Sometimes, less is more.
For years people have been singing the praises of "grazing" as a weight loss strategy. Professional body builders have been doing since time out of mind. Doctors recommend it. And a fitness/cookbook written by a personal trainer even made it onto The New York Times bestseller list by touting the practice's virtues. Everyone, it seemed, was telling everyone else that the way to live healthier–live better–was to eat six small meals a day.
The conventional thinking was that if you ate six small meals each day, rather than the traditional three larger meals, your body's metabolism would kick into gear, resulting in more calories being burned throughout the day.
In this case, conventional wisdom seems to have been wrong.
This past June, British researchers presented the findings of study at the American Diabetes Association meetings that showed less is more when it comes to weight loss–at least when you're talking about how often you eat.
According to the researchers, people who eat fewer meals each day lose more weight.
They tracked 54 people with Type 2 diabetes over a 12-week period. Some of the people ate six small, nutritious meals a day. Others only ate twice: a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch. The people who only sat down to eat twice trimmed an average of 1.23 points off their Body Mass Indexes (BMIs). The grazers? They only dropped by an average of 0.82.
While it's true that, on average, everyone in the study lost weight, it was clear that the people who started their days with a big breakfast and followed it up with a sensible lunch did much, much better. Not only did their BMIs drop, they also had less fat in their livers and more stable insulin levels.
As one of the researchers put it, the lesson of this study is that people should eat "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper."
As the British study demonstrates, those are words to live by!