home
RSS
Two big meals may be better than six small ones
May 15th, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Two big meals may be better than six small ones

Editor's note: This blog was originally published in June 2013 when the research was presented at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago. The final study results were published Thursday in the journal Diabetologia.

You've probably heard that eating multiple small meals throughout the day is a good way to stave off hunger and keep your metabolism revved up while trying to lose weight. But a new study could change your diet strategy.

Eating two large meals early and skipping dinner may lead to more weight loss than eating six smaller meals throughout the day, the study suggests.

"Both experimental and human studies strongly support the positive effects of intermittent fasting," lead study author Dr. Hana Kahleova told CNN in an e-mail.

The study

Researchers from the Czech Republic followed 54 patients with Type 2 diabetes for 24 weeks. The study participants were split into two groups at random. Both groups followed a diet that reduced their energy intake by 500 calories per day and contained 50 to 55% carbohydrates, 20 to 25% protein and less than 30% fat.

For the first 12 weeks, one group ate three main meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - and three small snacks in between meals. The other group ate a large breakfast between 6 and 10 a.m. and a large lunch between noon and 4 p.m. The two groups then switched for the second 12 weeks.

Researchers asked the patients not to alter their exercise habits during the study.

The results

Although both groups lost weight and decreased the amount of fat in their livers, the group that was eating only two larger meals lost more during each 12-week session. Eating fewer, bigger meals also led to lower fasting blood sugar levels, meaning that the body's insulin production was working more efficiently.

The timing and frequency of the groups' meals did not seem to have an effect on the function of beta cells that produce insulin or on the glucose metabolic clearance rate - i.e. how fast their bodies were able to process and get rid of sugar.

Our expert's take

"This is interesting," says CNN diet and fitness expert Melina Jampolis. "But the first thing I think of is that it's not really liveable, telling people to skip dinner every day."

Jampolis is also concerned that the two groups did not end up eating the same total number of calories. "Eating six times a day, it's very hard to control calories." The researchers admit that while they did their best to ensure both groups consumed the same amount, the group that ate two larger meals may have eaten less.

While the study was small, Jampolis agrees that there's research to support eating a lighter meal later in the day.

Most of us consume the majority of our day's calories late at night when we're the least active, she says. And when we're not active, our insulin sensitivity drops. A recent study showed that walking for just 15 minutes after dinner can help lower your risk for diabetes. Fasting between lunch and breakfast may have a similar effect, she says.

The takeaway

Don't skip dinner altogether. Focus instead on eating a hearty breakfast and lunch, and keep your last meal of the day low in calories.

Meal times may affect weight loss success


soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. snowdogg

    "Researchers from the Czech Republic followed 54 patients with Type 2 diabetes for 24 weeks."

    Very small population sampling, very special dietary requirements and very short-term study... "what could go wrong"?

    May 16, 2014 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Also, no report on just how much more the fasting group lost compared to the grazers.

      Another worthless nutritional study that tells us nothing.

      May 16, 2014 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      A larger study on fasting showed that diabetes was CURED. We didn't evolve, eating 3 meals per day – constant food intake never allows our pancreas to rest, and it's abnormal. Fasting studies done at Northwestern, NIH, and UCLA showed that cells switch from "go" ;mode to "repair" mode, and re-check the integrity of DNA and cell division. The researchers couldn't induce cancer in the animals that fasted !!!! Incredible finding, but there's no money to be made so who will promote fasting? The Bible does.

      Another study, people were limited to 25% of normal daily intake one day, and the next were allowed to eat as much of whatever they wanted. They self-selected 105% of their normal intake on the non-fasting days, they lost weight, and nobody complained of feeling starved.

      Look hard at the fasting literature, it makes good sense.

      May 16, 2014 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • Eric Lucas

      SixDegrees, it wasn't the study that was worthless, I'm sure it answered the question you asked and more. It was this article that was worthless, as it could have been very slightly longer and given much more detail like what you asked about.

      May 16, 2014 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  2. tet1953

    They told us the opposite about 50 years ago.

    May 16, 2014 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HippoSnax

      ...and in those 50 years, type II diabetes has exploded. You do not need to eat every fews hours. That is a recipe for type ii diabetes (insulin resistance). If you keep your blood sugar elevated every waking hour you'll desistize the insulin receptors. Google a blog called Lean Gains for an in depth, and scietifically supported, explanation. Good luck on Glucaphage.

