A very important factor in losing fat is controlling your metabolism. Your metabolism controls the rate at which you burn calories. With a low metabolism, you don't burn many calories. With a high metabolism, you burn many more calories. Obviously, if you want to burn fat, you need to burn calories. The higher you can get your metabolism, the faster you will burn calories, so the faster you will burn fat.
What is one way to increase your metabolism? You eat! Think of it this way, if you are just sitting in your chair, your body isn't doing much. But if you are eating, that means that your body has to burn energy just to digest that food. This means that if you can keep your body burning food continuously during the day, it will increase your metabolism and hence you will burn fat faster. How do you do this? You eat five to six meals a day.
Yes, you read that right. Forget the 'three square' meals a day concept. It is bad for your health. Why? Because three meals a day causes major spikes up and down in your metabolism. It takes about 3 hours to digest a meal. This means if you only eat three meals a day, there are several hours between each meal where your body is not digesting food. When your body is finished digesting food, your metabolism drops off. This means less calories being burned. Say you follow this schedule of 3 meals a day: Breakfast at 7AM, Lunch at 12PM, and Dinner at 6pm. You eat your breakfast at 7AM. Your metabolism goes up while your body digests the meal. By 10AM or so, your body is finished digesting it. That means that for the 2 hours between this point and 12PM when you eat lunch, your metabolism drops off. Hence for 2 hours your are burning less calories. Now you eat lunch at 12pm and your body starts digesting that meal. Your metabolism goes back up until about 3pm when it is finished digesting and your metabolism drops off again. Now for the 3 hours between 3PM and 6PM, your metabolism is slower. You eat your 6PM meal and your metabolism increases until 9PM when the meal is finished digesting. Then you don't eat another meal until the next day at 7AM. This means that your metabolism dropped for 10 hours! Out of those 24 hours, you've wasted 15 hours with a low metabolism! 62% of your time is wasted.
Now, switch this to six meals a day. Space them 3 hours apart. This means that every 3 hours, your body finishes digesting the last meal. Then you immediately throw more food for it to digest. Your body is constantly digesting, so it's constantly operating at an elevated metabolism. Rather than wasting 15 hours a day, you are wasting perhaps 6 hours a day (sleeping). Your time wasted per day has dropped to 25%. A much lower number. Here is an alternate eating schedule: 7AM - eat breakfast, 10AM - eat mid-morning snack, 12PM - eat Lunch, 3PM - eat afternoon snack, 6PM - eat dinner, 9PM - eat evening snack.
Now don't think that by eating 6 meals a day you are going to be doubling the food you eat in a day. In fact you will eat the same amount of food you normally eat, the difference is you've spread it out over twice the meals. This essentially means you are eating half the food you normally eat at each meal. Now, these 6 meals will be 6 small meals. In correlation with eating 6 small meals a day, you must learn the concept of portion control. This will be the subject of a future blog.
I know it's hard to believe that eating more meals can cause you to lose weight. I was very skeptical of this rule myself, when I started on my effort to lose weight. For a good 6 months, I followed proper nutrition, but stuck to 3 meals a day. I lost a few pounds, but not much. After those 6 months, I was unhappy with my progress, so in desperation, I decided to try the 6 meals a day routine. As soon as I did this, the weight started flying off! I've been doing this ever since. Don't make the same mistake I did and waste 6 months being skeptical. Try it. It will work.