How Many Times a Day do You Need to Eat?

How Many Times a Day do You Need to Eat?

Three meals a day for those who are satisfied with everything.

Your diet mode

Breakfast at 7–8 a.m., lunch at 13–14 p.m. and dinner in nineteen–20 p.m. This diet is familiar to us from childhood however it is not is a biological necessity, as you might think, looking at its wide distribution.

People did not always eat three times a day. This mode was formed under the influence of culture, and more precisely — an eight-hour day. Let's see the benefits of it.

The benefits of three meals a day

Many nutritionists claim that more frequent meals help to better control weight than the usual three meals a day, however, some studies refute this.

The study revealed, that three meals a day are not worse than six times when it comes to losing weight. Eight two weeks groups of participants dieted with low in calories but one group ate three times a day and another — six. As a result, scientists did not notice significant differences in participants from both groups.

Another study compared the effects of two- and six-fold nutrition on the health and shape of women with obese. It turned out, that women eating two times a day, observed high levels of high-density lipoproteins, or good cholesterol.

One more study compared three and six meals in the day. It turned out that the level of triglycerides in blood was much lower with three meals than with six. It means, that three meals a day, according to compared to a fractional, are a more useful form of cardio-vascular system.

It turns out that the standard three meals a day do not only lose fractional but also has its advantages for health.

Who needs three meals a day?

Three meals a day will suit you if:

  • you work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at you can’t eat between meals;
  • you do not want to spend extra time on cooking food;
  • you are used to this type of food, not suffer from excess weight and problems with digestion;
  • you do not feel hunger among the meals till the day.

If you struggle with excess weight, you suffer from hunger and then overeat, you should try other power systems.

Fractional Nutrition to Control Hunger

Fractional nutritionDiet

The essence of fractional nutrition is to divide your daily calorie intake into many small meals. How much — depends on your capabilities and desires. Usually six meals: three major and three snacks.

If your one calorie intake is 500 kcal, instead of three meals by 500 kcal, you have to eat not more than 250 kcal at once. This, for example, is one sandwich or a cup of yogurt and an apple.

The Benefits of Fractional Nutrition?

The advantages of this method are that throughout the day don't feel hungry due to which you consume less food, even if not count calories and don't limit yourself to food.

Decreased hunger confirms the results of one experiment, held on young men with normal body weight. Scientists have found that if you divide the portion of food into five parts and give each part after an hour, then people are better able to control their appetite than when they eat a serving for once.

In addition, frequent meals reduce glucose and bad cholesterol. 

You can’t say for sure whether fractional nutrition helps to lose weight since some studies do not discover the benefits of frequent meals for weight loss. But in view of the benefits of such a diet, why not try it?

Who Should Try Fractional Nutrition?

Consider fractional nutrition if:

  • you are overweight and you are looking for ways to get rid of it;
  • you have the opportunity to eat in the course of the day;
  • you often experience hunger during the day, and overeat in the evening;
  • you want to lower bad cholesterol and insulin.

There is another eating regimen that is recommended as useful for health, — short-term fasting.

Short-term Fasting for Heart and Brain Health


Short-term fasting — this is a power circuit, when for 16–18 hours you consume only water, and for the rest of the time you eat as much as you want, but without overeating and junk food. There is also another scheme — regular food for five days in week and fasting by 24 hours two times a week.

Short-term fasting can be called a fashion trend, however, such nutritional patterns were found in stories. For example, historian Caroline Yeldham tells, that the ancient Romans ate once in a day in the noon area. They really cared about digestion and eating more than once per day considered gluttony.

The Benefits of Short-Term Fasting?

There are quite a few studies proving the benefits of fasting, but most of them were carried out with involving animals. for example, experiments on mice proved the benefits of short-term fasting for the cardio-vascular system. In addition, there was a decrease in insulin, leptin, and cholesterol, as well as an increase in testosterone.

How approves Mark Mattson, a senior researcher at the National Institute on Aging, starvation reduces the number of markers of inflammation in the blood and reduces oxidative stress, supports the ability to learning and memory.

Members of the experiment  — adults with overweight asthma, — consumed in some days only 20%of their calorie intake. In eight weeks they lost 8% of weight, the number of markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in their blood has decreased, asthma symptoms have also decreased and some indicators of quality of life have improved.

Mattson also investigated the benefits of fasting for the brain. If you do not eat for 10–16 hours, your body will draw energy from fat reserves, and fatty acids go to blood. It will positively affect cognitive functions such as memory and the ability to learning and will also slow down the destructive processes in the brain.

However, according to Dr. Stephen Freedland, a professor of urology at Duke University Medical Center Durham, great if not calorie restriction matters.

Dr. Friedland with colleagues investigated the effect of short-term fasting on the development of prostate cancer in mice. Mice starved twice in a week by 24 hours, and overeat the rest of the time. As a result, they don't lose weight and got no benefits from fasting — cancer growth is not slowed down.

Friedland believes that greater importance for Health has an overall decrease in calories than fasting periods. You can get the benefit from fasting if the rest of the time you eat healthy foods and not overeat.

Who should try short-term fasting?

You should try short-term fasting if:

  • you cannot lose weight and want to try something new;
  • you do not experience hunger in the morning (for example, if you chose daily fasting for sixteen hours and ate at 8 p.m., next time you can have to eat at 12 p.m.);
  • you do not want to spend a lot of time cooking food.