When it comes to losing weight, there is no clear-cut formula to become lean and energetic. What works for one person, might not work well for another. However, in a desperate attempt to shed those stubborn pounds, people try any diet and exercise plan under the sun.
There are a myriad of diet plans which promise fast results. Popular diets promote everything from eating according to your blood type to fasting nearly for two days a week. Some of them sound too outrageous to be true, but there are others, which actually make sense. One of the more sensible plans advocates eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. The premise behind this plan is that these small, frequent meals, rev-up the metabolism, leading to more calories burned throughout the day. However, this popular belief has been challenged by researchers who say it does not boost metabolism and neither does it encourage weight loss.
For the research, Dr. Piya and her team formed a group comprising of 12 lean and 12 obese women. Each of these women were given two or five meals on separate days. The total amount of calories on both the days was same for all these women, only the meal sizes and frequency were altered. Throughout the study, the researchers measured the women's energy expenditure using whole body monitor calorimeters.
Findings from the study revealed that we need to go back to basic and simple rules when it comes to losing weight. The results showed that whether the women ate two big meals or five small meals a day, it had no effect on how many calories were burned. In fact, the study reveals that the only thing that matters in losing weight is to track your total calories consumed during the day, and try to limit the intake.
By keeping this new study in perspective, we can aim to lose weight in whatever way we find fit for ourselves. The only thing we have to remember is, to keep our total calorie count low for the day. This means that instead of applying complicated and hard-to-follow rules, we can shed weight by restricting our total caloric amount.
A very simple way to measure the amount of calories we consume throughout the day is to keep a food journal. Read the labels on food packages, to get an idea about the total amount of calories present in food items. If you are unsure about the amount of calories in a particular food item, you can always search for them on different websites like Calorie Count or My Fitness Pal.
Society for Endocrinology news release, accessed 27 March 2014.
Additional source: CDC Obesity and Overweight Data, accessed 27 March 2014.