We’ve all heard it from experts and laymen alike: “Eat smaller, more frequent meals if you want to lose weight.”

But does it really make a difference?

The short answer is yes… and no. Eating 5-6 smaller meals a day has become an increasingly popular way to control appetite and prevent overeating, and for some, it helps them eat less calories in a day. But a myth has perpetuated that eating smaller more frequent meals will satisfy the appetite, stabilize blood sugar, and increase calorie-burning. Sounds logical and tempting to think this might be a secret to unlocking a faster metabolism and weight loss, right?

Well, according to a review of 25 intervention studies conducted across 3 renowned universities in Australia, “evidence does NOT suggest that manipulating eating frequency greatly benefits weight and health.” While eating smaller more frequent meals for some people can allow them to take in less calories due to the smaller meals, and therefore lose weight, this approach does not work for everyone; especially with those who might not have time to prepare or eat 6 meals a day!

Bottom line: WHAT we eat is more important than how often we eat it.

If eating smaller, more frequent meals works for you and helps you take in less calories and still feel satisfied, then by all means, do what works best for your body. And if 3 meals a day works for you and you’re still able to stay comfortably within your daily calorie needs, then stick with that. To each his own.