      May 16, 2014 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  3. Larry

    snowdogg makes good points. The sample size and the methodology make for suspect research. I would like to see the data to see how significant the difference was. It seems as if some of the findings may have been misinterpeted.

    May 16, 2014 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Actually, the low sample size results in lower statistical power to detect effects. The fact that they found effects in such a small sample is more promising because it indicates a sizable effect must be present to be detected. What this study actually needs is replication and perhaps more subsequent experimental control to prevent confounding due to caloric differences and perhaps other, as yet, unidentified factors.

      May 16, 2014 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
  4. Log

    One day x is good for you then a year later x is bad for you and y is good later it's discovered that y is only good if you pinch your nose and cross the fingers on your left hand and so on and so forth.

    May 16, 2014 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Brian

    Oh for Christ sake......MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!!!!! This contradicts virtually anything and everything that has been reported about eating healthy over the last, oh – I don't know.......FIFTY years? Jeesh. At some point.....you are just confusing people.

    May 16, 2014 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • but...

      Your statement assumes that there was ever a consensus in the first place. There never was. The USDA (in bed with every agricultural lobby under the sun) would like for you to believe that there has been consensus, but this is far from true.

      May 17, 2014 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
  6. truthbetold

    I still believe many small meals are better. I don't care what this study says.

    May 16, 2014 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dave

      Which means it is for you. For others this may be better. You have to experiment and decide for yourself. That's why I don't understand why anyone still funds these types of studies. It's all too individualized to matter. Like everyone else has said one day it's good the next it's bad. I gave up on keeping up with whether eggs were good or bad. I like them, my cholesterol's fine, I'll eat them.

      May 16, 2014 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    Isn't this just a variation of the 8 Hour Diet?

    May 16, 2014 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sridhar

    There were times I ate pretty well for lunch and went super easy on dinners. I did see the results that the Czechs are claiming.... I never beleived in the small meals concept as it kept me hungry all day and I was scrambling for food. 1 large meal and 1 small meal a day can really keep me happy, skinny and healthy....

    May 16, 2014 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rs1201

      I agree. I eat hot oatmeal with loads of fresh fruit and coffee in the morning. My second and last meal is eaten between 3pm and 4 pm. At night I have an apple and a low calorie cheese stick and that's it. I don't eat anything else until the next day. I stay thin and very healthy.

      May 16, 2014 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
  9. Tim Timebomb

    I can give a personal anecdote for what it's worth. I have tried both, and saw the same weight loss rate (I was maintaining the same caloric deficit) but found it slightly easier to eat a reasonably sized late lunch and a large post workout recovery meal than deal with 5 small meals a day. The real difference came when I put less emphasis on distance running and low intensity/long duration cardio and started lifting. I felt like the intermittent fasting method gave me the energy I needed to lift, and had a noticeable impact on my recovery. I'll note that I also maintained a 500cal/day deficit when losing weight, and that I was 30/40/30 carbs/protein/fat.

    I also think that people are having a hard time understanding why there is little apparent long term consensus in the diet world. The reason many people advocated the many small meals method is that it better mitigates hunger in some people. If dealing with feeling hungry is going to cause you to give up on a diet, this is still a useful trick. The alternative of eating fewer, larger meals was proposed for several other reasons. Some people find it easier to just deal with hunger for part of the day if it means they can eat larger, more satisfying meals. For others, the nutrient timing fits their lifestyle better. This study adds new information that highlights additional benefits. This doesn't invalidate other methods, it just gives you another possible benefit to weigh when choosing a diet that works for you.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JT

      I agree, I found the same success by eating a late lunch and a normal dinner. I found that I was better able to keep track of calories the fewer time I ate and I was less likely to exceed my target intake. I also liked that I was rarely hungery at the end of the day, even if I was hungry in the morning. I think the reason it *works* for me and for other a 5-6 meal diet *works* for them is that it's easier for the individual to follow, as you've alluded to. There's more than one way to tackle a problem, and the best way is the one that you're more likely to stick with.

