It is widely accepted in modern culture that people should divide their daily diet into three large meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – For optimal health. This belief stems primarily from culture and
However, in recent years experts have begun to change their view, suggesting that eating smaller, more frequent meals may be better for preventing chronic disease and losing weight. As a result, more people are changing their eating patterns in favor of eating several small meals throughout the day.
Those who advocate eating small, frequent meals suggest this eating pattern can:
- Improving satiety, or feeling full after eating
- Increase metabolism and body composition
- Prevent dips in energy
- stabilization of blood sugar
- Prevent overeating.
While some studies support these recommendations, others do not show any significant benefit. In fact, some research suggests that it may be best to continue eating three larger meals.
This is what the research says.
Over the years, some studies have supported these findings, suggesting that people who eat small, frequent meals have better cholesterol levels than those who consume fewer than three meals a day.
In particular, one syllable 2019
This study did not note any differences in total cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. It is important to note, however, that this is an observational study, which means that it can only demonstrate association, not causation.
Additionally, one review was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association
There is a common idea that eating more meals can help with weight loss. However, the research on this is still mixed.
For example, one
At the end of the study, the researchers noted no difference in energy expenditure and body fat loss between the two groups. Interestingly, those who ate six small meals throughout the day had increased levels of hunger and desire to eat compared to those who ate three larger meals a day.
Although calorie intake was controlled in both groups, the researchers hypothesized that those who ate frequent meals would be more likely to consume more daily calories than those who ate fewer calories.
Another great note results
- eating less
- Eat breakfast and lunch 5 to 6 hours apart
- Avoid snacks
- Eat the biggest meal in the morning
- Fasting 18-19 hours throughout the night.
Moreover, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Does eating frequent meals boost metabolism?
Small, frequent meals are often touted as a comprehensive treatment for obesity. Many believe that eating every 2 to 3 hours can help boost metabolism.
In fact, some studies She suggests that fewer and larger meals may increase TEF more than eating more frequent meals.
Although the evidence supporting an increase in meal frequency in the general population remains mixed, many experts believe that eating smaller, frequent meals can benefit athletes.
When prioritizing total daily calories, limited evidence suggests that meal frequency may be in athletes
People who eat more frequently are likely to have better diet quality. Specifically, those who consume at least
These individuals are also more likely to consume less sodium and added sugars than those who eat two meals a day.
Similarly, another 2020 study was published in British Journal of Nutrition He found that increased meal frequency – about three meals per day – correlated with higher diet quality.
The researchers found that the frequency of snacks and diet quality varied according to the definition of snacks.
Based on the studies presented, there is no concrete evidence to support one eating pattern over another. However, many of these studies also have limitations.
For example, there is no universally accepted definition of what a meal or snack consists of. This could have an impact on the results of the study.
With that said, both eating patterns can be beneficial as long as the primary focus is on healthy eating habits.
Who Should Consume Small, Frequent Meals?
A review was posted on
- Early satiety experience
- They are trying to gain weight
- They have gastroparesis
- You have gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or bloating.
If your goal is to lose weight, it’s important to keep your portion sizes in mind. Make sure to stay within your daily calorie needs and divide them by the number of meals you eat.
For example, if you need 1,800 calories to maintain your weight and choose to eat six small meals a day, each meal should contain about 300 calories.
Small, frequent meals often come in the form of ultra-processed foods and snacks that don’t contain many of the vital nutrients your body needs. Hence, it is essential to focus on the quality of the foods you eat.
Who should consume fewer and larger meals?
People who may benefit from three larger meals per day are:
- Those who find it difficult to exercise portion control
- Those who tend not to eat consciously
- People who lead busy lives and may not have the time to plan and prepare several small, nutritious meals a day.
Again, keeping diet quality in mind and prioritizing whole foods is essential. Fewer meals mean fewer chances of getting the essential nutrients your body needs.
Although there is no strong evidence to support the importance of meal frequency, there is strong evidence to support the overall health benefits of a balanced, nutrient-rich diet.
- Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk or dairy products
- Include protein from various sources, including seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products, and legumes.
- Stay within your allotted calorie needs
- Limit added sugars, cholesterol, trans fats, and saturated fats.
Evidence is mixed about the importance of food frequency. Although there is no strong evidence to suggest that one eating pattern is superior to the other, both can provide health and wellness benefits if you follow a healthy eating pattern.
Thus, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and which approach works best for you. Plus, if you have certain health conditions, one approach may benefit you over the other.
As always, consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet.
#Meal #frequency #size