A balanced, healthy diet should contain carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, unsaturated fats and whole-grains and legumes are the go-to choices. But, how often do you need to eat during the day to get the most from your balanced diet? Well, it depends.
Eating three times a day may work for many people. However, you have to make sure you are eating enough without overeating — no matter how many times per day you eat. If you overeat, you can be left feeling lethargic. It's hard to keep up with your obligations if you have no energy. Similarly, if you don't eat enough or often enough, your blood sugar can drop. This can leave you feeling weak and even dizzy. Diseases such as diabetes may also impact how often you eat, as well as what foods. Talk to your doctor and dietitian regarding specific health concerns.
But for the average person, eating three large meals or four to six smaller meals doesn't make a huge difference. Most don't advise eating less than three meals per day — so two is out. For dietitians and nutritionists, it's the quality of your food rather than how much you eat at a time. You can live a healthy life, and reach a healthy body weight with any of the choices above.