Mini MealUh oh.  Andrew is not going to approve of this news.  The training profession has long held that 5 or 6 mini meals per day will “stoke the fire” and keep our metabolic engines purring.  While the mini meal may stave off rampant hunger binges, it doesn’t appear to have any effect on metabolism — at least according to this article.

The Claim: Eat Six Small Meals a Day Instead of Three Big Ones

But Andrew, et al, may not be off the mark after all, according to my favorite celebrity, Dr. Oz (sound of angels singing).  According to his article in AARP’s magazine this month, the hormone ghrelin drives hunger, so by eating regularly throughout the day, you regulate your hormone fluctuations so you’re not crazy eat your own arm off hungry when it comes to meal time, which (as we can all attest) can lead to over-eating.

For my particular body- mind well-being, I find that I like 2 or 3 small meals early in the day (they don’t zap my energy) and a larger meal in the evening with family (and friends), which is also consistent with a more paleolithic eating style.  My Cave Girl ancestors would have noshed on whatever was on hand in the early part of the day — perhaps a handful of nuts and berries — as they went about their hunting and gathering.  Later, fireside in the cave, the clan would have feasted on their catch of the day — or not.

Whichever way you choose to eat — lots of mini meals or fewer larger meals or a combination of both — it’s WHAT you choose to eat that will make the most difference in the long run.  Six McDonald’s Happy Meals are not going to make you Fit or Fab, and neither will three Big Mac Meals.  But you knew that!

Noshing our way to health ~ Puff

2 Responses to “The Myth of the Mini Meal”

  • PUFF-
    You are totally right about two points:
    1. I don’t like this news :)
    2. Whether its 3 or 6 or 10 meals a day, it really, really, really depends on the QUALITY of food you eat.

    Great Post

  • Puff:

    Andrew — Quality of fuel is one of the most important considerations, not just for fitness, but for the enjoyment and satisfaction of eating! With so many additives, chemicals, and hormones used in factory farming, it’s more important than ever that we support our local farmer’s markets. Yes, it can be more difficult and a bit more expensive to shop the markets, but with some good planning we really can eat the best quality foods available, all while supporting local family farmers.

    If you’re not inclined to shop local, you can still eat better by simply eating close to the ground. It’s easy! Just shop the perimeter aisles of the grocery store and eat nothing (NOTHING) from a package. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat and fish are all in that category. Pizza Pocket Nibbles, Gogurt, and Cheezy Puffs are NOT, no matter what the commercial says.

    To locate a farmer’s market or family farm near you, check out this link:
    http://www.localharvest.org/

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