Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day is known as grazing, and it has become a trend in recent years. It’s believed to boost metabolism, reduce hunger and stabilize blood sugar levels. But is it effective? 

Some research shows that breaking up your ‘three square meals’ into all-day grazing may not actually benefit your health as much as people think. While some believe frequent meals can help with weight-loss, studies have shown that it actually has no affect on your daily caloric burn, or your overall metabolism.  

Constant grazing requires planning

If you do opt for more frequent meals, over time your body becomes used to being fed consistently throughout the day, and will expect food more often. Unless you’re always prepared with a daily meal plan, you may end up settling for convenience over nutrition, which can lead to poor nutritional choices.

Regular meals help regulate blood sugar

Spikes in blood sugar may be greater after a larger meal, however the overall blood sugar levels of a person who sits down to a few healthy meals each day is shown to be generally lower. Eating three nutritious meals a day can be the better option to regulate blood sugars. Studies also show that eating your main meal earlier in the day, like at breakfast, can help lower overall blood sugar levels. 

Grazing can prevent you from missing meals

While more frequent meals may not necessarily be the answer to your health and fitness goals, you want to be sure you’re not skipping meals either. Maybe some days work gets busy and you forget to eat lunch. Missing a meal can deplete your energy levels and affect your productivity, which could mean you skip the gym or don’t get your work done. It’s also a missed opportunity to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs.

While all-day grazing has been a trend, it’s not clear whether it’s a healthier approach. Knowing what works best for your lifestyle, planning ahead, not skipping meals and getting in a few workouts a week is a sure-fire way to establish balanced habits for better health.