3 vs. 6 Meals a Day: Disproving the Myths

Updated: May 23, 2016

Will eating more often make your metabolism burn more calories and help you lose weight? Nutritionist’s feedback on a new study may surprise you.

Some dieters believe the key to weight loss is eating three meals a day without any snacks in between. Others think six smaller meals eaten throughout the day stabilize hunger and blood sugar. Who is right?

According to a new study published in the journal Obesity, researchers found that eating six meals a day does not control hunger any better than eating three meals. And as for claims that eating smaller meals throughout the day keeps metabolism active all day long, studies published by The British Journal of Nutrition found it was the number of calories consumed that mattered most, not the frequency of meals.

If you want to lose weight, nutritionists recommended eating foods that are rich in protein and fiber. These foods take longer to digest, which keeps you feeling full longer.

But as to whether you should eat three times a day or six, there’s no hard and fast rule.  Some people like to eat frequent smaller meals and some like to eat larger meals. Both approaches can work. In the end, nutritionists say that the quality and quantity of your calories is what counts, not how often you dine.

See also:
8 Kitchen Makeovers for Weight Loss
12 Ways to Jump-Start Your Metabolism

Sources: NYTimes.com, WEBmd.com

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest