Frequent Eating Tips
(Reuters Health) – Girls who did frequent eating and snacks put on fewer pounds and gained fewer inches to their waistlines over the next decade than those who only ate a couple of times each day, according to a new study.
Food Education is ideal for teaching our young girls on how to eat as well. Researchers said that one explanation is that smaller, more frequent meals and snacks kept girls satisfied for longer, and prevented them from over-eating.
“Maybe if you eat smaller meals or you eat more frequently you’re less likely to have a very large meal or be extremely hungry and over-eat at a meal,” said Alison Field, who studies kids’ eating habits at Children’s Hospital in Boston but didn’t participate in the new research.
The new report, from Lorrene Ritchie at the University of California, Berkeley, is based on data from a government-funded study of black and white girls in Berkeley, Cincinnati and Washington, D.C.
Frequent Eating Should Be Started While Young
Starting at the ages of 9 and 10 years old, the girls filled out food records of what they ate, a few days at a time, and then reviewed those records with nutritionists.
Over the next 10 years, researchers continued to track more than 2,100 girls’ height, weight and waist size.
Ritchie used those records to compare the number of meals and snacks girls ate at the start of the study with changes in their weight and waist size through ages 19 to 20.
Girls initially reported eating an average of about two and a half meals and another two and a half snacks each day.
As expected, no matter how frequently they ate, participants gained weight and waist inches over the study period as they went through puberty. But the fewer snacks and meals girls ate during the day, the more fat they ended up putting on, Ritchie reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
I have designed the Smart For Life® program to train individuals (both men and women) to eat 7 small healthy meals a day. In addition to stabilizing sugar levels and preventing spikes, the 7 small meals help to satisfy hunger and decrease the likelihood of binge eating, especially during the evening hours.
According to these recent studies over the past ten years, those who started out eating more than six times a day climbed 6.5 points on the body mass index (BMI) scale, which is a measure of weight in relation to height. Girls that ate three times or less went up 7.8 points. That works out to about eight extra pounds gained by the least-frequent eaters. So you see, frequent eating of small meals helps you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism. -Dr. Sass