Small Meals and Weight Loss

There is a lot of talk about how eating several small meals each day can help with weight loss, but is that really true? What are the alternatives if it isn't?

Let's look at the current thinking behind eating five small meals per day for weight loss.

The idea that you may feel fuller if you eat five small meals each day when you are trying to lose weight is commonly believed, since it makes good logical sense that as long as you eat frequently, your belly will never be empty.small meal

Another idea is that you may find it helps stabilize your blood sugar levels and energy levels, which can make it easier to reduce your overall calorie intake.

However, the reality is that eating multiple meals does not necessarily result in more weight loss than other eating methods.

Yet if regular grazing is a good fit for you and you don't feel hungry or deprived when dieting, you can use it to help lose weight.

Frequent Eating Pros & Cons

Five small meals per day can help new dieters connect with their hunger and fullness.

This is a strategy employed by a number of diet delivery companies to help their customers to shed weight. For example, the Nutrisystem meals are very small but can be added to with fresh veggies to bulk them out without adding a lot of calories.

The meals are small so you can eat until your hunger is satisfied. Five small meals can help you calm hunger cravings and other symptoms that often accompany high blood sugar swings.

Allowing yourself to eat frequently and often helps avoid binging and overeating. Also, a meal plan that includes small, frequent meals can have a positive impact on insulin and cholesterol levels.

However, the strategy of only eating five small meals per week does not result in weight loss.

In March 2011, the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that eating smaller meals per day has no effect on body composition for people who are not exercising.

Eating smaller meals less often doesn't result in a greater loss of calories or an increase in resting metabolic rate.

A February 2013 study in cbesity revealed that six meals per day doesn't increase fat burning, and can cause you to eat more than usual. This could be because you are more focused on food than your true hunger cues.

Plan Five Small Meals

You can lose up to 2 to 3 pounds per week if you are committed to eating 5 small meals per day as long as they are low in carbs and sugar. Many meal replacement diets work in this way.

A calculator online can calculate how many calories you will need each day to maintain your weight. It takes into account your age, gender, and activity level.

Weight loss is when you eat less calories than what you need to maintain your weight. For example, if you consume 3500 calories per day, or 500 calories per week, you will lose 1 pound.

To calculate your daily calorie intake, subtract 500-1000 calories from the calories you need to maintain your weight. Divide the calorie goal by 5 to calculate how many calories you should eat at each meal.

To lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week, you will need to eat 1,200 to 1,700 calories per day if you have determined that you require 2,200 calories to maintain your weight. Each meal could contain approximately 300 calories.

Aim to consume at least 1,200 calories daily. Anything less will cause low energy, muscle loss, and possibly nutritional deficiencies. For a slower, but more healthy weight loss tip, is to adjust your goals if your calorie deficit is less than 1,200 calories.

Composition of Small Meals

Plan ahead to create nutritionally-complete and satisfying small meals. You should avoid making small meals from easy-to-grab snacks.

This will lead to you consuming more calories than necessary to lose weight. In a May 2012 study, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who eat snacks more than meals are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The risk of type 2 diabetes was highest for those who snack on processed foods. These snacks are often not nutrient-rich or filling.

Try Small Meals

A small meal should have 2 to 4 ounces lean protein, 1 to 2 cups fresh vegetables, and about 1 to 2 teaspoons healthy unsaturated oils.

Half a cup should be made up of whole grains or starchy veggies. Fresh fruit can be substituted for one or two of five meals.

Your daily calorie intake will be determined by how much you eat at each meal.


Whether you choose to eat several small meals each day while counting calories, or prefer to opt for a low carb, keto friendly diet with fewer meals, you can lose weight as long as you don't cheat on even a convenient diet by sneaking sugary snacks when no one is looking.

The onus is firmly on the dieter to stick to their diet and do whatever is necessary to burn fat to shed excess weight. You can do it when you really set your mind to it!