Grazing and Metabolism

Grazing and Metabolism

Personal trainers say it. Many ill informed nutritionists harp on about it. Fitness magazines write articles about it and you’ve probably heard it a dozen times. They all say six small meals a day will speed up your metabolism and lead to weight loss. But guess what? It doesn’t and may even promote weight gain.

This is one of the biggest myths and misconceptions that I hear all the time. Your stomach is not designed to be in a continual state of digestion. It needs rest just like the rest of your body. When you graze or eat meals too close together, your stomach does not have the chance to fully digest each meal before the next one comes along. *Your average meal takes five to six hours to fully digest. The undigested food sits in your stomach and eventually begins to rot and release toxins into your system. This ongoing toxin release can lead to bloating, weight gain, acid reflux, poor energy, as well as increase your risk of cancer and other such illnesses. Furthermore, eating six small meals spikes the fat storing hormone insulin. When your insulin levels spike it causes your glucose levels to drop severely leaving you feeling tired and very hungry.

The myth that six small meals a day would lead to weight loss grew from the misguided idea that eating boosts metabolism. And it does. But after several meals per day, this metabolic effect wanes.  Another critical reason why limiting your meals to three per day is because during those five hours between meals, the body produces anti-aging and muscle building proteins.

If you’ve ever had a personal trainer you would have probably heard them advocating eating frequent small meals for weight loss to prevent your body going into ‘starvation mode’ and storing fat. Let me clarify two things. Firstly, most personal trainers are not clinical nutritionists and have completed short courses in nutrition as part of their fitness degree. And secondly, there is no data supporting the idea that skipping a single meal or even a day’s worth of meals does anything to the human metabolic rate. Human metabolism simply does not work that fast. You will not go into ‘starvation mode’ because you did not eat for more than three hours.

So leave grazing for cows. Aside from it being rather inconvenient trying to find a small meal every few hours or toting around Tupperware containers full of snacks, eating frequently isn’t actually healthy. Note: The six small meals a day diet can work when offset with a daily exercise addiction.

fold-left fold-right
About the author
New Zealand based Nature Bee was born in 1997 when Jeff and Ben Cook joined forces. The father / son team discovered a special process developed by Canterbury University, still considered to be ground breaking today, that unlocks the nutrients of bee pollen, making it far more digestible than normal bee pollen. This proprietary process was later to be named the ‘potentiation process' and is continually used only by Nature Bee on their New Zealand bee pollen. Nature Bee is now available in almost every country in the world.

Leave a Reply