AFNov2015ArticlePicWebIs there a true or proven way to know how many times a day you should eat? More than likely every doctor or nurse you talk to would say something different. They may have the same number of times in a day, but the reasoning behind it may be different. Ultimately you’re the one that needs to decide how many times a day you eat, but you need to have an understanding behind some things before you make the final decision.

One thing you must remember is if you’re not hungry don’t eat a snack. Eating three meals a day is a good rule of thumb, but if you’re not hungry you shouldn’t eat. You may find if noon hits and you’re not hungry and you eat anyway you may not be able to take the weight off or maintain your weight. You may also find if you don’t eat at noon, come 2 pm you may be hungry, so it may not hurt to eat at noon or 1 pm.

The best way to decide on the number of meals you need to eat is to take a week and document everything you eat and drink. This will help you to decide when you’re the hungriest and what you’re eating when that happens. When you know your difficult times in the day you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do to handle it. It may come down to eating a snack in the morning and not the afternoon or you may need to eat something small for breakfast and a snack before dinner.

Something else you need to consider is the activities you do during the day. If you exercise before breakfast or dinner you may find you’re hungry before you go and that causes you to snack on the wrong things. If this happens consider eating a protein bar approximately 30 to 45 minutes before you go. Or if your problem occurs after you exercise, consider eating the protein bar as soon as you’re done with your workout.

Some doctors will tell you three meals a day with no snacking is the way to go while others will tell you to eat five small meals a day. The best thing to do is find something that works for you. Just because five small meals works for Joe down the street doesn’t mean it will work for you. You may find eating that much puts the weight on or causes you to have less energy.

Ultimately the decision on the number of meals you eat in a day will come down to what you need. You may find when you change your diet and add certain foods you don’t need snacks or you may find when you exercise you need to add a little more to your day. No matter what you decide, only you know what’s right for you.

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