Meal Frequency and Metabolism

Based on our current understanding of the topic, meal frequency does not appear to influence metabolism or body composition. If you are looking to develop healthy eating habits, you will gain the same benefit eating 2 meals a day, 3 meals a day, 6 meals a day, etc. Multiple meals may be beneficial during periods of caloric restriction to aid hunger and preserve lean muscle mass, however it is not necessary to eat ~6 meals a day to “stoke the metabolic rate”. The number of meals you choose to have in a 24 hour period is a matter of preference.

Carbohydrate Classification

Carbohydrate classification can be easily understood as simple carbohydrates (monosaccharides and disaccharides) and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides). Simple carbohydrates provide your body with immediate energy (rapid increase in blood sugar) and is found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Complex carbohydrates provide your body with longer and more sustained energy (slow increase in blood sugar) and is found in starches and fibers. Both simple and complex carbohydrates eventually break down into sugar (glucose) and provide the primary source of energy for your body.

Complete Proteins and Incomplete Proteins

Proteins are combinations of amino acids used for growth and repair of bodily tissues. These combinations are selected from 20 different amino acids, 9 needing to come from the diet (essential) and the other 11 naturally produced in the body (non-essential).

Red meats, poultry, milk, eggs, and fish contain what is called complete proteins. Complete proteins satisfy the body’s protein requirements by including all the essential amino acids in the right portions.

Individual plant-based proteins, excluding soy, contain what is called incomplete proteins. Incomplete proteins lack in the body’s protein requirements by missing one or more essential amino acids.

However, these incomplete proteins can be made up by having numerous incomplete proteins together. So, for individuals who do not incorporate meat and dairy in their diet, a wide selection of plant-based foods can satisfy protein requirements.

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR): 15-25% of calories.

Water-Soluble Vitamins and Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins have two classifications: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-Soluble Vitamins: do not store in your body and need to be taken daily.

B1 (Thiamine)
B2 (Riboflavin)
B3 (Niacin)
B6 (Pyriodoxine)
B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Folic Acid
Fat-Soluble Vitamins: do store in your body and do not need to be taken daily. These vitamins dissolve in fat and remain in the body for long periods of time.

Vitamin A
Vitamin D (Calciferol)
Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
Vitamin K (Menadione)