Obese people should eat six meals a day, experts say.
Greek researchers found eating six small meals a day was better than three large ones.
They found more frequent eating – while keeping overall calorie consumption the same – led to better blood sugar control.
Experts at Athens University Medical School tracked 47 participants, who all had type two diabetes or prediabetes, for 24 weeks.
Presenting their findings at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes conference in Lisbon, the study also found eating more frequently kept hunger levels down.
Greek researchers found eating six small meals a day is better than three large ones
WATER CONTAINING ‘GOOD’ BACTERIA MAY COMBAT CHILDHOOD OBESITY
A bottle of water a day that boosts youngsters’ ‘good’ bacteria may combat childhood obesity, research revealed in June.
Water containing a prebiotic supplement should make obese children a healthy weight after just one year, a study found.
This is compared to a 17.6lb (8kg) weight gain among children receiving a placebo, the research adds.
Study author Professor Raylene Reimer from the University of Calgary, said: ‘Powdered fiber, mixed in a water bottle, taken once a day is all we asked the children to change, and we got, what we consider, some pretty exciting results – it has been fantastic.’
Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients, such as fiber, that act as fertilizers to stimulate the growth of bugs in the digestive tract.
Probiotics specifically introduce new bacteria into the gut.
Improves blood sugar control and reduces hunger
The researchers, led by Dr Emilia Papakonstantinou, said: ‘Our 24-week weight maintenance study showed that using a six-meal pattern instead of three-meal, while containing the same overall calories, improved blood sugar control and reduced hunger in obese people with prediabetes or full-blown diabetes.
‘These results suggest that increased frequency of meals, consumed at regular times, may be a useful tool for doctors treating subjects with obesity and diabetes or prediabetes, especially those who are reluctant or unsuccessful dieters.’
Although body weight remained stable throughout the study, the participants who had been following the six-meal plan saw a decrease in their blood sugar levels after meals, indicating improved glucose control.
They also reported significantly reduced hunger levels and less desire to eat between meals after following the six-meal plan.
No one-size-fits-all approach
Douglas Twenefour, deputy head of care at Diabetes UK, said: ‘There is not no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting for people with Type 2 diabetes, so it is important that any approach fits in with the individuals lifestyle and personal preferences.
‘Anyone thinking of drastically changing their meal frequency should speak to their diabetes team first, as this may affect their medications.’
This comes after researchers from Cornell University found people who struggle to lose weight may benefit from cutting out coffee.
Caffeine may trigger the temptation for sweet treats, they found.