Nutrition MythsBusters: Increasing Meal Frequency will boost Your Metabolism
It was once thought that eating 6-8 meals per day was better than eating 3-4 larger meals. The theory was that eating more frequently increased your metabolism.
However, based on the latest evidence, we know that it’s not the number of meals but the total amount of calories you consume in a day which determines if you lose weight.
In fact, eating fewer meals may leave you feeling less satisfied and cause you to eat more, which could lead to weight gain.
Bottom Line: The number of meals you eat throughout the day doesn’t have much of an impact on whether you lose weight. The most important thing is your total caloric intake and finding an eating plan that you can adhere to.
Brad Jon Schoenfeld, Alan Albert Aragon, James W. Krieger, Effects of meal frequency on weight loss and body composition: a meta-analysis, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 73, Issue 2, February 2015, Pages 69–82, https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuu017
Stote KS, et al. A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults. Am J Clin Nutr. (2007)
Cameron, J., Cyr, M., & Doucet, É. (2010). Increased meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss in subjects who were prescribed an 8-week equi-energetic energy-restricted diet. British Journal of Nutrition, 103(8), 1098-1101. doi:10.1017/S0007114509992984