      May 16, 2014 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
  10. No thanks

    Body builders and others seeking to gain weight have always eaten more frequent smaller meals. Any advice that a person should eat frequent small meals should only have been given when weight gain was the desired goal. People hear what they want to hear. Look at at this man or woman body builder they look great and they eat five tines a day AND eat a set diet AND workout four hours a day. You can see that people chose only to hear the first part of the last sentence.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mrpbnh

      Most in between "Meals" for body builders consist of Protein type meals for building of the muscle. To gain muscle mass you must take in at least your body weight in Protein. This is the reason why they take in extra meals, not because they are hungry

      May 16, 2014 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
  11. Elsie Price

    Small sample and all diabetics. Why does everyone seem to think that one diet is best for everyone? We're all different. Diabetics need to worry more about sugar, some may need to worry more about fat, people over 65 need to be sure to get enough protein.

    Perhaps this is one reason for all the conflicting results. And, of course, it's almost impossible to control all other factors in diet studies. For example, people who are naturally fidgety will use more calories than those that are not. Some of this could be resolved by having people serve as their own controls–diet one way one month and a different way the next month.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Foobar

    Ugh. The best way to lose weight or to prevent getting fat is to follow the basic laws of thermodynamics: Don't eat more energy than you burn. It's that simple, universal, finite and works every time. Anyone who offers the "latest eating research" saying anything other than that is ultimately just trying to sell you something.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mrpbnh

      Amen

      May 16, 2014 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      "Don't eat more energy than you burn."

      Totally correct.

      May 16, 2014 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • rocket

      I learned it this way to not gain weight- "Don"t consume more calories than you burn." . To lose weight "burn more calories that you consume" I've never really heard a better way to make it so simple to understand.

      May 16, 2014 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • David

      You a half point for stating the obvious.

      The real question with any diet. How easy is it for a person to consume the calories they want to consume. If I want to eat 2,000 calories today, which diet makes that easiest for me to achieve day after day after day. Everyone knows the calories in < calories out part. What we don't know how to make people leaving real lives (seriously, REAL lives) able to achieve this.

      May 16, 2014 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    This is not so new. I am a patient of a very famous cardiologist who only eats once a day since 1968.
    He calls the diets which recommend many small meals "suicide diets". The argument being that your cardiovascular system needs long periods of time without food to be able to self repair.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MikeyD

      I feel like my heart is beating harder after I pig out and have a full stomach than when I eat a light snack/small meal. Maybe because everything is getting squeezed tighter with all the food in the way, who knows. Can you explain how small meals or any meal for that matter stresses your cardiovascular system?

      May 16, 2014 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  14. noname

    Another flaw with the study (or at least the report of it) is that no mention is made as to how much of the lost weight in each case came from fat versus muscle. It may be true that one method produced more weight loss, but if the extra weight is mostly muscle, then no one should be doing it!

    May 16, 2014 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Joe

    It's all about counting calories and getting the right amount of nutrients. I did my own experiments and whenever you eat is not as important as what you eat or how much you eat. You could even try intermittent fasting and eat a load of garbage – that won't work. All common sense.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mrpbnh

      Calories are not so important if you are exercising. Carbohydrates and fat is much more important. And intake of carbs and fat that is not burned off when you are or not exercising will turn to sugar and store as body fat. By keeping carbs and fats to a minimum you are forcing your body to stop using stomach content as energy and use body fat as energy.

      May 16, 2014 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
  16. Jakes_Momma

    You have to take these studies with a grain of salt.

    Please be advised that the grain of salt has to be of the Pink Himalayan variety, anything else is not good for you! ; )

    May 16, 2014 at 09:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. DaMeglet

    GAH YOU ST00P!D QUACKS! Make up your minds!!!

    May 16, 2014 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Your Problem...

      Your issue is not with the scientists, but with BAD SCIENCE REPORTING which is almost universal.

