I’ve spent a lot of time going to popular gyms and workout centers during high school and college and one of the most common topics of conversation that you can’t help but overhear among the exercising patrons is their diet to increase metabolism functions with the help of the “5-6 meals a day” plan.
If you’ve been around someone who’s pretty conscious of their weight and fitness, then you’ve probably heard them mention the same thing at one point or another.
I eat 5-6 meals a day. I zip little bits of food in baggies and just carry it around with me. When it comes time to eat after about 3 hours, I unzip and chow down.
On the surface, this sounds like a good diet to speed up metabolic processes, but it’s often executed incorrectly and causes the individual’s weight to remain the same or even increase.
What I’ve found is the important factor in this eating plan is keeping each meal relatively small in order to create a sizable calorie deficit. But I’ve often taken the 5-6 meals a day routine to a new level by incorporating strong metabolism boosting foods and even proceeding with a cliff-dropping calorie deficit of 24 hours. It’s my own method of using the common 5-6 meals idea and then exploiting it.
My Naturally Athletic Friends Told Me To Eat 5 Meals A Day At First
Like you, I’ve had a very diverse group of friends all my life. Some couldn’t care less about eating healthy and exercising while others get a mental high from merely setting foot inside of a gym.
After I graduated high school, the school weight room was still open for immediate graduates to use on a moderate basis, so me and one of my close friends would work out three times a week back at the school. Now, my buddy had a very low body fat percentage for his age and a naturally high resting metabolism (which I was not aware of). And his personal eating habits involved multiple meals throughout the day.
I would look at him, notice his defined biceps, see his small waistline, and immediately think,
Yep, I gotta eat more meals during the day too.
Another one of my friends actually has a very difficult time putting on weight due to his abnormally fast basal metabolic rate and he probably weighs close to 130 pounds. However, he works outside at a lumber yard lifting and hauling giant masses of wood causing him to become muscular and cut against his already lean physique. I’m quite jealous…
And again, his answer for how to keep your metabolism up was 5-6 meals each day. And again, I took that advice, only to see minimal to non-existent results from my efforts. What was I doing wrong?
Controlling Your Leptin Levels Controlls Your Appetite And Fat Loss
What I was doing wrong was a combination of two things:
- I was eating too much at each meal.
- I wasn’t using the increased power of my metabolism to leverage more weight loss.
It’s that second point that I (and most people) failed to follow once I actually got into the routine of consuming calories more frequently and peaking my metabolism. Using the leverage of this eating habit involves the manipulation of a natural bodily hormone called Leptin.
Leptin is a powerful protein hormone that is integral in how our body regulates and uses energy especially regarding metabolic processes and appetite. It affects brain receptors to suppress your appetite and the interaction of a neurohormone called amylin contributes to weight loss, specifically targeting fat.
Like I said, manipulating Leptin through a diet to increase metabolism with 5-6 meals a day is good, but then you have to actually do something with it…
The problem with eating so many meals is these new calories become the first thing that your metabolism burns instead of stored fat, which isn’t what we want. That’s why, after I’ve really revved up my system from this diet to change metabolism processes, I create a giant calorie deficit by going on a 24 hour fast the very next day similar to that explained in the Eat Stop Eat system.
It’s like if you’ve ever jumped off a speed boat or a jet ski in the water. First, you’re holding on tight letting the wind whip through your hair with a big smile on your face. When you jump into the water, do you drop straight down with a splash that shoots perfectly vertical into the sky? No. The inertia and speed that you’re already traveling forces you to continue moving in the same direction as the jet ski until you’re fully submerged in the water.
That’s why it’s the best time to go on a 24 hour fast immediately following a day or two strong days of 5-6 smaller meal routines. Your metabolism will be pumping strong and when there aren’t any new calories coming in it’ll begin to feast on those fat-filled love handles instead.
A Diet To Increase Metabolism Improves When Using The “Right” Foods Too
Increasing your calorie burning functions can be done by changing the manner in which you eat, but you can see certain nutrition increase metabolism operations in the same way. Some foods are more effective than others and I talk about them in more detail in this post, Metabolism Boosting Foods: 5 Powerful Foods That Burn More Fat, and in my TYM report.
I’ve said this before, but it’s a combination of a bunch of small factors that makes a diet to increase metabolism processes effective and trains your system to burn away more stored fat than those that solely choose to run miles and miles on a treadmill.P.S. If you're interested in the diet that I use when I want to get particularly lean, it's Eat Stop Eat. It's very progressive, and probably not like anything you've tried before.