (The liver & Kidneys can only hold so much energy)
• Reduced hunger and cravings (Satiety)
• Better regulation of blood sugar and blood insulin levels
• Better absorption and utilization of nutrients
• Keeps us in a positive nitrogen balance and anabolic vs. catabolic in concerns of muscle
To help you begin eating small, frequent, meals/snacks throughout the day, consider these pointers:
1. Be consistent with your caloric intake and spread your calories evenly among meals and snacks throughout the day. Try to eat every 2-4hrs that you are awake. Being consistent also helps measure progress.
2. To lower cholesterol cut out high saturated fat foods (like marbled meats, butter, cheese, baked goods and fast foods) and high cholesterol foods (animal products like butter, cheese, & cream)
3. Note that successful cholesterol lowering and weight loss strategies include engaging in intense and sustained aerobic activity 5-7 days of the week. Do your HIIT cardio!
4. Portion control is key! Small, frequent meals mean – small, controlled portions of energy. If you feel hungry eat more “free” veggies they will assist you in elevating the metabolism and are packed with benefits! A meal can be as big as you want it to be if you build it the right way.
5. Drink plenty of water throughout the day throughout the day to augment fat loss. Drinking 1 qt = energy expenditure of 100 Kcal daily. This = about 10# a year.
If you currently eat only one or two meals each day and find yourself skipping breakfast or lunch, gaining weight, and have low energy levels it is of no surprise. Start adding small quantities of healthful foods during these meal and snack times (Free Veggies, Nuts/seeds, Fruit, Low Fat Cheese). Make a meal plan and stock up on quick and healthy snack items so that you can “grab and go”. Being prepared in advance can make or break a meal plan! Small changes in your meal pattern can have a huge and positive impact on your weight, metabolism, and cholesterol.

Author's Bio: 

Dino Pierce is a nationally known Professional Speaker, Published Author, Sports Nutritionist, Certified Fitness Trainer, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Insulin Pump Trainer, Program Coordinator for a Successful Outpatient Diabetes Program and a Success Coach. Through successful experiences counseling patients, athletes, and clients he developed a reputation as a passionate/spiritual coach, mentor, and friend. Dino teaches others how they too can achieve all of their unique desires. His enthusiasm and devotion are contagious; Dino has helped numerous clients overcome mountains equipping them for success. Dino has developed a systematic success program outlined in his books, audio programs, live events, and videos.

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