And Rip Up Your Meal Plan
Don’t stress over erratic eating patterns. Adaptability is the order of the day
The OLD rule Steady fat loss is built on a militant feeding schedule: six small meals, one every two to three hours, and skip breakfast at your peril. Best invest in a bigger work bag for all that Tupperware. The NEW rule It’s trite but true: the best diet is the one you can stick to. So, if you’re insatiable throughout the working day, eat as often as you please. But there’s no need to force down nut-buttered rice cakes two hours after breakfast, out of fear that your fuel-deprived metabolism will screech to a halt. A medical review found no credible link between meal frequency and fat loss, while a study in Plos One found that having three meals a day can actually raise your metabolism. By overruling your body’s hunger signals, you’re at a greater risk of weight gain: Cornell University scientists found that if people eat according to the clock – regardless of appetite – their blood sugar rises higher than if they wait until their stomach cues them to eat. While this is useful if you want to pack on extra mass, it’s counterproductive when you’re leaning out.
“I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting,” says Zolkiewicz. “I use it to prepare for modelling shoots, and it helps me stay in touch with the hunger signals from my body.” A time-restricted eating schedule, which is what nutritional scientists call “skipping a meal”, has even been shown to increase fat oxidation. In other words, if you miss your pre-office porridge window, don’t sweat it. And if you’re hungry, just have something to eat.