      May 17, 2014 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
  18. nutmeg

    I don't trust most of what I read and none of what I hear, so when we start talking about diet and the crap that people are doing in the name of health, well, most of it should be flushed down the large circular bowl. With that being said, the one argument that one must consider is history. Not 50 or 100 years, more like 1000k or 10000k. Those that survived long enough to reproduce were adaptable enough to survive on a hunter/gatherers diet. We did not have access to food all day. We likely over ate when we had food and probably fasted frequently because we were STARVING from no food. We are all descendants of our ancestors and our genetics rarely change rapidly so it is likely we as a species are built to fast. In addition, the body is going to conserve what it can to be prepared for the next fast. This means if we are constantly spiking our insulin, unless we are exercising constantly throughout the day, we are likely storing fat in our tissues. For some that fat is stored around our organs or in our ever expanding soft tissue. But for others, it is stored in their blood vessels leading to horrible atherosclerosis.

    May 16, 2014 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mrpbnh

    I will tell you this. I have been only eating dinner as my only meal of the day. Periodically I may eat another meal but rarely. I lift weights 4-5 times a week have not had any issues with energy for my workout. I have been doing this since 2008 and at the beginning point I was 250. I ow stay in the 180-190 range. I eat little to no sugar each day and my diet consists of lean meat and vegetables. I don't know that this would work for most people because I admit it is a little extreme and it took me about 6 months to work to the single meal a day. I will say that if the population did change from a live to eat diet to a eat to live diet obesity would most definitely reduce quickly

    May 16, 2014 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James L.

      wow that is REALLY not healthy. Not good for blood sugar as well.

      May 16, 2014 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
  20. homeGal

    Ever heard the saying... Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dinner like a Pauper Sounds a lot like that

    May 16, 2014 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. James L.

    If you are trying to gain muscle, which is what most people should be doing to raise metabolism and prevent age related declines in mobility, you need to consume small protein meals with some carbs through out the day to feed your muscles to grow and sustain what you have.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Johnny 5

    Pushing yourself away from the table when you're full and regular exercise leads to weight loss. Source of study: Common sense.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Suzanne

    Oh please! Let's all calm down. All we have to do is wait 5 years and another "study" will come out saying that the "6 small meal" plan was right after all.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. anne112

    2 large meals has always worked better for me. I feel sluggish in the morning if I eat anything later than 3pm the day before.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Kenny

    I skip breakfast and eat 2 large meals a day. I'm still skinny. I don't eat snacks.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. R R

    Good to hear – since this is the way I've always eaten. It just makes no sense to force your pancreas to secrete insulin six (or more) times a day – especially since most of the "six meals a day" advice also includes a "low fat" admonition. (Fat and protein moderate insulin release.)

    I eat two good-sized meals with plenty of protein and fat, and a snack before dinner that has three macronutrient groups (protein, fat, carb). Something like a piece of sprouted grain toast with peanut butter or a grilled cheese sandwich is perfect.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Insulin Issue

    IThey would need to retry this study with individuals who are independent of insulin. Need a larger sample size and would like to see how big of a difference there was in weight loss. It is just a pound or is there a significant difference.

    May 16, 2014 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. hev

    Great...now I gotta find a place that has a breakfast buffet and a lunch buffet. Those two meals should be large enough...

    May 16, 2014 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. MaggiWood

    I think every person is different and each person has to find what works for him/her. I have a VERY slow stomach and eating multiple times a day, even small meals makes me gain weight. I am better with one big meal, lunch and one small meal, dinner. One size does NOT fit all!

    May 16, 2014 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Toiletman

    I lost 5lbs doing the sit down an defecating diet. Its call taking a dump in the morning.

    May 16, 2014 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. amlowlife

    This just in: While most of us have been taught since early childhood that eating one's boogers isn't good for you, a recent government-funded Dutch study seems to contradict this notion. 30 men were given nothing but nose buggers for two weeks and results indicate that the substances helps cure cancer, diabetes and eczema.
    Dr. Sanjay Gupta was recently seen testing the hypothesis off-camera. His only response was "I was wrong about boogers."
    The Dutch researchers were quoted as saying "We find the results promising but, more interestingly, we find it fascinating to watch people change years of behavior patterns based on ill-conceived tests based on small sample sizes with too many uncontrolled variables."

    May 16, 2014 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tony

    Joseph Mercola right again.

    May 16, 2014 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lol

      You make it sound like Mercola had an original thought.
      The man is 30% alarmist (e.g. spreading "fact" about how something can cause anything from diabetes to hangnails based solely on some suspect anecdotes), 60% parrot of intelligent nutritionists without always giving credit where credit is due (e.g. Loren Cordain, Mike Eades, Mary Enig) while citing "sources" that are nothing more than popular newsstand magazines and tabloids and 10% doofus (e.g. promoting the ingestion of raw eggs only to backpedal after the fact because people finally hammered it through his skull that it can cause issues with biotin binding).

