The fact is, this statement is so outdated. It astounds me that so many 'coaches' still give out information like this with no real understanding of WHY their clients need to follow it. It's generic and it's worked for a few of their other clients so they
keep it this way.
No. Just No.
If you're a coach and you're doing this, go and get some better education on something called Energy Balance and it will definitely ensure you know how to prescribe the right type of nutrition plans for your clients.
Fact: Meal frequency has no effect on fat burning.
A few great examples of why meal frequency is not important when wanting to lose fat, include::
- Bellisle et al (1997) which concludes that “feeding frequency has no significant impact on the rate of weight loss”.
- Cameron et al (2010) found no significant difference between low (3 meals/day) and high-frequency (6 meals/day) over an 8 week period in 16 obese subjects that were fed the same number of calories.
- Schoenfeld et al, 2015 also states that 'given that the body of research suggests that meal frequency has no effect on body composition, the number of meals someone consumes in a day should therefore come down to personal preference'.
Consistency is one of the most important factors to long-term weight loss success, so therefore prescribing a meal frequency that someone is able to stick to should be of primary importance. Sadly, many coaches try and get their clients to adhere to their way and their way only.
I have been made to program very differently for all my clients as my want for a minimum of 80% adherence to the nutrition plans set for them is of primary importance to me.
If you're more inclined to stick to 3-4 meals per day, then ensure that you meet your caloric and macronutrient needs consistently.
Yours in health,
Coach Anthony Kassis