Eating less and often: Does
it help control weight?
Newswise ó Having a hard time
resisting the urge to snack between meals? Maybe itís time to give
Some studies suggest that eating
smaller, more frequent meals than the standard three meals a day may
actually help control weight, according to the May issue of Mayo
Clinic Womenís HealthSource.
With four to six smaller, but
regularly spaced meals, you may keep yourself from becoming
ravenously hungry and overeating at the next meal. Eating more often
also helps give you energy throughout the day.
particular tend to eat frequent high-carbohydrate, low-fat meals to
boost their energy.
Researchers speculate that even for the rest of
us, eating frequent small meals is more compatible with a physically
active lifestyle than the habit of skipping earlier meals and eating
a larger one in the evening. In fact, skipping breakfast is
associated with a greater prevalence of obesity.
But the potential downfall of
frequent meals is that poor choices and too many calories may
promote weight gain.
If your frequent meals are dictated by your
mood and whatís in the vending machine, you may be overeating and
not getting the proper nutrition your body needs.
While thereís no clear consensus
on how timing and frequency of meals affect body weight, one thing
is certain: a calorie is still a calorie.
No matter when or what you
eat, your total intake is the most important factor in controlling
your weight. If snacking on healthy foods in sensible portions
throughout the day helps you control your total calorie intake,
snack away. It may just be the useful tool you need to help manage