Regular Eating Burns Fat and Calories
Eat Often Burn More Calories (and Fat!)
Energy For Our Metabolic Needs
The calories in the food we eat provide vital fuel energy to maintain our basic metabolic needs (meaning, our round-the-clock basic biochemical and biological functions such as the constant temperature of body), and to power muscles.
Food Shortage Causes Metabolic Slowdown
To ensure our metabolism has all the fuel it needs, our brain constantly monitors our calorie intake and expenditure, and will - if it thinks there is a shortage of food energy - intervene to conserve energy for survival purposes. So long as we continue eating regularly, there's no problem: we burn calories at our normal speed, and if we create a calorie deficit we will burn stored body fat and thus lose weight. However, if we go too long without eating something, our brain intervenes to reduce our rate of calorie-burning (our metabolic rate). Result? Fat burning slows down or stops.
We Lose Muscle Not Body Fat
More calories are needed to maintain muscle tissue than fat tissue. So if our calorie deficit persists and we require more energy, we stop burning fat and start burning muscle tissue instead.
How Often Should We Eat?
It's not clear precisely how often we should eat something. Too few clinical trials have been conducted into the effect of food shortages on fat-burning versus muscle-burning, to enable us to state exactly when this happens. Some experts recommend that women should eat every three hours to maintain the fastest possible metabolic rate, while men can last up to five hours. The Three Hour Diet is based on the premise that a regular metabolic rate of calorie burning requires food to be consumed every three hours.
Eat Little and Often
Aside from the issue of metabolism, it's clear that most dieters run into hunger and motivational problems if they go too long without food. After all, it's much more difficult to resist the sight or smell of tempting high calorie foods if we haven't eaten anything for more than a few hours.
Next: Which Diet is Best?
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