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 (253 Responses)
  1. WhaleNo

    I've never been hungry in the morning/afternoon. I've always been kind of a one meal a day person. I snack a little I'm the early afternoon then when I come home eat a big meal. I've always been skinny. I've never understood this "you must eat breakfast, etc". Anytime I've ever fore myself to eat breakfast I've been non-stop hungry and eating the remainder of the day. I go to bed feeling like a fat whale. One small snack and one big meal is good for me. I never feel hungry or full. Always kind of just right and satisfied. I would definitely recommend trying it.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • johndoe

      You're never hungry in the morning because that's how you trained your body! It's used to getting up and eating nothing.

      The reason it makes you hungrier is because eating in the morning kick-starts your metabolism forcing your body to do the things it should be doing! Theres a huge difference in my energy and tenacity as well as cognitive clarity if I ate breakfast that morning.

      There's a million diets and everybody usually finds something basic that works for them. But the one meal you really shouldn't skip is honestly breakfast.

      I skip lunch all the time though and usually eat a light snack at best during that period.

      May 16, 2014 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • DO

      My son is like that. He wonders why nutrition can't just come in a pill. Me, on the other hand, am quite different. If I don't eat breakfast, by mid-morning I'm feeling like I have a hangover, lunch can't get there quickly enough, and I WAY overeat. Like most everything, guidelines are not personal but general, and each person has to know and regulate his/her own body in how it actually works best.

      May 16, 2014 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • RyanTexan

      Consider that breakfast is one of the most profitable meals for packaged food manufactures.
      They paid for the studies that showed "breakfast is the most important meal".
      And do you know how they found that?
      They looked at those who didn't eat breakfast vs those that did.
      But remember, many of those who didn't eat breakfast had parents who couldn't afford breakfast. Many others were in family situations with no time for breakfast. (Single parents more than 2 parents, or less organized parents).
      They never did a true double blind study where some had breakfast and others didn't – but in an economically neutral way. Where it equalized parenting.
      A true study would take away lunch or dinner and then see which meal is the most important. I can assure you that in a school setting, taking away lunch will result in worse performance drops than taking away breakfast.
      Oh, and really – who eats a healthy breakfast? The ads for cereal show milk, bread, fruit, and juice at the meal. In reality, breakfast is where we eat the least amount of vegetables. And often not much fruit. Due to the time constraints, it's usually packaged foods. Or whatever is quick like a pop tart (many breakfast foods are really sugary). Or high in cholesterol. Not healthy. Not the most important meal.
      It's time to retire that old marketing gimmick.

      May 16, 2014 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
    • Pauly

      A book a woman wrote in the 70's: 'Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper'

      May 16, 2014 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Jean Paul

      Look out below for a major rant from Ryan Texan. Wow! Breakfast must really strike a nerve with that guy! What a breakfastist.

      May 16, 2014 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • RyanTexan

      What I find so objectionable is people who have never looked at the studies they parrot.
      After looking at the methodology used, the funding of the studies, and the fact that they never took away dinner or lunch before making the claim that "breakfast is the most important meal" – yeah, it really bugs me.
      Of course I prefer the truth.
      Relentlessly so.
      That's scientist in me.
      And the real kicker?
      They didn't consider the health of the foods eaten at breakfast.
      Don't take my word for it – start looking at what people have for breakfast.
      No vegetables. Few fruits. Lots of sugar and other carbs. Often lots of cholesterol.

      May 16, 2014 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
    • Unlo4

      RyanTexan... lots of empty talk, no citations, references, or sources.

      May 16, 2014 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      DO, I have a similar reaction as you have when I don't eat breakfast. I know I wake up with a blood sugar level a little on the low side, since I've had blood work done after fasting several times that comes back with blood sugar a bit low (not abnormally, but it isn't close to 100, in other words). It also has to be a substantial breakfast, meaning some sort of heavy protein, like an egg or breakfast meat. Cereal, unless it's high fiber/high protein, just doesn't cut it, and just forget about pastries. Those are an instant headache first thing in the morning for me.