      May 17, 2014 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  33. Gene Thompson

    Half the world starves while we spend our money studying how many meals we should eat.

    May 16, 2014 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sheesh

      ...and half the world is homeless while you are picking out paint for your walls and half the world goes uneducated while you read silly articles on the internet...you have no point.

      May 17, 2014 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
  34. pat

    In memory of a great comedian – George Carlin – “Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.”

    Medical studies are basically useless which is reflected in most of the frustrated comments here. If your lifestyle requires multiple meals in the day and that makes your life comfortable right now, why worry about what someone else tells you to do? The conclusions of the study look sensible on the face, but if there is no way that a normal human being could possibly sustain this regimen over a long period of time....what is the point?

    May 16, 2014 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. lilyq

    Truth is they don't know. Do whatever works for you.

    May 16, 2014 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. toydrum

    Two meals has always worked better for me, with a small snack in the evening (more protein than carbs to avoid blood sugar spikes). It is definitely not the same for everyone, even in my own family. I would be very interested in seeing this study expanded to also include more factors like activity levels, age, sex and other things that can make a big difference in metabolism. The sample size here is too small for that level of detail to have meaning.

    May 16, 2014 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. chelseallyn

    Oh my god, how many times can we go back-and-forth with this one?

    May 16, 2014 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lol

      How many gullible eejits are there in the world?

      May 17, 2014 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  38. BOK_in_Larksville

    Most people are used to feeling full/stuffed after a meal.. Maybe more people should train their body to feel hungry more often.. I have tried intermittent fasting and believe there is some value to it.. The big issue is the foods you consume when not fasting.. The picture in this article is all sugar with the exception to the eggs.. Orange juice is not healthy, eat a damn orange instead.. As for the plate of fruit, while it makes a nice picture, it looks like enough to feed several people, not just one.. Also, too much fruit is not healthy, especially for diabetics..

    May 16, 2014 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. jdoe

    People all over the world have been doing fine and staying trim for decades, centuries even, with two to three meals a day. Then along come the "experts" who tell people to eat a bunch of meals and snacks. Guess what? Americans are more overweight or obese than ever, all the while obsessively dieting, checking the labels, and counting the calories.

    May 16, 2014 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. SuzyQ

    Gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) patients are advised to eat 6-8 small meals spread out throughout the day, rather than two or three large meals. Small meals pass through the stomach more quickly. If you're eating a large breakfast and lunch, and no dinner or a small dinner, by the time you sit down to lunch, a good chunk of breakfast will still be in your stomach, and once your stomach is full from breakfast and lunch, you will throw up any remaining lunch because the food has nowhere else to go. Gastroparesis correlates highly with diabetes. So I have to wonder if the 2-meal-a-day people were losing more weight because they vomited up half their lunch? Was GP even accounted for in the study?

    May 16, 2014 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JT

      What an utterly ridiculous question.... you don't seriously think people (who are not bulimic) routinely "throw up" their food, do you? I guess so, otherwise I can't even begin to understand why you'd ask such a question.

      May 16, 2014 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • ohfer stupid

      Are you really suggesting that because diabetics are more susceptible to gastroparesis (and in spite of the fact that the percentage of diabetics who get gastroparesis is relatively small) that the sample group was therefore loaded with subjects who have gastroparesis?? Surely you are also not suggesting that people with gastroparesis would not have mentioned that they have an issue like this before participating in a study involving big meals? And (this is the one that boggles my mind entirely) you are surely not suggesting that everyone who has gastroparesis would eat themselves so full at each meal that it would require them to vomit? And you are thinking that people vomiting up meals would somehow go unobserved or unnoted?

      May 18, 2014 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
  41. Steve

    I like that the entire article states "Eat two large meals a day, it has more benefits than 6 smaller meals/3 meals with 3 snacks between, but because the CNN person says that eating 3 meals is more beneficial, that's the "Takeaway".

