5 Small Meals a Day for Weight Loss?

The diet world has been buzzing for years about breaking up your meals into 5 or 6 small meals a day to speed up your metabolism…which would inadvertently help with weight loss….but does it really work? The idea makes sense, as rationing your food usually helps you survive longer if you have a limited amount of food. However, leading research is actually suggesting this common weight loss tip has no effect!

Even current research like the recent Australia study which followed 179 obese Australian men and women is showing that eating the same amount of food in smaller portions has no effect on your metabolism. You are still ingesting the same amount of calories, and you are still absorbing them the same way. Here are some metabolism studies that I have found on pubmed:

Thermogenesis in humans after varying meal time frequency

Snacking patterns influence energy but not BMI

What does this have to do with portion size?

Portion size is still very important for weight loss. This study is simply saying that eating X amount of calories in small portions throughout the day or in 3 regular meals will have no in your weight loss journey. If you are trying to lose weight, remember portion size still needs to play a HUGE part in your nutritional habits.  Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Eat your food slower to help recognize when you are full sooner
  • Take time to sit down and focus on your meals to avoid mindless eating
  • Take snacks in small bowls or plates to avoid eating more than you meant to
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before meals
  • Switch to whole wheat whenever possible, and stay full longer
  • Try to make half of every meal rich in fruits and vegetables.

Then How Many Meals Should I Eat a Day?

This is up to you and your lifestyle. If you are hungry often and tend to over eat, five small meals a day might still be the better option. It could help by preventing you from overeating due to feeling “starved.” However, if you have a busy lifestyle like many of us do these days, your typical 2 to 3 meals a day is perfectly fine for normal diets and those focused on weight loss.  Studies are still pointing to breakfast being an important tool for a healthy nutrition plan,  for energy and weight loss , so be sure not to skip breakfast!

~HealthyGirl

Do you know of any studies that support or refute this claim? Comment Below!

Why Is Diet Soda Bad For You?

 

Diet coke

It seems like every day we are hearing something new about diet soda being bad for our health. But why is diet soda bad for you? Some of the latest studies are even showing that consumers who drink diet soda  actually GAIN more weight than consumers who drink regular soda! Not to mention all the buzz about aspartame,  splenda, and the problems these natural and fake sugars are causing for our teeth.

 

Whats This Weight Gain Hype?
According to WebMD, after eight years of data from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, they found substantial evidence that drinking diet soft drinks was linked to obesity, and actually made the risk for obesity even HIGHER than that of people drinking regular soft drinks! They saw a 41% increased risk for being overweight for every can or bottle of diet soft drink a person drinks a day!

Diet pepsi

Why does this happen?   
The main culprit here is Aspartame, found in almost every diet soda. (except Diet Rite) This artificial sweetener makes the body crave more calories because it signals your brain to expect the calories, being sugars close cousin. When you are eating or drinking things without calories, your body continues to look for them and your brain received the message that you are not full. This can lead to increased hunger and food cravings.
Another problem aspartame causes has to do with our natural metabolic rates. Normally when we get ready to eat something, our metabolic rates increase. However, in a study on rats that had been trained to respond using saccharin (which broke the link between sweetness and calories) this did not happen quite the way it should have. compared to rats trained on glucose,  these rats showed less of a rise in their core body temperate after eating a new, sweet-tasting, high-calorie treat. Researchers believe this response not only led to overeating, but made it harder for them to burn off the sweet-tasting calories.

What should we do?
The obvious answer would be to quit drinking diet and regular soda all together. But for most people, this is not something that can happen overnight. For all you diet soda drinkers out there, I would suggest switching back to regular soda for starters unless told otherwise by a health care professional. For those of you who can't  give up the fake sweetness, try switching to Diet Rite  or Coke sweetened with splenda. So far as I know, they are the only soda on the market that I know about that are aspartame free (although they are replaced with splenda brand sucralose).The next thing to work on would be drinking soda in smaller containers and less often. Small changes like ordering water with your meals at restaurants or buying smaller soda cans can lend some help to your health and your wallet!

~Healthygirl

*If you have any more information about aspartame or diet soda, or anything related to this article, please let me know, and I will post!

Nontraditional Foods That Help With Weight Loss

When going on a diet, or trying to change your eating lifestyle to a healthier one, many people think they have to eliminate certain foods from their diets, especially pastas/carbs, nuts, and cheeses. Well I'm here to tell you that all that can be yours in moderation. In fact many of these foods have been shown  to help weight loss.

Pasta & CarbsBread
Ok, so pasta it'self hasn't done too well in the diet industry, but moderation is key. The new food pyramid recommends 6-7 ounces daily.  However, carbs themselves can be a good thing. The key is to pick carbs high in fiber such as whole wheat bread, or bagels. The fiber helps keep you full, so you can fight cravings. There are other health benefits of fiber as well, such as keeping you regular, and prevention of diabetes and heat disease. When it comes to carbohydrates, the key to getting your fiber is to look for the words "100% whole grain" at the top of the ingredient list. Great High fiber carbs:

  • -Brown rice
  • -100% whole wheat toast with peanut butter
  • Whole grain breakfast cereal such as Fiber One or Total

*Another great way to get your daily fiber is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables such as apples, raisins, pears, carrots and peas.

NutsNuts
Many of us know that nuts are high in fat, and can get out of control easily. Look at pecan pie. This can be one of the most fattening, and worst foods for you to eat. But once again, in moderation, nuts can actually help you to lose weight. The best way to eat nuts is raw, and in small handfuls. Some of the best nuts for weight loss are almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, and brazil nuts. Virtually all nuts are beneficial for weight loss and health, but the ones listed above are some of the best. Some great ways to snack on nuts:

-Sprinkle your favorites in your cereal, yogurt, or try to incorporate them into your dinner.
-Plain nuts are also a great snack  when you have those cravings.
-Crunch peanut butter toast on whole wheat bread is a double whammy!

Here is a website that lists typical servings for each type of nut, so you can pick your favorites!http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com/history_nuts_good.htm

CheeseCheese
Cheese is another food that in moderation, can help you to lose that weight. Its is a great way to sneak in the calcium in your day. The fad used to be  sticking with the skim, white, and low fat cheese, however, current research has shown that any type of cheese in a small amount ( 1 oz. daily) can contribute to weight loss. Researchers believe this is because whole fat cheese contains conjugated linoleic acids, which may energizes the metabolism.

Know of any more non traditional foods that help weight loss? Let me know, and I'll do the research and post them up! Have a fantastic day, ~Healthy Girl