Does how and when I eat affect my metabolism? Beside getting the right diet and right exercise to get a flat stomach, yes, how and when you eat do affect your metabolism significantly.
Research has supported that eating a few small meals per day (ie 5 meals) is a better way to burn calories than say 3 meals a day. The reason is simple, you are increasing your energy expenditure (energy used to digest your meal) by increasing your meal frequency. The thermogenic effect of dividing calorie intake over several meals may also be higher. As you split your meals throughout the day, your hunger is controlled better and you have less tenancy to eat more.
When you take your meal is equally important. It is very important to note that you should never skip breakfast as eating breakfast will get your metabolic revved up first thing in the morning. If you go without breakfast , your body will go into a catabolic stage where your body will break down muscle tissue for energy. In the long run, you will see your muscle reduces which in turn reduces the metabolic rate, hence making it easier for you to gain fat in the long run.
Eating in the hours after brisk exercise may encourage more calories to be burn as your metabolic rate increase. On the other hand, moderate exercise like a walk after eating can encourage the thermogenic response to food and burn more calories.
The speed of eating is important too. Basically the slower you eat, the faster and more efficient you metabolize the food. When food is swallowed whole, it makes it more difficult for the body to absorb all the important nutrients. That said, when you are eating fast, do you feel very full, not immediately but a short while after you have finished your meal? This is because your brain will only take 15 to 20 minutes to start signaling feelings of fullness and by eating fast, you will eat even more because when your brain has not given you the “signal of fullness”, you will continue to eat!
There you go. While you are working hard in your exercise to get flat stomach, do not forget about your eating habits. These little details in your diet go hand-in-hand to the success of your exercise to get flat stomach!