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Today's blog is written by Mr. Tanner Lowry: BS Sport Science, USAW
Why should I eat small meals frequently? It ensures the body remains in an anabolic state, rather than catabolic.
Anabolism-the body is muscle building and burning fat
Catabolism-the body is wasting away and eating the most readily available protein in the body, muscle
The body is in constant need of nutrient-dense food in order to run sufficiently. If we withhold food from the body for too long, the body goes into a catabolic state.
>>Being catabolic means the body is in a deficit and cannot sustain normal functioning because it does not have a sufficient amount of energy from food.
To avoid this, eating frequently throughout the day allows for a spike in energy and allows the body to remain anabolic, which allows metabolism to increase and you are able to reap the benefits of your resistance training program.
The phrase, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is warranted on many levels, especially in regards to keeping your body in an anabolic state. Starting the day off with a solid breakfast jump starts the metabolism and avoids the body entering a catabolic state. A common scenario that leads to catabolism would be eating dinner around 5 or 6pm, going to sleep at a decent hour, and the body uses up the energy taken in through your dinner throughout the night. If you were to wake up and skip breakfast, your body is already in a catabolic state and will continue to be until you eat. If lunch is your first meal of the day, you could be in a catabolic state for 12+ hours depending on the dinner you ate the night before.
Here's the take home point: eat often! It is more beneficial to eat the smallest of things (even if it is not the most healthy) every 2-4 hours than to allow your body to enter a catabolic state and eat away at the muscle you are working so hard to develop.