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Tuesdays With Jeff: Insights Into Your Health: Meal Frequency and Eating Between Meals

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QUESTION;  I was wondering if there is any evidence as to whether the traditional three meals per day is better than, for example, one or two meals per day.  Or is it better to eat several meals per day? If you are not hungry and wanting to lose weight, is there any drawback to skipping a meal (assuming that you don’t overdo on the next meal)?  

There is really little to any well-done credible science to support the theory that there is a difference between eating 3-5 meals per day, 1-2 meals per day or just consuming regular small snacks all day.  Likewise, the time of day that you consume your food, does not matter either.

While you often here of the advantages of several small meals over less larger meals, as long as total calories are restricted, there is not really a big difference and some recent studies in animals have shown that less frequent meals may have some advantages. There are studies being done where the animal are fed every other day (EOD) or once a day.

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About the author

Jeff Novick
Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN is truly a unique dietitian and nutritionist. With over 24 years of experience in nutrition, health, fitness and natural living, he offers expert health advice distilled into powerful, easy-to-understand language on a variety of current topics.Novick’s insightful and humorous approach to nutrition and health has helped thousands worldwide make the transition to healthy living. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana State University in nutrition, with a minor in exercise science.Novick serves as Vice President for Executive Health Exams International and lectures at the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California and at the Engine 2 Immersion program in Austin, Texas. He is also the Director of Nutrition for the Meals for Health program, which is helping empower low-income families to achieve optimal health.For almost a decade, Novick served as the Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Center in Aventura, Florida, and as Vice President of the Board of the Directors for the National Health Association (NHA). He also served as the Director of Health Education for the NHA and as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Health Sciences for Kaplan University.Novick has taught nutrition classes at Indiana State University, Indiana University Medical School, the University of Miami Medical School and the Florida Academy of Family Physicians. He regularly lectures at medical conferences across the country. While in Indiana, he created and taught the Nutrition Education Initiative, a preventive medicine curriculum for medical doctors, residents and medical students. In recognition of this groundbreaking project, Indiana’s governor awarded Novick the Indiana State Public Health Excellence in Health Science Award and Indiana State University awarded him the Graduate-of-the-Last-Decade Award.He has been interviewed by Newsday, Parade, Men’s Health, Shape, Women’s World and has appeared on Fox News, Discovery Health, the Today Show and other media outlets nationwide. He recently appeared in the documentary Processed People and the movie Fatboy, which won the Best Documentary award at the Fort Lauderdale and Queens Film Festivals.