Eating three meals a day is a better strategy to burn some fat rather than grazing on several mini meals, a new study has indicated.
Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana revealed that obese men on low-calorie, high-protein diets felt more satisfied and less hungry when they ate three times a day in comparison to six times a day.
There is a widespread perception that it's better to eat little meals more often.
"These mini-meals everyone is talking about don't seem to be as beneficial as far as appetite control," the Daily Mail quoted Heather Leidy, lead researcher, as saying.
The researchers randomly assigned 27 overweight men to eat either a high-protein diet or a normal-protein diet for 12 weeks.
The men either ate their assigned diet in three meals spaced five hours apart, or in six meals eaten every two hours, for three days in a row. The study participants then switched to the other eating pattern for an additional three consecutive days.
While eating frequency didn't influence appetite in the men on the normal-protein diet, the researchers did find that men in the high protein group felt fuller in the evening and late at night after eating just three meals a day.
"We very clearly want people to know that this is not an Atkins-style diet. You're still getting an adequate amount of fibre and fruits and vegetables with these diets," Leidy informed further.
The study is published in the journal Obesity.