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Entries in meal timing (2)


Alternate Day & Intermittent Fasting—Magic for Weight Loss or Just Another Fad?

There has been an explosion of diet books (The Fast Diet, The 5:2 Diet, The 8-Hour Diet, etc.) suggesting that manipulating the time frames you (allow yourself to) eat within can create metabolic-magic leading to easier and/or greater success with weight loss.

There are multiple possible time frame variances among these protocols, including:
a) limiting eating to the same 8-hours daily,
b) an alternating pattern of under- and over-eating days,
c) having two fasting days per week and eating normally the other 5 days,
d) having regular splurge days (in the middle of stretches of calorie restriction), and on and on.

Some authors even suggest you can splurge and eat as much as you want of whatever you want, on the non-fasting days and still lose weight. That’s the kind of promise that causes diet books to fly off shelves!

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Eating More Often Does NOT Boost Your Metabolism!

How many times have you heard the advice to eat more often (i.e. three meals, and two or three snacks per day) because you will supposedly burn more of the calories you eat because eating more often boosts your metabolism?


If you think the claim sounds a little fishy, your instincts are good—the claim that eating more often boosts your metabolism is completely false.


Here’s all you need to know. A small part of your total energy expenditure is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF simply represents the amount of energy (calories) your body uses to digest your meal. On average TEF amounts to just 10% of the calories in your meal.

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