      May 18, 2014 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
  2. dlarryb

    How about weight loss has to do with how much is consumed over all
    Two big meals vs too big meals
    What if consumption in six small meals is less than the two meals?
    And as already noted, when will this finding be overturned?
    I'm thankful for a good metabolism and I exercise
    I eat healthy, eat light and eat whenever; no set pattern

    May 16, 2014 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Thundar

    I eat one meal a day. I get home from work at 6:00pm and eat a normal sized meal then lightly graze on fruit until bed at midnight and have been doing this for over ten years. I just drink water and some juices (real fruit juices not flavored sugar water) during the day to appease my stomach.
    I am 45 yrs old, 5'10, 175 pounds and I do 250 push-ups a day in incriments of 50.
    I feel people who can't control stuffing their faces as weak. But hey I am sure it's glandular for every fat person on the planet, it's not their poor diet. I am sure every fat person eats a very strict diet of healthy foods and exercises, it's not really their fault.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jennyct

      Thundar... We should all be like you! How wonderful you are.

      May 16, 2014 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • Leroy

      What a bellend you are.

      May 16, 2014 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      I am 71, 6'2" and weigh 182 pounds. I don't do pushups. I do eat 3 meals a day and usually have a doughnut or two with a glass of milk at bedtime and a piece of apple pie after supper if it is available. It must be one of those glandular things.

      May 16, 2014 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Foodpimp

      Glorious! Simply Glorious!!!

      Brava BRAVA!!!

      May 16, 2014 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      A....I think you are full of sh!t. B....if you do eat like that its hella bad for your. C.....I'm call BS on your "250 push ups a day". How do you find the energy for all that if you just only eat dinner and drink liquid all day? D....if all you do is 250 push ups you must have a massive chest and arms and the rest of you looks wack as HELL.

      You are a grade a idiot.

      May 16, 2014 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • MrSocks2009

      Based on the height and weight you provided, you are actually considered overweight with a BMI of 25.1

      May 16, 2014 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • Arnold S.

      5'10" and 175lbs, sounds like the scarecrow from the Wizard of OZ.

      May 16, 2014 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • you don't say

      Your BMI is 25
      This means that according to the BMI standard, you are considered to be overweight. Better increase those pushups to 350.

      Some people think they are intelligent, but it's just glandular. Or, maybe they just like to tout how great they are to compensate for something else.

      May 16, 2014 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • J perez

      Pompous and judgmental. You sound like a real joy.

      May 16, 2014 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
    • Britt

      Oh what an idiot, you are.

      May 16, 2014 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
    • RyanTexan

      There are different metabolism rates in different people.
      There may also be different hunger levels in different people.
      So what is easy for you might be hard for another person.
      People have some genetic abilities that we all can easily understand. No matter how hard some people work at it, they might not be mathematicians. Others can learn languages easily.
      On the physical side, you can do what ever you want, but you are not going to be taller.
      I tend to have sympathy for people who have a harder time.
      That doesn't mean that many people simply make bad choices deliberately.
      That doesn't mean many don't choose the instant gratification of food over health.
      If someone is really trying, and doing the right things – we need to respect that.
      Hard work is worthy of respect. Genetics, not so much.

      May 16, 2014 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • RyanTexan

      That doesn't mean that many people DON'T simply make bad choices deliberately.
      (Wish they had an edit button here).

      May 16, 2014 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • Kathryn

      It is a shame that you are already 45 y/o & have the insight of a gnat. There is no hope.

