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Eating Too Frequently (not fasting)
Study – Diabetes Care (2019)
Twenty-eight volunteers with diabetes (BMI 32.4 ± 5.2 kg/m2 and HbA1c 8.1 ± 1.1% [64.5 ± 11.9 mmol/mol]) were randomly assigned to 3Mdiet or 6Mdiet.
3Mdiet, but not 6Mdiet, led to a significant weight loss (-5.4 ± 0.9 kg) and decreased HbA1c (-12 mmol/mol [-1.2%]) after 12 weeks.
Not Enough Protein
Study – Obesity
A total of 27 overweight/obese men were randomized to groups that consumed an energy-restriction diet (750 kcal/day below daily energy need) as either higher protein (HP, 25% of energy as protein, n = 14) or normal protein (NP, 14% of energy as protein, n = 13) for 12 weeks
The 3-EO pattern led to greater evening and late-night fullness vs. 6-EO but only within the HP group
**In other words, 3 meals/day with high protein was found to be more satiating than 6 meals/day with normal protein**
Researchers conluded that “collectively, these data support the consumption of HP intake, but not greater eating frequency, for improved appetite control and satiety in overweight/obese men during energy-restriction-induced weight loss.”
Fasting Too Much
Fairly simple here – by fasting too much you’re inadvertently reducing calories
The study from the European Journal of Sports Science journal found that young men ate about 650 fewer calories per day when they limited their food intake to a 4-hour period
Not everyone is going to restrict themselves to a 4-hour eating window, but the point is that with a shorter eating window, the harder it is to eat at maintenance, let alone a surplus
And when your calories do drop too much, leptin levels decrease and your thyroid will slow
Moving on to leptin, I think having refeeds as a reason is important as most people seem to have an incorrect view of how leptin works – people who have been dieting for an extended period of time think one cheat meal will completely fix a plateau
A study published in Metabolism found that overfeeding only boosts metabolism between 3 and 10% for no more than 24 hours.
Another study, this time from International Journal of Obesity, showed that temporarily upping calorie intake could re-up leptin production by nearly 30% for up to 24 hours
The MATADOR (minimizing adaptive thermogenesis and deactivating obesity rebound) study:
Public Library of Science: Medicine
In this study, subjects (1,024 ) who consistently slept less than five hours a night had significant differences in the hormones leptin and ghrelin as compared with people who slept an average of eight hours a night
More specifically, subjects suffering a lack of sleep had 16% less leptin and nearly 15% more ghrelin than those who were well rested did
Impaired Insulin Signaling
It’s also been found that a lack of sleep can affect weight due to impaired insulin signaling
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine had 7 adults undergo four days of 4.5 hours of sleep vs 8.5 hours of sleep
Essentially, it can make fat cells 30% less able to deal with insulin
Lack of sleep also gives you the munchies as it increases levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)