When we want to shed some pounds, the first idea that comes to our mind is to starve. And spend days with rumbling stomachs and trying to resist food and somehow deal with hunger.
For a long time, we thought that the key to weight loss is a limit on food intake. However, now this becomes only a myth. According to one recent study, we can double the times we have meals in the day and still shed those unwanted pounds.
This study reports that consuming 6 healthy meals daily instead of the usual 3 will aid stabilize the blood glucose levels and reduce hunger.
Scientists from the Agricultural University of Athens assessed 47 people that were obese and had type 2 and pre-diabetes.
Researchers found that those people who consumed often and little had better control over their blood sugar. This is in comparison to those who consumed 3 large meals on a daily basis.
The participants had to follow a special diet for 6 months. Everyone in this study consumed the same number of calories on a daily basis (made to maintain their weight). However, the frequency of eating was different.
Half of the participants consumed 3 meals on a daily basis, and the other half consumed 6. After 3 months the groups switched places.
The researchers came to the discovery that the participants who ate 6 times on a daily basis had good results. They experienced a decrease in their glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin, and that is a sign of improved control over their blood sugar.
For those participants who had severely impaired sugar tolerance and pre-diabetes, consuming often and little helped them reduce the frequency of times when they had high insulin levels.
Furthermore, this helped them to delay the time for blood sugar to peak after consuming sugar.
According to Dr. Emilia Papakonstantinou, the lead researcher, the secret is to make sure our intake of calories stays the same as when we consumed 3 meals on a daily basis.
According to her, these results report that increased frequency of meals taken at regular times can be useful for those people who are unsuccessful or reluctant dieters.
In fact, 1 in 3 British adults is said to have pre-diabetes, which means that they are at risk of developing diabetes. Also, around 3.6 million Brits have type 2 which is related to obesity.
The initial purpose of the study was to assess blood sugar and the condition. However, all the participants said that they experienced lower hunger levels when they had to follow this 6 meal diet.
This means that maybe consuming 6 meals on a daily basis can help us improve our blood glucose levels and helps us lower size. However, before we change our eating patterns, we need to consult our doctor.