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Intermittent Fasting v 6 Small Meals A Day.

by Dave on February 17, 2009


Intermittent Fasting is clearly at the opposite end of the spectrum to the frequent small meals throughout the day dieting plans. It is not my intention in this post to go into the debate about the effects on the metabolism of a person following either plan. In this post I wanted to explain my own experiences with using both methods.

 I tried  the 6 small meals a day way of eating 3 years ago, back in January 2006. In the same way as I am doing now, I kept a record of following the process. I found through my own experience of trying to follow this regime that it was not practical for me at all.By the second week I had wrote that  I was finding it difficult to stick to. One occasion I was in a meeting that went on longer than I planned, and I missed one of my eating windows. I also found that food was constantly on my mind, either because I was preparing what I was going to eat next, or looking at my watch to see if it was time to eat. If I missed a meal I would fret about it, thinking I had done some damage to my regime. Looking back I just could not follow the system at all. Even if I had planned ahead and taken food with me to a meeting, I could not exactly stop half way through in order to eat half a chicken breast and rice. I found that trying to follow a system of eating 6 meals a day began to dominate my life. On Friday evenings when I would go out, I would have to break off from socialising with my friends to eat my 6th meal of the day, looking back on it now, it is clear how ridiculous it was, but at the time, the desire to lose weight meant I was happy to try it. I also found the rate of weight loss to be no different to other diet plans I had followed. I do not believe that this method of eating provided any improved results. Even if there were benefits to eating this way , what is very clear to me, is that this system is not practical for me, and indeed the vast majority of people to follow.

In contrast when I compare my notes of the last 6 weeks for intermittent fasting, I have found a way of eating that has been very easy to stick to, If I am fasting and a meeting was to take longer, instead of worrying about missing my time to eat, I take comfort in knowing I just extended my fat burning period !what a difference. In my opinion this shows that the psychological effect of a diet does play an important role. My own findings with intermittent fasting are that the psychological aspects are positive. I find during periods of intermittent fasting that my focus on food is greatly reduced. I think this is down to the fact, as I am not eating, I don’t have to think about what is the right or wrong foods to choose at a meal time, simply because there is no meal time for 24hrs. To give a real life example , last Tuesday I was fasting, I had eaten Monday evening at 6.30 so the next meal would be 6.30  Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon I was actually at my Sons school for the parents teachers evening. I should have been back home for 6.30 but as is often the case with these things, the appointments were running late, and It was over an hour later when I got home. Instead of worrying I had not eaten, I found the extra hour or so no problem at all, and was knew that the extended fasting period had only been a benefit. Intermittent Fasting for me is proving to be a practical way for me to reduce body fat, that is not something I can say about eating 6 small meals a day.

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