Timing Meals for Fat Loss
There are several ways to plan your meal structures. For instance some of us eat large meals three times or less per day, simply because of time restrictions. If the person following this type of daily meal structure is eating a substantial amount of high calorie food, especially junk or fast food, then you can expect this person to usually have quite a belly.
On the other hand, some folks have great success with eating proper meals just a few times a day. The benefit of eating just a few times a day is increasing insulin sensitivity through less frequent insulin spikes. When the body becomes insensitive or resistant to insulin the results are usually greater weight gain and an increased risk of many diseases, like type II diabetes. The more sugar, especially, that one consumes, the greater the resistance to insulin as sugar spikes the level of insulin in the body until the person's body just gets used to higher and higher levels.
Not everyone that is resistant to insulin is overweight, but that does not mean they may not be on their way to having health problems as a result.
Also keep in mind that excess insulin is a trigger for storing fat in the body. Insulin itself can be stored as body fat. Keep this in mind - even if a person goes all day long without eating, but then has a can of soda and a honey bun, the likely result will be high levels of insulin and an increase in the body's fat storage, even though the person's total number of calories may be lower than someone who had a two or three well rounded meals with protein, healthy fats, vegetables etc. This is because sugar spikes insulin. By the way the sugar in fruit isn't absorbed as much as processed foods with added sugar because of the fiber found in fruit.
So the person that eats three meals a day, but all of them are carefully planned with healthy vegetables, protein, healthy fats, etc., may have lower insulin levels and, thus, reap health benefits, such as weight loss. But, it is also possible that this person may still have issues taking it to the next level in terms of getting ripped abs. In general, they may have great health, but if they eat larger portions during their meals, this can cause the stomach to stretch out a bit.
Frequent Small Meals
The other strategy would be to eat small healthy meals several times a day. It is less likely that this person will have problems with insulin, if these frequent meals are healthy, as compared to what the average person eats. By eating smaller meals you basically train your stomach to not hold much at one time and, thus, shrink the size of your stomach over time. It's like having gastric surgery without the surgery and with a lot less possibility of complications. Everyone is different, of course, so finding the right plan that fits you is the key.
What I personally believe is that no matter what type of meal structure you choose, the most important ingredient is what you eat. Timing is important and can be used to great benefit, but when you look at what the average person eats on a daily basis and then you reversed that to healthy foods, the results for the average American today would be amazing.
It's getting harder and harder for the average person to even relate to what a healthy meal is, much less to what it looks like or feels like to be a healthy eater. Imagine if everyone were cigarette smokers, then everyone would look at those higher numbers of cancer and heart disease as an everyday reality, just a part of life. That's where we are today in terms of healthy eating. Most people believe that eating junky processed foods is just normal, and so the consequences are therefore out of their control as well. I read recently, that younger people are much more likely to not view being overweight as anything other than normal. Some may argue that this is part of having a good body image, but, on the other hand, this is dangerous to overall health. A person should not be depressed about their weight, but they need to be cognizant of what foods they are eating and how it affects their body if they want to get the most out of life.
Personally, I like to basically snack a lot, but I try to snack on green leafy vegetables, fruit, a piece of dark chocolate, almonds, and so forth, so that when I have my main meals I'm not starving to death and I don't feel the need to binge eat. With my personality type, if I ate what the typical person eats, or what I used to eat back in my younger years, I'd probably be as big as a house and unable to lift weights to the same level I now do. I certainly would be sprinting or running up hills like I enjoy doing.
Intermittent fasting is a little different than just eating three regular meals although it may just consist of three meals. Usually, what it means is the person skips breakfast or an evening meal. Sometimes, a person will eat all they want until a certain time period and then stop eating completely. The benefits of intermittent fasting are helping to create a window of time where insulin spikes can be brought under control, thus helping with insulin resistance. With intermittent fasting some only eat between 12-6 P.M. Again, success with this diet structure as others depends on the quality of food you eat.
Hugh Jackman the star that played Wolverine, the superhero, onscreen, has been said to fast 16 hours a day and eat only during an 8 hour period eating between 10 A.M. and 6 P.M . Typical foods that Jackman ate primarily were chicken breast and steamed spinach, with things like brown rice only allowed occasionally.
Some studies indicate that human growth hormone is increased by intermittent fasting.