HOW OFTEN should we eat:
Many studies have looked at the physiological effects consuming 3 meals versus 5 meals per day has on the human body. A recent review has summarized the literature and found that many of the studies were done in different models and populations. As such, it is important to keep these variables in mind when reading and interpreting these studies.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the meal trifecta, was once the main approach to planning out meals. Studies show that consuming a diet with 3 meals spaced throughout the day rather than several small meals spaced throughout the day improved appetite control and increased the resting metabolic rate (RMR). These endpoints, appetite control and RMR, can be extremely relevant markers for long term weight management.
Eating 2 larger meals (breakfast and lunch) throughout the day also proved beneficial for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes. The authors found that while the larger meals caused a spike in glucose and insulin following a meal, eating two larger meals rather than 6 smaller meals led to overall improved glycemic control throughout the day and reduced body weight.