Does Eating More Meals Speed Up Metabolism?

small-mealsIt’s totally true that when you eat food, your metabolism speeds up to process what you’ve consumed. But it’s also true that this increase is quite small – and that it’s related to the size of the meal eatten.

Here’s how it works out.

If you eat 2,000 calories a day and split those calories over three meals, you average roughly 666 calories per meal. If you eat 2,000 calories a day and instead split those calories over six meals, you average 333 calories per meal. Instead of three larger metabolic boosts, you rev up your metabolism six times to a smaller degree.

So what does this amount to? According to John Foreyt, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, not much:

The calorie difference is so small it doesn’t add up to a hill of beans.

Moreover, having six smaller meals can mean three additional times per day to slip up, overeat or make unhealthy choices.

Having said all of that, smaller meals can work – but it’s really a matter of preference and strategy. For example, six smaller meals can help curb hunger by making your body feel “fed” constantly. But you have to find what works best for you.

As for the idea that eating more meals means a huge metabolic boost, it’s busted.

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  1. I have lost 12 kilo in 3 months by running plus eating small meals 5 times a day. It does work for me! 🙂

  2. You misspelled “eaten” in the first paragraph.

  3. I think what you eat (and how much) is significantly more important that how many meals you are eating each day.