Should we eat 3 meals or 6 meals for weight loss success? Are you confused about which strategy makes sense?
I know people who do well controlling their weight eating 3 or fewer times a day. I also know people who do well managing their weight by grazing throughout the day, eating 6 or more times.
3 Meals or 6 Meals, Which is Best?
Many weight loss plans encourage snacking and/or eating mini-meals throughout the day. The theory being that it’s the best way to fuel our metabolism and burn fat.
For a long time I bought into this approach, as this Pack a Snack for Weight Loss Success post written back in 2012 clearly illustrates.
But I’ve always wondered how our body would ever get around to burning stored fat if we are constantly feeding it?
If you’ve been following along here for a while you know that I’m enamored of the French approach to eating. I learned when I read French Kids Eat Everything, that French culture discourages snacking. And they’re slimmer than us.
I agree that it’s better to have a small healthy snack than get so famished you overeat later (or hit up the vending machine). And if you are going to snack it’s better to chose carrots than cookies. But I’m beginning to think that limiting snacking as much as possible is the best strategy (at least for me) since any opportunity to eat is an invitation to overeat!
Over the past year or so I’ve worked to break the snacking habit. I try to only snack when I feel too hungry to make it comfortably to my next meal. And my primary snack foods are baby carrots, apples, nuts and the occasional Luna fiber bar, which only seems necessary when I fail to sit down to a proper breakfast!
My nana, who took the 3 meal approach for most of her life found that when she got into her 80s and 90s she felt better eating smaller more frequent meals.
Clearly, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.
The 3 Meal Approach
In this video Dr. John Douillard explains why he believes it’s better to eat 3 meals a day for health and weight loss:
In this video, Weight Watcher Girl, Tracey Pinder, who has lost over 150 pounds, shares a typical day showing what she eats on Weight Watchers throughout the day and how she spreads her points. In this video she eats 6 times: Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Snack, Before Dinner Snack, Dinner, After Dinner Dessert.
What do you think 3 meals or 6 meals for weight loss success? What works best for you?
Today’s food for thought…
“If it wasn’t for the optimist, the pessimist would never know how happy he wasn’t.”
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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