In recent years, fractional nutrition has become especially fashionable. Is it as useful as many believe? And how to adhere to its principles?
What it is?
Fractional meals involve the frequent consumption of small portions of food. Ideally, the number of meals per day should be 5-6, in any case there should be at least 4. But portions should be reduced, and this is important.
How it works?
It would seem that the more often you eat, the more calories, carbohydrates and fats enter the body. But in fact, the main feature of fractional nutrition is a decrease in the volume of portions, that is, the amount of food consumed, in fact, remains the same and is within the normal range. And the effect is based precisely on the fact that food comes in fractional, that is, in parts. And what does it give?
This way of eating allows you to speed up the metabolism, because each time the body will spend energy to process the food that has been received. And this, of course, contributes to weight loss, because the more calories are expended, the more actively fat is burned.
Several important rules to help you lose weight:
- Fractional meals are not designed for a week or even a month. It should become a habit and become a part of your new life.
- The volume of one serving should not exceed 200-250 grams.
- The number of meals is 5-6 times a day.
- Drink plenty of fluids, namely at least 1.5-2 liters per day.
- Stick to dietary guidelines. Exclude from the menu fried, flour, fatty, sweet, semi-finished products, fast food, smoked. The diet may include fruits, berries and vegetables, fermented milk and dairy products (with a low percentage of fat), whole grains, lean fish and meat, and seafood.
- Such methods of thermal processing of food as baking in the oven, stewing, boiling or steaming are encouraged. Frying and smoking should be discarded.
Advantages and disadvantages
Benefits of fractional nutrition for weight loss:
- Positive results. Extra pounds really do go away, and many have proven this. In addition, the effect is long-lasting, meaning you can easily maintain your weight.
- Few contraindications. Fractional nutrition is considered healthy and correct from a physiological point of view, so it is indicated for certain diseases.
- You will not have a feeling of hunger, because the interval between meals is no more than 2.5-3 hours. During this time, you simply will not have time to get hungry.
- You will be able to speed up your metabolism, and this will affect not only the process of losing weight, but also the functioning of all important body systems.
- You normalize digestion. First, the digestive tract will work more actively, which will prevent constipation (this problem is very common with most diets). Secondly, the digestive organs will not experience such stress as with two or three meals a day in large portions, in which the stomach stretches and simply cannot cope with processing.
- All products are digested much better and more complete. If the portions are large, then the nutrients simply do not have time to be absorbed normally.
- It’s pretty easy to get used to fractional meals.
- You will be able to maintain normal blood sugar levels. After eating a small amount of food, the amount of insulin increases, but only slightly and for a short time.
- Such nutrition can be called rational, balanced and healthy, because all the necessary substances enter the body, since the diet is varied.
- Adhering to the principles is not at all difficult, because the restrictions are minimal, and there is no hunger.
- Since the digestive tract is not loaded (especially in the afternoon), sleep becomes calmer, healthier and stronger.
- You will notice an increase in efficiency, you will become much more cheerful and more active, because your body will work like a clock.
- You may not be able to assess the effect immediately, because the body takes time to adjust to a new mode of functioning.
- Do not expect that weight loss will be fast, but the lost kilograms will not return again.
- It is not very convenient to eat this way, especially for active and busy people who spend most of their time on the go. To eat 5-6 times a day, you need to carry food with you and set aside time for eating it, and this is not always possible and not everywhere.
- This option may not suit everyone, some may not get used to it.
- The risk of tooth decay increases as food contact between teeth becomes more frequent. But if you follow the hygiene of the oral cavity, then problems can be avoided.
- You have to create a menu for every day, as well as prepare various products, and this can take a lot of time. But you can make a menu for a week and cook something for a few days, then the task will be easier.
Here is an example of a fractional meal menu for one day:
- Breakfast (8:00): a plate of milk porridge with a spoonful of natural honey or fruit, a cup of coffee or tea.
- Second breakfast (10: 30-11: 00): fruit or a portion of cottage cheese or yogurt.
- Lunch (13:00): vegetable soup (you can add meat, poultry or fish).
- Afternoon snack (15: 30-16: 00): a light dessert (such as jelly or pudding) or a small portion of nuts with dried fruit.
- Dinner (18: 30-19: 00): a portion of boiled chicken breast or lean fish and vegetable salad (you can replace the stew).
- Before going to bed, you can drink a glass of low-fat kefir.
Recommendations to all those who decided to adhere to the principles of fractional nutrition:
- To control the size of each serving, get a small plate and eat only from it.
- To get used to a new way of eating, you need to act gradually. If you usually eat two or three times a day in large portions, then first slightly reduce their volume and increase the number of meals by one. Next, reduce the volumes and increase the frequency of feeding in order to gradually reach the norm.
- It is worth adhering to the daily calorie intake. It should not exceed 1500 calories if you want to lose weight, or 1800-2000 if you are maintaining body weight.
- If you feel that this way of eating is not suitable for you (for example, your health has worsened, chronic diseases have worsened), then you should not stick to it.
- If you find it difficult to eat fractionally, then you can do the following: eat three times a day, but reduce the amount of servings, and between main meals, make small snacks (fruits, yoghurts).
Eat fractionally, correctly, and in a balanced way to improve your shape and health!