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3 Meals one snack vs. Five small meals

Anyone want to weigh in on this?

I have had people tell me that I should eat three meals a day, well-rounded, no processed white flour, no sugar, no snacks.

I have also heard that five, small meals a day seem to work well.

I understand that one may treat poor behavioral eating problems and the other may treat metabolic dieting issues, but my question is, which is best for someone trying to lose weight? Im fairly active, 24, and willing to eat healthy.

Mon. Apr 28, 3:12am

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That depends...

on your level of activity and your own eating pattern. Some people need the structure of 3 meals, while others that like to graze all day prefer the 5 small meals. The only "real" meal I eat is breakfast. The rest of the day I eat mini-meals and snack on fruit, nuts, and raw veggies. My eating patterns also depend on where I am. Am I sitting in the office all day or at running around all day? I tend to change my patterns to suit my activity level and location. Always keeping in mind to eat whole, unprocessed foods. And to allow for the occasional splurge.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 3:28 AM

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more samll meals

I eat 5 small healthy 100-150 cal.)snacks throughout the day and then a healthy dinner - works for me for 4 months. I am 168 today (guy) - 7 lbs less than high school !

I think meals tend to stretch the stomach making you want more and feel hungrier as well as NOT stoking your metabolism. plus if you are eating all the time you are less likely to feel hungry, right?

I think most of the books and magazines are recommending this approach now.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 10:44 AM

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In theory I like what 10:44 does. In practice my schedule simply doesn't allow for it. Plus I really like the ritual of a meal - preparing the food, arranging it beautifully on nice dishes and sitting down to eat in in good company. I also like the finality of it. If all I do is eat a little of this and a little of that - I quickly get out of control and before I know it I would have been better off to eat a meal. There's just something pyschological about it that I seem to need.

However it's quickly evident that what works for one individual doesn't work for another and vice versa. I don't think there is 'one true way' or we'd all be doing it and wouldn't even need to discuss the merits of one approach vs another. Do what works best for you.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 11:01 AM

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3 meals are not enough for me. There's too much of a gap between meal times and my blood sugar rises and falls like I'm on a roller coaster ride. it works better for me to have a good breakfast that includes carb, fat & protein. Then mid morning I have a snack of fruit or nuts or yogurt. Then a good size lunch, then another healthy snack mid afternoon. Then dinner, much smaller than most people eat for dinner. Because I'm winding down for the day, not much more activity to burn it off. Sometimes I even have a little after dinner snack in the evening. Maybe a small bowl of popcorn or grapes. This keeps my blood sugar pretty even throughout the day so I have energy without feeling crabby, cranky or hungry.

But everybody is different. Do what works for YOU.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 11:02 AM

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I've been doing the eating 6 times a day thing. My "meals" are between 200 and 400 calories (depending on the day and time) and then my 2 to 3 snacks are around 100 calories(sometimes more, sometimes less) I love it!! I never feel hungry and I have a constant energy now. I've been doing this for about 3 and 1/2 months. So far I've lost 30 pounds!! So this is definately the way for me. I'd suggest that if you get hungry often to try the more frequent eating. It definately helps on the cravings and low energy times.
Good luck with whichever you decide on.

Monday, April 28, 2008, 12:13 PM

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