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I wonder if it matters if an average person eats the same amount of food distributed between a few (2-3) meals during the day, or constantly having small snacks.

I'm interested in several aspects of such food consumption:

  • How does it affect appetite?
  • How does it affect fat accumulation?
  • Are there any notable side effects caused by either way of eating?
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1)Eating little with many breaks is healthy.. Eating rarely but many times increases your fat... The logic is simple.

Before the Logic..let me shoot a fact. In mammals: conversion from glucose to fatty acids has a direct pathway(I am speaking biochemistry), but there is no direct path for conversion of fats to glucose..(whereas in plants both paths are direct..)

So If you eat more food at one time, the glucose which body needs is used and the remaining glucose is converted to fat. when the body again needs glucose, it needs to take a long pathway to convert fat into glucose(* only if you workout), by that time your Hypothalamus gets a signal and you feel hungry. So you again eat to satisfy your hypothalamus and the process continues, with more accumulation of fat in your body.

But in the little meals, there is no accumulation of fat.

2)In either case, the Appetite is affected in the normal and same way.

3)There are no side effects for either pathway, but you have other side effects from the fat accumulated. :P

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you add some citations? I fear there is little scientific certainty about almost everything in this answer. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause May 11 '17 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest reading Biochemistry pathways. Cannot cite you at one pathway, because it's all interlinked. You learn a lot of facts and understand a lot of human metabolisms, right from why a diabetic guy breath is alcoholic to how proteins build muscle. Interesting stuff. $\endgroup$ – Alex markston May 11 '17 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ It isn't about not knowing biochemistry. Please don't be condescending - citations are especially important to prevent misinterpretation by non-experts on health-related topics. There is little to no logic to your answer: stating that it is "simple" doesn't make it correct. A "direct pathway" from fat to glucose is not necessary because animals can use energy sources besides glucose. Glucose is only a common energy source when carbohydrates are being used. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause May 11 '17 at 20:29
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Eating many small meals or eating large meals is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is getting the right amount of calories needed for your body to function properly. Fat accumulation does not happen if you do not go over your daily calorie limit. After a big meal your food is not only stored as fat but as a polysaccharide form of glucose called glycogen that is stored in the liver and or muscles for later use. Therefore, there is no better way to eat, it depends on what size you like your meals to be as long as you stay within your calorie range.

See http://www.choosemyplate.gov for more information.

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