      May 17, 2014 at 04:13 | Report abuse |
  4. rocket

    look up the 5/2 diet. if i remember correctly it goes something like this:
    Fve regular days, three meals per day, and two when you fast for 17 hours, or longer, after dinner. I followed it for awhile, lost 10 lbs in about a month. I had more energy and my back felt better. I didn't start much over weight I was about 188lbs on my 6" frame. I'm small boned. I got out of schedule on the 5/2 so adopted a 6/1 regimen. Got my weight down to 172 and have now settled at 175. We eat dinner late, usually 8-8:30 so on weekends I fast on one or both days until about 4 or 5:00 and then have some celery and peanut butter or lentils with vegetables or some kind of lean protein that fills me up easily. I have also reduced my carb intake on most days.
    Anyway 6 mos later it's easy to follow, doesn't really restrict me in any way, still have biog dinner portions and consume quite a few alcohol calories every day but the weight stays off and i feel great.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carbonately

      Small boned indeed, with that 6" frame of yours!

      May 16, 2014 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
  5. Roland

    More like two small ones are better then two big ones.Small in the U.S. means big everywhere else in the world.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Hank S

    This explains my wife and I. We've both always been "one big meal" per day people. We get to eat really large awesome foods without getting overweight. Family members have always been jealous and would tell us it was genetics, but I've always questioned why they always have food in their hands.

    (In our case, we have a medium "lunch" at around noon and a large "dinner" at around 7pm. I put lunch/dinner in quotes because our schedules have us sleeping 3am to 11am and we are most active from 8pm to 3am. Don't be fooled by the labels, what matters is to put MANY hours between your large meal and sleep).

    May 16, 2014 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Its pretty common knowledge that lunch should be your largest meal and not dinner.

      May 16, 2014 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
  7. AR

    Every notice how we are constantly being bombarded with contradictory medical studies and reports? If you take just about any given study or medical report there will invariably be some other report that comes to the opposite conclusion. Pure garbage.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • get realist

      You're right! Scientific studies are garbage! We should probably just chuck out the whole scientific method, right? I mean, its better that we still think the world is flat and that the Earth revolves around the sun, but someone had to come along and prove that wrong! Thanks jerk! All this new information is CONFUSING, derp!

      May 16, 2014 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Susan StoHelit

      The problem is reading headlines and overviews, without the details. Both models say the same thing – eating big meals late in the day is a bad thing. This just tests another way to do that – rather than avoiding a big meal by eating lots of small ones, it recommends eating two big ones, but early in the day.

      May 16, 2014 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • Laughingirl

      I don't think the problem is so much with the studies as it is with the media jumping on every weight-loss story, thinks that will frighten readers, or personal-interest junk. These pieces are just filler for the twenty-four-hour news cycle–they don't know what to post/report on. But kudos to those who have reported well on the Mayo Clinic's measles vaccine breakthrough. That's real news.

      May 16, 2014 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • Eirol

      get realist: the Earth DOES revolve around the sun. Maybe you missed that one.

      May 16, 2014 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
  8. Mark L\

    I cannot eat big meals. Massive acid reflux because the bottom of my esophagus doesnt close. If I eat a big meal all the undigested food just comes back up my throat. And if I wait too long to eat my stomach acid comes back up my throat.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. HippoSnax

    I'm with you Whale. If I eat breakfast I'm starving all day. I read about why this is so on a blog called Lean Gains, and it makes sense. It's worth a read. Fasting for 16 hours a day is actually much better for you. Since the eat six times a day advice has been proferred, type II diabetes has exploded. If you a PROFESSIONAL athlete, not high school, or merely active, that may be sound advice, but the rest of us do much better on two meals a day. Turns out eating six times a day is a recipe for type II diabetes, aka insulin resistance, because you keep you blood sugar constantly elevated, and you desisitze the insulin receptors. I now eat twice a day: a light lunch, then a larger dinner. Never felt better, and actually lost 10 lbs.

    May 16, 2014 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. lool

    You don't say?! AT least I have fuel for the people that give me nonsense for eating two meals a day and skipping breakfast.

