Meal Frequency and Metabolism

Posted by Jason Ferruggia

Guest Post By Sol Orwell of

For those that haven’t seen, you’re missing out. They’ve built up a solid reputation on presenting evidence-based information on nutrition and supplementation. I get a ton of questions about nutrition, so I asked if they would do a series of posts on nutrition. Maybe even tackle some myths.

Here’s the first one – on meal frequency.

Meal Frequency?

  • A common claim is that eating more meals a day causes an increase in metabolism?
  • Another claim is that because your metabolism keeps spiking, you burn more fat, which helps with fat loss.

What’s the evidence?

  • A few trials have been done, keeping the diet the same, and only manipulating the timing and size of meals.
  • A few trials have been conducted assessing the above claims, keeping the composition of the diet steady and only manipulating the timing and size of the meals
  • No differences exist in weight or fat loss1
  • No differences exist in the metabolic rate2
  • No differences exist in fat oxidation rates3,4

What else should I know?

  • Usually, the more times you eat, the more calories you can pack in
  • An increase in meal frequency can cause you to feel hungrier5
  • A decrease in meal frequency causes you to feel less hungry6
  • If not told how to eat, most people prefer fewer meals7

Summing it Up

Meal frequency is nothing more than personal taste. Some people love three square meals a day. Some people love one giant meal a day. And some people love to nibble throughout. Meal frequency is irrelevant, and its effects on metabolism are irrelevant. Your metabolism does increase when you eat food – so the more food you eat, the longer it stays elevated.

Admittedly, if you are trying to pack on mass, more meals may make it easier to eat a ton of calories, but the effect would be the same if you ate all of those calories in two meals.

Eat however many meals you find most comfortable with.


Click HERE to check out Sol’s Supplement Goals Reference Guide, the cheat sheet to better health, a better body and a better life.