Nutritionists and trainers are frequently telling people that the key to losing weight is to eat several small meals a day instead of three regular sized ones, but a recent study says that three meals a day might be better after all.
The study, conducted by the University of Missouri, looked at blood sugar and blood fat levels in test subjects based on the frequency of their meals.
According to UPI, the test looked only at obese women, and it only looked at them on two separate days. The women consumed 1,500 calories a day during the study, either in the form of three 500-calorie liquid meals or six 250-calorie liquid meals. The researchers tested the women’s blood sugar and fat levels every 30 minutes.
According to the study authors, the subjects who consumed three full-sized meals a day had significantly lower blood fat levels than did the women who consumed six half-sized meals a day.
“Our data suggests that, for obese women, eating fewer, bigger meals may be more advantageous metabolically compared to eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day,” said lead author Tim Heden, a Ph.D. student in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology. “Eating larger meals less often lowered blood-fat levels. Over time, consistently eating fewer, larger meals each day could lower the women's blood-fat levels and thereby lower their risk of developing heart disease.”