    May 16, 2014 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. readtheactualjournalarticle

    from the journal

    "for patients with type-2 diabetes"

    cnn author makes it sound like this should be for everybody

    May 16, 2014 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bellanca

    I had tried eating more small meals, which ended up meaning I was eating two 'large' meals of 450-500 calories, and like 3 'snacks' of 200-300 calories, which ended up being a 1700-1900 calories, and enough calories that I was gaining weight. I have found it a lot better to two slightly larger meals of 500-700 calories, and maybe one small snack of 200ish calories.

    When i was eating 3 snacks a day I found it was really easy to go overboard on snacks. (at least for me) Like I'd start out with the intention of eating a small handful of almonds, which would turn into 1.5 or 2. Or a cheese stick and a cup of grapes would easily turn into a cheese stick and two cups of grapes. I wasn't eating particularly unhealthy, but it was really easy to eat a little over my intended portion three times a day, and next thing, I was sneaking an extra 300-400 calories a day.

    May 16, 2014 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jack S

    Seriously – 54 patients and it gets front page? Fail.

    May 16, 2014 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Steven Freeman, M.D.

    Why are you offering a "takeaway" conclusion that runs counter to the findings of the study. You offer the opinion from your writer that posits that "it is not really liveable" to skip supper. Why? This is an unsupported opinion that runs counter to the facts just presented from the studies. Are you practicine journalism or offering editorial opinions? Your commenters note that they skip meals. Why could they not skip supper instead of breakfast? What makes that regimen less "liveable" than theirs? I personally have followed a no supper with effective weight loss and with little discomfort. I stand in evidence that the regimen is "liveable". Please report facts, and confine editorial opinion to its page.

    May 16, 2014 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Skater

      My thoughts precisely. I always need breakfast or I simply cannot get on track. During the week I have lunch and then a snack before practice. By the time I get home I'm too tired to eat. On weekends I have late morning practice so by the time I get home and cooked lunch it's 2 or 3 pm. So it's not unusual for me to not want dinner.

      May 16, 2014 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
  15. Leftcoastrocky

    good sized breakfast, good sized lunch and small dinner - ok

    May 16, 2014 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. avnshm

    This is ridiculous. Not everything is about weight loss and stuff. For people with risk of developing diabetes, this is worst advice. Eat frequent smaller meals helps maintain blood sugar levels consistently rather than spiking and dropping while overeating and starving repeatedly. These mini studies make me sick... One day one study says coffee is great, then another day another study would say coffee is as bad as smoking. Better to stick to good old habits of moderation to anything.

    May 16, 2014 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. CMA

    Basically what my doctor told me 30 yrs ago. Eat a good size breakfast and a good size lunch and nothing after 2PM. Easier said than done though.

    May 16, 2014 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. TomS234

    Okay:
    2014 Two big meals may be better than six small ones
    2015 Six small meals may be better than two big ones
    2016 Two big meals may be better than six small ones
    2017 Six small meals may be better than two big ones
    ..
    ..
    2099 Two ...

    May 16, 2014 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Tony

    Actually, it depends on the person. If I ate just an early breakfast, and a lunch, then a small dinner, then I can't go to sleep at all. It's hard to go to sleep then you are hungry and an empty stomach. For me, it's better to push my first meal at around noon to 1pm, then my last meal at around 7pm-8pm. I can actually go to sleep full, wake up not hungry, and feel great for the entire day.

    May 16, 2014 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. JT

    I've been saying this every time they put out some article on "how to lose weight" that doesn't involve increased excerise.

    I don't skip dinner, I skip breakfast. Sure, some people may eat "healthy" breakfasts, but in reality 90% of them are full of sugar – even if you're eating fruit, it's full of sugar. Also, for most people who work in an office, we aren't any more active in the morning than we are in the evening.

    I eat a medium to small lunch, which often consists of oatmeal anyway, so maybe that could be considered skipping lunch and having a late breakfast? I try not to overeat at night, but I know that's when I'm least able to control cravings for food since it'll be easily available. Since I know I will eat more then, I try to eat less during the day.

