You've heard plenty of advice about eating smaller meals more frequently to rev up metabolism. Some studies show a benefit and others don't.
So which advice should you follow? The theory is that the more often you eat throughout the day, the faster your metabolism, and the more calories your body will burn throughout the day.
The French have what they call the "goûter" around 4 pm. A study in France has shown significant improvement in Body Mass Index (BMI) from this simple habit. The study states:
"The "goûter"… has the biological characteristics of a meal because it is eaten in response to hunger. Suppressing the "goûter" in "habitual fourth meal eaters" soon leads to an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI). Further, people who are regular "goûter" eaters have a higher carbohydrate intake and better metabolic profile than other adults, even though their total energy intake is not greater.
"Increased feeding frequency leads to a reduction in the total secretion of insulin, an improvement in insulin resistance and a better blood glucose control, as well as an improvement in the blood lipid profile.The experts agreed that, as long as we do not consume more energy than we use up and we only eat when we are hungry, it may be useful to split our total energy intake into as many meals as our social pattern allows."
The real benefit shown in this study, according to Dr. Mercola, is improvement in insulin resistance and blood glucose control. He suggests that it helps keep "blood sugar more balanced throughout the day."
"Snacks, as long as they're nutritious, of course, could also help you avoid overeating later because you're ravenous and eat too quickly once you do sit down for a meal. It may also help you stick to healthier food choices in general, since many people tend to reach for fast food or quick and easy processed foods when they're tired and hungry.
It's what you eat more than when you eat
You know from following Jim Ayres advice that protein-only days work, and protein-only snacks work to keep that insulin under control and keep your body-burning under control.
Junk food, fast food, and highly processed food spikes your insulin and doesn't shut off your hunger triggers. It leads to eating far more calories than you need because your insulin balance is out of whack (along with other critical hormones).
Metabolism is the chemistry that goes on silently in your body to turn food into energy or storage. Recently a lot of press has introduced the role of leptin in this process. Both insulin and leptin are critical to health and weight control, not to mention health (especially diabetes).
Insulin works mostly on the cellular level, telling your body whether to burn or store fat or carbs. Leptin tells your brain when to store and when to spend energy… whether your needs more or should burn some off. It controls hunger, a powerful and deep-seated drive that, if it is revved up long enough, will actually force you to eat and store more energy. According to Mercola, "The only way to eat less in the long-term is to not be hungry."
You've heard about insulin resistance, but there's also leptin-resistance. That means your body loses the ability to send hunger signals. You're hungry even though you've eaten plenty of calories. Processed carbohydrates, empty starches, and sugary foods like pasta, rolls, sodas, mashed potatoes, French fries, etc. are the main culprits in making us leptin-resistant.
What really revs up your metabolism?
The best way to boost your metabolism is exercise. You clearly burn more calories because muscle forces you to burn calories, even when it's just sitting on your bones without moving. Everyone's metabolism is somewhat different, but as we know at Xyngular®, we can speed it up within a reasonably short amount of time by making diet and lifestyle that involve the types of food we eat, the amounts we eat and when, and the amount of exercise we get.
- Avoid empty sugary products and processed starches. They're the main cause of insulin- and leptin-resistance. IGNITE™ trains your body to make that shift to normal hunger and fat burning.
- Listen to your hunger, and eat a balanced, sensible meal or protein snack when hunger calls. IGNITE gets you in the habit of remembering to eat a sensible (protein) snack when you get a hunger signal. You get used to eating smaller meals, your stomach adjusts to smaller meals, and you normalize your routine.
- Start a sensible exercise routine that builds muscle, helps your cardio endurance, and stretches your joints to keep you safe from injury.