How Often Should You Eat To Lose Weight?

You should eat smaller meals more frequently if you want to lose weight!

Sound familiar?

You’ve probably heard it a dozen times from friends or family, watched a video about it on YouTube or read it online and it gave you hope.

As much as I don’t want to take the hope away from you….it’s a myth. 

Consuming smaller meals more often as opposed to big meals sporadically will not help you lose weight faster. 

Here’s why:




2,000 calories spread over 3 meals is the same 2,000 calories spread over 6 meals.

If the calorie amount is the same, then the amount of meals is an arbitrary number. You could spread it among 10 meals if you wanted, calories won’t change. 

In fact, one study from the University of Ottowa led researchers to conclude that eating more meals will actually make you want to eat more, which in the grand scheme of things is definitely not our goal.

However, if you were to FIRST lower your total calories and THEN divide it into smaller meals, that’s a different story.

Then there is evidence that supports it’s success.




The idea behind eating smaller meals more frequently is simply to keep your metabolism working. It’s another myth that a revved up metabolism will also burn fat, but smaller more frequent meals do prevent binging. 

Cleveland Dietitian Amy Jamieson, RD explains, “after about 3 hours without food, your blood sugar begins to fall. Once you’ve crossed the 5 hour mark, your blood sugar begins to plummet, and you grab whatever you can to refuel”.

I’m so hungry I can eat a horse!

Smaller more frequent meals prevent the horse eating by staving off hunger and leaving you full. 




When it comes to weight loss, calorie restriction is key. 

However, your goal shouldn’t just be to lower the number on the scale. Losing weight by means of junk food will bring you bigger problems than just your figure.

To me, the quality of the calories is most important. Eating balanced nutrient dense foods will give your body the optimal energy it needs to perform efficiently.

Focus more on calorie restriction and quality rather than mealtimes.




“How often you should eat is dependent on your lifestyle,” explains Michaela Ballmann (Nutrition and Dietetics). 

For the average individual, 3 square meals a day is suitable for their needs. This includes students, 9-5 employees or anyone whose not very active.

For an athlete however, more meals are required because of the intense training they go through. A pre-workout/post-workout meal works best to fuel and refuel.

If overeating is a problem of yours, then throw in some healthy snacks as well. A handful of nuts or fruit will not only “promote stable blood sugar and satisfaction but will also prevent overeating” says Laura Matosko, MSEd, RD. 



Mealtime has its benefits but is not the most important when it comes to weight loss.

Focus more on restrictions not only in terms of calories but in terms of food groups as well and of course aim for quality ingredients.

Lastly, play around with it! There are so many different weight loss plans and diets out there, find the one that you love and stick with it.

Once you get into a rhythm, there won’t be any stopping you. 





None of the information written above or supplied by links is suitable for follow without a doctor’s consent. 

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  3. Paturel, Amy. “6 Meals a Day for Weight Loss.” WebMD, WebMD,