    To me, fasting from late night to mid day is just as good as fasting from mid day to early morning.

    And the point about eating fewer calories with fewer meals? It's true, as long as you aren't eating super calorie dense foods for those two meals. A salad or some vegetables can help fill you up.

    If I was willing to give up beer, I'd have no trouble staying trim. As it stands, I try to run a 5k 2x a week or ride my bike for an hour if I can't run.

    May 16, 2014 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. cebundy1620

    It seems logical to me that the smaller meal should be in the evening, and the larger in the morning. It doesn't seem natural to be that we eat every few hours. Being a diabetic, I've been told that that is better for me. But I tried it for a while, and it didn't seem to make a difference. I think that given my lifestyle, working in an office not a lot of physical exercise, two meals is the logical approach.

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

    Calories in vs calories out over time determines weight and pretty much nothing else... So since it's easier to overeat on 6 meals than 2(more opportunities especially since eating can create hunger) it's not a big surprise as far as I am concerned.

    May 16, 2014 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • burnz

      A lot of people would rather claim "genetics" than actually lose the weight.

      May 16, 2014 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • Jrad

      Yup – it doesn't matter if you have one meal a day or 10 meals a day. Over the long term, if you simply burn more calories than you consume, you will eventually lose weight. Period. And when I say long-term I mean more than a year.

      Dieting will not work, as dieting implies that it's temporary. One must change their eating habits.

      May 16, 2014 at 17:39 | Report abuse |
  23. Brandon

    This is actually an ACCURATE Study... Only eat during a 12 hour period every day! If you eat Breakfast Everyday at 6am... Then your last meal must be before 6am! But still eat 2 meals and a medium Snack. If you eat Breakfast at 6... Make sure your end of day medium snack is before 6pm.... FAST from 6pm-6am... Or if you eat breakfast at 9am... Then your last meal is before 9pm and so on.. Even if your 3rd shift... If "Breakfast" is at 7pm... Then your FINAL MEAL needs to be before 7am...

    May 16, 2014 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • luke

      Please explain how it is accurate. You lost weight fasting for 12 hours a day? did you exercise? or are you simply starving yourself so you have lost all muscle mass?

      May 16, 2014 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  24. Elden

    The study didn't mention whether the weight loss was due to losing muscle, fat or water. If the weight loss was due to muscle loss which is a common effect of starvation (your body burns muscle and preserves fat in order to survive the longest when fasting) then it's not going to be healthy or smart to eat just 2 meals a day if you're trying to lose weight.

    May 16, 2014 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eirol

      Fasting 12 hours is not much longer than fasting 8 hours while you're asleep. I doubt your body is going to go into famine mode in 12 hours. My doctor's office requires a 12 hour fast just to do lipds/glucose. So, if it were that unhealthy, I doubt a doctor's office would ask you to do it. And yes, I am throwing my hand in as one of those people who simply don't care for breakfast. I would rather have a nice lunch and a nice dinner, and I have never needed to graze all day with 5-6 small meals, and very happy to hear that nonsense debunked, finally. Who has the time to prepare that many "meals" anyway?! Much easier to balance a meal when there's more than 1 thing on the plate, too. Like someone else said, I also think that snacking all day leads to overeating, constantly craving, and being preoccupied with your next "meal" because you never eat a full meal. It's ridiculous.

      May 17, 2014 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  25. achepotle

    I have one enormous meal, six times a day.

    May 16, 2014 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. James

    I lost 75 pounds in 6 months by eating a good breakfast and lunch and a salad for dinner everyday. I also rode my bicycle 10-15 milles daily. I am still at the weight I shot for 2 years later. I attribute it to a salad for dinner. No protein or carbs before sleep. You body doesn't need them while you sleep and from what AI gather, the reason people can't sleep properly is due to too much enegy food within 3 hours of bed time. Try it, it works, guaranteed.

