Eat three meals, three times a day. Eat five to six mini meals. Eat every two hours. Don't skip breakfast. Don't eat past 8 p.m. Ah! There is so much advice floating around about how frequently to eat throughout your day in order to lose weight. So how do you know what's the right way?
Blogger Lucy Mountain, known as thefashionfitnessfoodie on Instagram, posted these comparison photos to prove a point. She said, "The current body research doesn't show any metabolic advantage toward eating more or less frequently per day when it comes to body composition changes. It's your energy balance over time which has impact."
Registered dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, agrees and said, "Eating three, five, or even six meals a day can all work [for weight loss]. It's all about creating a caloric deficit and what works for each person."
So in that respect, there is no right way to lose weight. Since everyone is different, you need to find the method that works for you. Maybe doing intermittent fasting and eating two large meals fits your work schedule. Maybe eating little snacks eight times a day, from the time you wake up until the second you get in bed, makes you feel the most energized.
Whatever your goals are, don't stress about the timing of your meals and snacks. If you want to lose weight, focus on eating appropriate portions of healthy, whole foods — no matter how many times a day that adds up to. As Lucy illustrates so beautifully, it's "still 1800 calories," no matter how you spread it out. So do what works for you!