The foods that you eat make a huge impact on your fat loss results. But it’s
not just about what you are eating, it’s also about how much and how
frequently you eat.
All of these factors make the topic of how to eat for best results a hot one
with my clients! So let’s dive into the most popular eating strategies…
A quick online search produces two popular eat-for-fat-loss strategies:
Intermittent Fasting versus Six Small Meals.
Which strategy works best? And, more importantly, which strategy would work
best for YOU? Let’s find out…
Intermittent Fasting: this eating strategy cycles between periods of
eating and periods of fasting. The content of your meals during eating
periods is not a factor. Some cycle between eating and fasting each day,
creating a small window for eating and fasting for at least 16 hours, while
others cycle eating and fasting across several days, taking as much as 48
hours at a time to fast.
Pros: Humans have been fasting for thousands of years. Our bodies are
well equipped to handle periods of fasting. Research shows that fasting
produces benefits for disease prevention, metabolic health, weight loss and
even life extension. Some find it less work to fast rather than to plan for
several small meals. During eating periods you get to eat whatever you want.
Cons: Abstaining from nourishment for long periods of time can be
challenging, especially when food is all around you. Socially it can be
awkward to skip meals while your friends and family break bread together.
Some find themselves overeating during eating cycles, and some find the
ongoing absence of food to aggravate food obsession and to produce an
unbalanced focus on food.
Six Small Meals: this eating strategy, of breaking the traditional 3
square meals into 6 smaller meals that are spaced 2-3 hours apart, has been
used by body builders and fitness competitors for years. The content and
size of each meal is an important factor of this eating plan. Meals early in
the day contain lean protein, fiber-filled veggies and a small portion of
complex carbs, while meals later in the day are smaller and do not contain
any complex carbs. All meals are low in fat.
Pros: You never feel hungry. By fueling up every 2-3 hours you never
get the feeling of deprivation that comes with fasting. Energy levels are
steady and high due to the constant supply of wholesome calories. Fat loss
results are steady, and, when done with an exercise plan, muscle is
Cons: You have to plan ahead. Every. Single. Day. Get used to
carrying around a small cooler filled with containers of chicken, broccoli,
brown rice and sweet potatoes. Each meal is small, so restraint is required.
Unless you are including the occasional cheat meal, or cheat day, there is
no room in this diet for empty calories or comfort foods.
Conclusion: The facts are out there to prove that both of these
eat-for-fat-loss strategies work. There are photos of real, actual people
who have subscribed to each of these methods and have gone from flabby to
lean. Both methods irrefutably work.
But why? How can two methods that utilize opposing strategies both produce
fat loss results? And which one is better? Let’s dive deeper into what makes
these eating strategies work…
1. Meal Timing: When you eat is a factor with both of these eating
plans. This means that subscribers to both plans are required to wait until
the appointed time to eat. So mindless snacking, or grabbing a muffin just
because it’s there, is out of the question. This reduces overall calories,
which is key to weight loss, and explains why both plans produce results.
2. Meal Content: The Six-Small-Meals plan focuses on the content of
each of your small meals in great detail. Your meals contain lean proteins,
fiber-filled veggies, and limited complex carbs. This detailed control of
calorie content is largely why this plan is a sure bet for fat loss, not
just weight loss.
Intermittent Fasting does not consider the content of your meals during
3. Meal Size: The Six-Small-Meals plan also focuses on the exact size
of your meals, which makes sense since you are eating six times each day,
and excess calories would quickly add up. Typically this is done by weight,
so as you pack your meals for the day you’ll be using a food scale to ensure
that you have exactly the right amount of lean protein and complex carbs.
Veggies are often measured rather than weighed.
Intermittent Fasting does not consider the size of your meals during eating
So What’s the BEST Eating Strategy for FAST Results? As we’ve
discussed, both of the eating strategies above are capable of producing
results. This is due to the fact that both plans result in a lowered caloric
When it’s all said and done, weight loss comes from caloric balance.
Remember the junk food diet where the professor lost weight eating
restricted calories of only vending machine food? As long as you are taking
in fewer calories that you are burning, you will end up losing weight.
While both of the strategies above end up curbing your calories, only the
Six-Small-Meals plan encourages wholesome calories that are ideal for
burning fat and building muscle, which is why this is the plan most used by
body builders and fitness competitors.
When it comes down to you choosing your own eating strategy it’s important
to determine what will work best with your lifestyle. If carrying a cooler
with you and making time to stop every 3 hours to eat a meal is simply not
something you can see yourself doing, then Intermittent Fasting may produce
better results for you. The key is to figure out a plan for restricting
calories that you would realistically be motivated to stick with. And the
more wholesome the content of those restricted calories, the better and
quicker your results will come!
Want more guidance as you take your body from flab to fab? I’d love to help
you! Give me a call or shoot me an email and let’s get you on track to shed
some major fat together!
Let’s do this together.