Eat every 2-3 hours?

Generally, across the world, people are used to having two or three large meals. However, many dieticians and nutritionists are pushing for this major lifestyle change to small and frequent meals. The concept is to have small and nutritious meals every 2 hours; the objective being to pack more nutrition in smaller portions. Eating every 2 hours has shown a positive impact on those struggling with weight loss and lifestyle diseases.

The basic concept behind weight loss, or any kind of body transformation, is the calculation of calories consumed. The idea is to create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than the calories that have been consumed. The way the body burns these calories is through a chemical process known as metabolism.

Metabolism is an internal process through which the body burns calories to sustain your body organs and functions. Based on your height and weight, your body has a basal metabolic rate, or BMR, which is the minimum energy or calories required to keep your body alive. You will lose these calories every day even if you don’t do anything else! The metabolic rate increases as the body tries to digest the food you eat. It also increases with exercise.

When the body is sedentary, and there is a lot of gap between meals, the metabolic rate slows down, leading to lesser calorie burn. This is where eating every 2 hours helps; as the body is continuously working to break down food, keeping the metabolic rate up. This helps in burning more calories over the period of a day, resulting in more weight loss.

When the body is trying to convert energy, it often goes in for the most easily available source of energy. During the period of fasting, when the food has been digested, and there are no other sources of fuel, your body starts using muscles to function. The way the body is built, it focuses on muscle more than fat, as this is an evolutionary reaction to a crisis. If you are trying to build your muscles, then having small and frequent meals helps in maintaining the energy levels, leading to better muscle mass.

The objective of smaller and frequent meals is better nutrition. So ensure that you’re eating a lot of fiber and nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, instead of pure carbohydrates like bread and rice.

So if you’ve wondered should I eat every 2 hours, hopefully, you have the answers you were looking for! As you may have gathered, the precise mechanics behind it are complex. But the basic principle can be summed up easily enough – eat every two hours for a better shot at a healthier body and mind.