Mini Meals May Reduce Hunger and Help Lose Weight
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Eating more than three times a day is gaining popularity, but what are its exact benefits for weight loss?
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, various individuals and experts weighed in on eating "mini meals", which are smaller but more frequent. In fact, most people eat up to six mini meals in place of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The piece profiles Gary Shor, who has lost 30 pounds by portioning out his daily mini meals consisting of lean protein, grain, vegetables and fruits.
Shor likens it more to grazing than eating, but he's eating adequately. "I'm not having a candy bar," he states. "It's a real meal." Shor is also careful to limit his sodium and sugar intake, but he claims he doesn't pay attention to calories.
One nutritionist points out a flip side to these mini meals. "When you're eating constantly," she tells WSJ, "it's really easy to overdo it at each meal." Couldn't one argue, too, that people tend to consume more if they very hungry after waiting four or more hours between large meals? Perhaps keeping an eye on daily calorie intake isn't a bad thing.
Eating mini meals is also time intensive. Many who are successful at this spend time on weekend prepping their week's worth of foods, freezing individual portions, but once a routine is set in place it becomes easy, part of a ritual in fact.
In one 2011 study the WSJ article cited, 50 people, divided into two groups, were asked to eat 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day and exercise 200 minutes a week. The only difference between the two groups is that one ate three meals a day and the other group ate six meals. Both groups lost similar weight, but the group eating six mini meals reported feeling less hungry throughout the trial. The lead researcher also commented that other studies showed that normal-weight individuals tended to eat more often each day than overweight individuals.
Mini meals gives people a way to maintain higher metabolism, increase satiety, and, most importantly perhaps, closely monitor serving sizes and calorie intake.
Tell us, are you a fan of mini meals?Weight Loss->Appetite & Satiety