You can still hear on the street that eating five times a day helps us maintain a proper diet. However, as we advance in the complicated science of nutrition, the evidence contradicts this fact more strongly.
On the contrary, the latest research suggests that the "secret" of a good diet could be fast. This could help reduce weight, generate more muscle mass and even treat certain diseases. This is included in a recent and important meta-analysis.
The myth of the five meals a day
Although it is one of the most recent nutrition claims, the truth is that the myth of five meals a day is already over. The basis of this myth is the idea that if we eat more than once throughout the day, our body will not suffer from "hunger". This will prevent the mechanisms that store the fat from activation.
But despite this reasoning, which seems logical, the truth is that it does not matter how many times we eat. There are several studies that contradict each other, some have positive results, while others point to the opposite.
In this context, there is only one coherent resolution: we look beyond the studies themselves. What nutritionists explain is that it does not matter how many times you eat: the most important is how you eat and what you eat. Eating multiple times a day can lead to a worse diet.
Distributing food more than once throughout the day can cause us to ingest more without being aware of it. In addition, it will be easier not to coordinate our diet with our circadian rhythm. This is the internal clock that controls our entire metabolism and it is not good to ignore it at the bull.
Item: what science says
If you eat several times a day does not help us, will it fast? According to the latest reviews, resting strategies can serve to treat chronic diseases associated with eating and aging. The well-managed post allows us to adjust the time we eat.
[HILO] "It's time for the job." This was the title of Science magazine, a few days ago, a fantastic article reviewing the scientific literature that exists so far on caloric restrictions and job times. Here's a summary and a translation of the most relevant: 1/31
– Hernán J. Sardi (@NutriRebel) November 19, 2018
According to a new meta-analysis, the time that food is ingested is a determinant of health. Remember that meta-analyzes are the most elaborate and complete studies that exist, because they are analyzing dozens or hundreds of studies with many subjects to come up with more rigorous conclusions.
And what does this meta-analysis say? She discusses several post systems and their health benefits, focusing especially on the elderly. The findings are that temporary calorie restriction helps reduce risk factors for several diseases, including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, cancer and even neurodegenerative diseases.
The study specifies that many of the mechanisms are not understood, however, as normal if we understand the complexity of the study. However, this does not imply that the results are not valid, as it points out. The goal of the researchers was to emphasize that a job intervention would improve the health of patients, but could also improve people's general health.
Four techniques for the job
There are four techniques or approaches to using the post in our favor. In fact, these are the ones the researchers have analyzed. The first is the calorie restriction, that is, reducing the amount of food and its contribution to energy, just as simple.
To avoid malnutrition, it is necessary to limit between 15 and 40% of the total calories in a normal diet without control. This has a number of benefits: fewer diseases, more metabolic health … But this type of diet is very aggressive at the psychological and social level, so it is very difficult to achieve it and to join it. Of course, we can try to reduce the amount of calories to the maximum, which will be positive for health.
The second is food with a limited duration. It consists in consuming almost the entire diet in a short period of the day between 4 and 12 hours and without reducing the amount of calories we consume. This means fasting for 20 or 12 hours in a row. This could improve body weight, fat and muscle composition, and reduce various disease-related processes.
Intermittent post is one of the favorite protocols among fitness lovers. It consists of eating ad libitum, that is, what we want, certain days a week and not eating or eating the indispensable minimum, many more. This model of feeding, explains researchers, promotes a number of mechanisms of stress in the body. This is manifested by better insulin control, protection against cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer, among others.
Finally, the "simulated" rhythm reduces the daily intake of hypocaloric foods. In this way, it is intended to "prolong" the physiological feeling of fasting, not being fast enough (you do not eat anything). This method has also shown a number of short-term benefits. The main problem with this method is that there is no good long-term data.
The end of five meals a day
How can we use these techniques or analyzes nowadays? Although fasting is a complicated task, we can use some of the findings in our favor. First of all, we have already seen that reducing your caloric intake (up to 40% maximum) may be beneficial to your health. We can change foods and reduce the sugar in our diet.
On the other hand, there is a common denominator among these techniques: the time to eat food. The results show that feeding times should be found during the day, avoiding the night. I mean, we can take food during the whole day of fasting in the afternoon and evening.
According to the evidence, this will help us at the metabolic level. It also means something else: the myth of five meals a day is over. Prolonging food is not bad, but fasting seems better if we take into account what we have seen so far. This, combined with a lower contribution, could result in a winning combination.
This has its evolutionary meaning, in which the circadian rhythm marks the metabolic rhythm. A rhythm that has long resonated resources everywhere. Before, food was a purpose, a purpose. It marked the course of the day. Now is another event with a marked social and psychological character. This could explain why something like fasting, anti-intuitive, could be a tool for improving health, even if the body asks us to eat five or more times a day.
With information: magnet