    May 16, 2014 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eirol

      Umm, Salad, and vegetables are carbs. Some also have protein. And some have fats... though that would be avocado, which is technically fruit. Anything you eat is going to either protein, carb, or fat or combination, and give you "energy" (calories). Good luck doing 10-15 miles a day on your bike when you get older and your body begins to wear out.

      May 17, 2014 at 00:12 | Report abuse |
  27. luke

    Like the article implied. The study is SERIOUSLY FLAWED. Without controlling calories all their conclusions are garbage. Flat out garbage. I cannot imagine that this would work for most people either. I for one cannot go more than 4 waking hours without food. I get hypoglycemic and cannot think, or exercise. I must eat before bed or I get hypoglycemic at night and cannot sleep. And lack of sleep will make you fat as a cow, which seems to defeat the purpose of losing weight.

    May 16, 2014 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. cpc65

    I'll pass this on to the Hobbits, but they are NOT going to like it.

    May 16, 2014 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Matt

    I'd like to know how much fat was lost in 12 weeks, how much muscle, and how much water. I can assure you that those who fasted every night and overnight could not possible maintain their muscle mass and thus lost more weight only by losing muscle and water, thereby diminishing their metabolism. terrible study, terrible reporting

    May 16, 2014 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eirol

      Newsflash: You do not only lose fat when you lose weight through diet and exercise. Your body burns both fat and muscle. Your body gets rid of the muscle it no longer needs because you are not dragging that extra weight (fat) around any longer. If you are a 300# and pretty buff, and you diet and exercise and lose 100#, you are not going to have the same amount of muscle you had at 300# NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.

      May 17, 2014 at 00:15 | Report abuse |
    • Eirol

      Same amount as in pounds. You might be able to keep the same ratio/percentage of fat/muscle... you also need to account for the basic weight of bones and fluids.

      May 17, 2014 at 00:16 | Report abuse |
  30. VegasSmitty

    100% unadulterated bovine feces!

    May 16, 2014 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jeff

    Pauly hit it on the nose!

    May 16, 2014 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Mark Fox

    Worst advice ever. No wonder people struggle to have a proper body.

    Do yourself a favor and eat every 3 hours. These so called studies always have a hidden agenda.

    3 hours after you eat a meal, your insulin has cleaned up all the glucose from the food you ate and you need to eat again.

    Your body will use fat and muscle for fuel if you don't eat after you run out of glucose in your blood stream but next time you eat it will store an ever increasing amount of calories as fat to support your fasting.

    May 16, 2014 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ThisGuy

      Everyone I know that eats every couple hours is fat. These are people who are obsessed with eating healthy. They wonder why they're not lean. Because you always have food in you hand, you goofball. This is the worst advice ever.

      May 17, 2014 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
  33. Jon

    More weight loss yes. More fat loss no. By eating two large meals and not eating later your body will consume both fat and muscle for the energy it needs. The point of eating six small meals a day is so that you teach your body not to store fat as it realizes that food is always available. I prescribe to the six meals a day rule with my last meal at bedtime, ( a casine protein shake ) night is when your body does much of its recovery and it is important to supply yourself with proper fuel for this.

    May 16, 2014 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. bro

    These garbage articles should not be on here...people believe it and then there goes their health..some yo yo invents this stuff and effects a lot of innocent people

    May 16, 2014 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. jon

    Duh. The body evolved when we had to find food. You can bet we did a lot of hard exercise, then finally found food once or twice a day. We didn't have it stockpiled to graze on. We had to get it. I've always eaten 2 big meals a day. Just seems more natural and wastes less time in the kitchen cooking.

    May 16, 2014 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tnut

    This is a flawed study. It should have been both groups eating the same calories per day. Of course the group that only ate two meals a day would lose weight if they consumed less calories.

    May 16, 2014 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Litten

    i have tried the two meals per day in the last month or so, before i heard of this article. It works great for me. Breakfast is a big meal for me and usually around 9 or 10 am, and dinner around 5 or 6 pm. I feel great throughout the the day and if Im hungry Ill snack a little, like a friut or nuts and a lot of water. Only one sugary drink per day.

