How Many Meals A Day Are You Eating?

Meeting your weight loss goals, lowering your cholesterol, or improving heart health may involve changing what we think we know about nutrition, but the long held idea that we should eat more frequent, lighter meals may be headed out the window. Getting Your Three Squares Rather than eat three meals per day, doctors and nutritionists have long been recommending that we eat five to six smaller meals.  The idea behind this advice was that you wouldn’t get quite as hunger, and in the process, you might manage to boost your metabolism. A new study, though, holds that three larger, protein-based meals per day are more effective in terms of losing weight.

The Set-Up
  • Professors Wayne Campbell of Purdue and Heather Leidy of the University of Missouri looked at 27 overweight men.
  • All consumed a restricted calorie diet for 12 weeks.
  • Half had normal amounts of protein, while the other half had high amounts of protein.  (“High” here means that protein composed about 25 percent of each meal).
  • About halfway through the study, the group went from eating three meals to having that same amount of food spread out over six meals.

The Results Campbell and Leidy found that the participants tended to feel fuller and more satisfied when they ate three larger meals.  What’s more is that the researchers found that more of their participants actually had trouble eating 6 meals every day. Additionally, those on the high protein diets saw a reduction in late-night cravings and had “fewer thoughts of food,”  while those eating small, frequent meals had “relatively no beneficial impact on appetite control.” Looks like protein three times a day rules the nutrition roost, at least for now. Besides lean meats, like pork, you can get protein from eggs, cheese, legumes, beans, nuts, and whole grains.  You can also pick up 22Days protein bars, like the delicious Nut Butter Buddha Crunch.  Loaded with 10 grams of protein, this is an excellent way to start your day or add protein any time.