Over the past 60 or 70 years, since sometime in the 1950s, we have been misled on many health matters. I can certainly say that I was among those who believed what I was being told.
Ancel Keys came out with a lot of research in the 1950s. His research pointed to changes that should be made in the diet. Everything was about cholesterol, everything was about high-fat, all of these things were leading to heart attacks.
The way that things are looking now, with the latest research, it seems most of what Keys said was wrong. In fact, information has come out that some of his research was done in an improper way, eliminating some of the data points which did not support his theory. Things are changing now.
Well, one of the things that came out, not necessarily from keys, but due to his research, was that it was healthier to eat six small meals per day instead of eating three meals per day. It was at around that same time that the incidence of heart attacks skyrocketed, and the incidence of diabetes was even larger.
I bought into the whole six small meals per day because that’s what doctors were saying. However, it seems that nothing could be further from the truth. Every time you eat, your body releases insulin. How much insulin your body releases depends on what you eat. If you are eating carbohydrates your insulin spike will be very high. If you are eating protein your insulin spike will be moderate. If you are eating fat your insulin will still spike, but only minimally. Insulin is the hormone that our body produces that directs our body to store fat. Not burn fat, store fat.
Since Dr. keys said that we should avoid fat, and switch more toward carbohydrates, that is what most people ate during their six small meals per day. Every time that they would take in carbohydrates like this, the insulin would spike, causing more weight gain, even if they are eating less food and fewer calories. By eating fewer times per day, three meals, two meals, one meal, or even fasting, much less insulin is released from our pancreas, and it is much healthier for us.
In 2015 my doctor finally convinced me to start using injected insulin to get better control of my diabetes. I had lost quite a bit of weight before that through exercise. But when I started using insulin, I was still eating very reasonably, but I gained 70 pounds in one year. This weight gain was a result of insulin. And, the more meals you would eat the more times for a day you would probably need insulin.
Conventional medical wisdom tells us that by eating six small meals we would need less insulin, but the truth is the opposite. On top of using insulin that we inject, every time we would eat those small meals our body would produce more insulin. Type II diabetes is a disease of too much insulin, even though many doctors think it is from not enough insulin. Many doctors say that type II diabetes develops when our pancreas can no longer create enough insulin. Recent medical research, however, shows that insulin resistance is the problem in type II diabetes. Our bodies are producing insulin, but unable to use it, so we create more insulin, and it becomes a vicious circle.
So, yes, another stupid thing that I have done is buying into the story that we should eat six small meals per day. When I stopped doing that, and even three large meals per day following a ketogenic diet, I started losing weight. Additionally, when I started fasting, the weight poured off of. Whether using a ketogenic diet, which greatly restricts the intake of carbohydrates, or completely fasting, it creates a. Where our body is not releasing insulin. In fact, our bodies become fat adapted (they become good at burning fat for its fuel), and if we are not eating enough then our bodies will burn our body fat, and we will lose weight.
It was a stupid thing to do, but it was also the conventional wisdom in the medical community, and even among average folks. So, I don’t blame myself, but looking back, I know that I was 180° out of whack. Most people still are.
Thanks for the info Bob. I am supposed to eat several small meals a day to keep the pressure off my diaphragm muscles to help them work. I have not heard about this info from my doctors ever.
I don’t know how this would apply to your condition, you might ask your doctor. But, for those with diabetes or obesity, the 6 meals theory is not a good thing!
Bob, you are so right on this. Unfortunately much of the health information from the medical community is incorrect and even harmful to our bodies.
I agree, but I am starting to see more and more doctors moving away from the “fallacies” of the past! Things are starting to move in the right direction.
Have been eating 6 small meal a day for almost a year. Lost 25 lbs. It helps to combine it with exercise.
I have no doubt that it will work for some. It is unlikely to work well for diabetics. I do talk about this in another upcoming article. You should do what works for you. Last year I lost 100 pounds, so I am quite sure it does not work for me! 🙂
430 to fit knows nothing about insulin.
Thanks for letting me know, Mike. I’ll pass that along to my doctor. LOL
Mike Suhadolnik, 430 to fit (Bob Martin) is pointing out that eating six small meals a day is erroneous, even harmful, past advice. But, like many of us, he followed that advice before reading books such as “The Obesity Code” and other works by Dr. Fung. He is writing a series of short articles on past bad advice. Believe me, he knows about insulin, he is a very “devout” Faster, fasting for up to as long as 21 days, or maybe longer.
Mike Henebry Thanks. My longest fast is 20 days, I have also done a 15 day fast, and many 10 day fasts. Last year, 2017, I fasted for a total of about 200 days through the year. I am not really sure why Mike said I know nothing about insulin, it was rather rude to say that, but each person is entitled to their own opinion.
Connie Blake Thingstad
I’ve resolved my diabetes in the past year by fasting and low carb. I generally eat 1 meal per day and now realize how unhealthy grazing was.