    May 16, 2014 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Rebecca

    I think it depends on the person. Someone who exercises at night, for example, couldnt possibly skip dinner. Someone who's used to eating less might not feel all that well with large meals... I don't feel hungry in the morning, so i couldnt eat a lot! And if you consider the amount of time between lunch and breakfast on the next day.. I mean, fasting for that long everyday... It can't be good for you! But i'm not a health professional, it

    May 16, 2014 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Will

      It is good for you. That's the point of the study. Typically with intermittent fasting you will fast for 16 hours and then eat all of your daily calories within the 8 hour "feeding window". You're right that it might not work for some people as everyone has their own habits and daily routines. What we need to try to get away from is "fitness professionals" like this CNN "Fitness Expert" that actually know nothing yet their opinions are taken as fact. The fitness industry is built on lies because that is what people want to hear and that is what sells product. This isn't a conspiracy theory although it may sound like it. The truth is, the average american knows less than nothing about nutrition and there simply isn't a mainstream reliable source to learn from. That's the real issue.

      May 16, 2014 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  43. Rebecca

    (oops, pressed send before time!)
    ...it's just my opinion!

    May 16, 2014 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Will

    CNN "diet and fitness expert" Melina Jampolis just showed that she is clearly not a "diet and fitness expert". You can't respond to a scientific study using your own unfounded theories to make a claim that is in direct contention with the conclusion of the study. It has been shown that intermittent fasting is both one of the best ways to lose body fat and it also provides some health benefits. There are many different ways to reach the same goal and intermittent fasting should not be recommended to everyone as much of it is what works best for the individuals mental stability. Some people like eating small meals, some people may find it easier to fast. It has been shown many times that intermittent fasting does offer more benefits than the ridiculous – small meals/"stoking the metabolic fire"/eating many times a day – mantra that has been purported by uninformed individuals making a living off of people that don't know any better. Maybe CNN should look into hiring someone a bit more knowledgable.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Paul

    Just an FYI, for some regions dinner is not supper, dinner is lunch/the noon meal.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bballer

      This has always been a problem in our family! We now say "the noon meal" so my dad doesn't show up for lunch when we meant dinner (the late meal).

      May 16, 2014 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • JT

      To each his own, but where I come from we routinely call the largest meal of the day "dinner" and the last meal of the day "supper". If they happen to overlap, then you can use whichever you'd prefer, but meaning is still the same. So when you have Thanksgiving dinner at 2 PM you have supper later than night. If you eat a salad for lunch, then you'd eat a large dinner before you went to bed.

      But generally speaking, dinner is never breakfast and supper is always after 5 🙂

      May 16, 2014 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  46. Emila

    This is exactly what I have done to keep my weight down before I ever read about this study. I did it that way because it was just logical to me. I eat a good breakfast and lunch and no dinner or just snack as dinner. If I am going out to dinner for the joy of a good dinner and socialicing, or a date, then I eat very little or not lunch. Also, I eat breakfast mid-morning, it helps me because I am not starving by lunch time. It works for me.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bballer

      This sounds like how I do it. My tummy starts growling at the exact same times every day. I don't even need a watch!

      May 16, 2014 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
  47. Burbank

    Now the Doctor Oz Daily Diet Show will be touting this. That's after several years of telling people to eat 6 small meals. The guy is nothing but a shill for the AMA. Interesting how he tells women all these beauty tips to stay looking young but snuck off and got hilself a face lift 2 years ago so he can continue to think of himself as God's gift to women. Conceited, creepy hypocrite!

    May 16, 2014 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Coleen

    Studies show whatever the researcher is looking for in a study. A better way is to try to disprove what the study is looking for and THEN compare the two. There is never a formula that will guarantee that you will be healthy and live long... And eating is not a trend or rather should not be a trend like clothing.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Sharkmann

    Garbage, the hunter gatherer lifestyle that we all share was all about many small meals. That is what we are built for.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HippoSnax

      Not really Shark. Hunter gathers at a large protein based meal once a day, or every other day, as a kill was made. They then had a lighter meal of fruit, or plant, as the opportunity arose. Remember, they wandered, so they didn't have a steady source of fruit/vegetables. Those were agrarian societies. Google Lean Gains.

      May 16, 2014 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  50. bbhomebody

    SUPER! Another study that will be debunked in a year. Keep it simple, just burn off more calories than you eat.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.