“How often should I eat?”
It is totally up to personal preference! Did you know that you don’t “need” to kick-start your metabolism first thing in the morning with food?
Your entire metabolism is ALL the energy that you use to maintain your body throughout the day. You could break this up in to smaller portions:
- Resting metabolism is the amount of energy you use at rest (maintaining organ functions- keeping your heart beating, lungs breathing, temperature regulation, blood pressure maintenance, cellular regeneration and repairing damage, immune function, nerve signaling, hormone production, etc,… generally keeping you alive at rest, you get the point). ~70%
- Energy you use during exercise is self-explanatory (running, lifting, swimming, sports, etc) ~5-10%
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you use doing activity that isn’t classified as “exercise” (bathing, cleaning, cooking, fidgeting, walking, etc). ~10-15%
- Dietary Induced Thermogenesis is the energy you use during digestion. ~5-10%
Notice that the bulk of the calories we use are related resting metabolic rate and these are influenced by the health, size, and composition of our body. The energy we use during digestion is very small in comparison. If calories were held equal, eating every few hours doesn’t give us a significant advantage over eating one large meal. If you aren’t concerned about sport or exercise performance, what you eat and how much you eat is more important than when you eat it.
Eat at the time you feel the best, and the times that help you control your appetite. Personal preference is totally okay. Don’t set a timer to eat every few hours if you don’t like it. If your current strategy isn’t working, try something different!
My love to you,