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Six small meals are key to diet success

HealthBy Sunday World
Six small meals are key to diet success

There's so much advice around when it comes to eating that it can be tricky to know what to follow. Some diet plans encourage three meals a day plus regular snacks, while others state that sticking to just breakfast, lunch and dinner and nothing else is the key. It's also been suggested that small, regular meals might help with weightloss, an idea which has been backed by new research.

According to a study conducted by experts at California and New Mexico universities, having more small meals will help you drop the pounds.

To help them come to this conclusion the group looked at two different ways of eating over a fortnight. One set of people were given two meals a day and the others received six, but the total amount of calories for both sets was the same.

Both groups of people ended up losing weight, but those who had more regular meals boasted a healthier body composition. In line with this, they didn't see as much of their fat-free body mass decrease and their levels of glucose, cholesterol and insulin were better.

People who had two meals a day saw their fat-free body mass cut by three per cent, while the others only had a 1.2 per cent reduction.

The study was published in science journal Nutrition Research, with researchers stating the findings point towards smaller meals being the key to staying trim.

Fat-free body mass is your body mass which doesn't include fat, so it takes in everything else such as organs, bones, skin, ligaments and water content. If you have a high fat-free mass it means you are lean and healthy, which is why it isn't good if a diet sees it reduced too much.

Don't start to think you need to completely cut the fat from your frame though, as a certain amount is needed to stay healthy. Men need around three per cent to be in peak condition and it's more for women because they have sex-specific fat, so it comes in at 12 per cent.

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