You’ve probably read somewhere that it’s better to eat several small meals a day rather than three traditional ones in order to keep your metabolism ticking over faster and lose weight quicker.
The truth is, metabolic rate is very difficult to change through eating habits alone. A meta study (a study of studies so to speak) has shown quite extensively that “grazing” or eating several small meals over the course of the day as opposed to eating three meals or even “gorging” makes no difference
ref. Bellisle F1, McDevitt R, Prentice AM. | Meal frequency and energy balance. | Br J Nutr. 1997 Apr;77 Suppl 1:S57-70.
There are extreme cases of this being tested under legitimate scientific research. One man even fasted for 382 days under medical supervision with no significant changes to his metabolic rate.
ref. W. K. Stewart and Laura W. Fleming | Features of a successful therapeutic fast of 382 days’ duration | Postgrad Med J. 1973 Mar; 49(569): 203–209.
In fact the only dramatic way metabolism can go due to frequency of meals is down, and that is when a sort of starvation mode is simulated by eating too little until there is almost no calories in the form of fat or food available to use.
Complexity of Weight Loss comes down to Simple Maths
In the end, weight loss comes down to one expesson:
Calories Consumed < Calories Burned = Weight Loss
Take a day as the timeframe, and over the course of 24 hours, you must burn more calories than you eat and drink in order to lose weight.
No matter how complicated a diet plan is, this calorie deficit is how the weight loss occurs. The matter of how healthy your body is as it loses weight comes down to the specific nutritional aspects of the diet.