    May 17, 2014 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Brad

    I have tried intermittent fasting and this article didn't correctly represent what it's all about. It's about moving away from habitual eating, recognizing true hunger and only feeding your body when it needs food. If you are not hungry in the morning, then don't eat. Eat when your body tells you that you are hungry. One thing I did take away from it is drinking water when I feel hungry. Most hunger urges we feel are usually because we need to drink water.

    May 17, 2014 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. HilariousComments

    These comments are so entertaining and delicious. I gained ten pounds reading it. LOL. It just goes to show that everyone is so very different. If you find your food zen, stick with it. If your overweight, find your food zen. There is no one solution to everyones weight issue. Sure, there is sound eating (maybe some exercise would help) ......but our metabolisms are not synchronized to someone elses perfect idea of maintaing health and weight. It really is a fifty two card pick up in this game.

    May 17, 2014 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Amy

    Cutting out processed sugar is the better way to go about it. Checkout a plan on how to do that at runningthebeltway.com

    May 17, 2014 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Richard

    It never ends. It wasn't long ago health gurus were assuring us that eating many small meals was good for you, as opposed to fewer large ones. What will it be next week?

    May 17, 2014 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ThisGuy

      They were wrong. Ask any skinny person ever. You don't stay slim by eating constantly. It doesn't matter how healthy and how small the portion.

      May 17, 2014 at 11:39 | Report abuse |
  42. Karen

    I was watching Dr. Oz the other day about stomach bands for eating less. They were saying that some people don't get the "full" feeling as quickly. That's why they gain weight. That's me too. I can eat over 1400 calories easy in a single meal before I feel full. And you can eat foods that pack a huge calorie punch that fill you very little. When I ate two meals a day I weighed 178 or so. I snack all day and eat three meals....I am 138 today. I am 5'2". But it is hard n my teeth. I've had some dental decline and maybe because there's food stuck in my mouth a lot. That doesn't help, either. People just need to watch what they eat. I like apps that help me along with that so what I eat is nutritious, too. It's just different for everyone.

    May 17, 2014 at 06:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Sally

    Thus proving that there is no right way to eat. We are all different.

    May 17, 2014 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Skeptimist

    The best guidance for each of us comes from within. Stay alert, pay attention to your internal signals and tune your habits to suit your needs. The opinions of others are most likely to fit you about as comfortably as their shoes.

    May 17, 2014 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. TomCom

    I've been thin all my life and I'm almost 60. I'm a contractor and carry, tools, materials and such constantly. I m not hungry until 2pm or so.. My only meal is around 4 or 5pm. I do snack at night.

    May 17, 2014 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. quick weight loss exercises

    yes if you want that lowering your food content will help you lose weight then it is totally a myth so follow some natural weight
    loss foods and do quick weight loss exercises that will lose your weight at a faster rate and you dont need to skip your meals

    May 17, 2014 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Name*Wyatt

    Ellen G White was a prophet that said this exact same thing way over 100 years ago.

    May 17, 2014 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Richard

    My experience to lose weight ; was always to eat good breakfast and eat a nice dinner but earlier around 5 PM and no later than 7 PM. I loose weight quickly and don't have to go crazy eating so many times per day as I have other things to do ....Other experience is starting very early 5 AM Breakfast and 7 PM dinner nothing in between....but Dinner time I kept it to a moderate dinner and didn't eat a lot ...I lost weight even faster – Duration to see results in my 1st experience less than 60 days ...2nd experience less than 30 days and just over 20 days ,,,,,Hope this help ...I am 52 years old ..

    May 17, 2014 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. clevercandi

    Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

    May 17, 2014 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Lee

    I'm on the Cabana Banana Diet. I haven't lost any weight, but boy, can I climb trees.

    May 17, 2014 at 10:13 | 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.