“Scientific studies have shown that eating multiple small meals instead of three large ones results in less unwanted weight gain, and a smoother transition of energy output and use during exercise. When we eat this way we experience fewer valleys and peaks between meals and fewer episodes of hunger to drive us to overeating,” according to Dr. Anthony Goodman, who received his BA from Harvard and MD from Cornell. He teaches “The Myths of Nutrition and Fitness,” a course offered by The Great Courses, which I am currently taking.
Sam Ellyn, writing on the Livestrong site, agrees, “Eating more often doesn’t mean eating more; in fact, you may end up eating less. The less time you have between meals, the less likely you’ll be to overeat. Eating more often also keeps your metabolism up. Eating three meals and two snacks a day is an effective way to stay healthy and manage your weight.”
He points out that Katherine Zeratsky at MayoClinic.com says when our body doesn’t get food for long periods it can lead to a physiologic response that promotes fat storage. Eating every few hours helps keep your blood sugar levels steady, avoiding spikes that can lead to weight gain.