TODAY

TODAY   |  June 25, 2013

Study: 2 meals a day could help you lose weight

A new study suggests that swapping six small meals a day for two could help you lose weight. TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom explains what this might mean for our meals.

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>> you're trying to lose weight , listen up. for years experts recommended eating 6 small meals a day but this morning a new study suggests two larger meals a day could be the way to go. madeline is today's diet and nutrition editor. madeline, good morning to you.

>> good morning savannah.

>> tell us about this study. did it show that two meals a day might be better for losing weight .

>> this was 54 type 2 diabetics on a plan. a weight reducing plan. 500 cal risk cut a day. they did it for 12 weeks where they ate twice a day or six times a day. they did it two times and when you compared this they both lost weight. both groups lost weight and surprisingly the group that had two meals a day lost about two pounds more than eating six pounds a day. so the engraved in stone you must eat 6 meals a day for optimal weight loss is shifting the other way.

>> it was breakfast and lunch, right?

>> yeah and in the study that may be hard for people to translate to do but earlier studies showed if you ate 3 time ace day you got the same thing. you tend to eat less.

>> this is not a comprehensive study. it's a small group but do you think it suggests it's better to do the two big meals as opposed to stretching out your meals throughout the day.

>> grazing all day long may not be the best. they think i better sped my meals out and eat constantly but the more you graze, the more you tend to eat for many people. if this is not you, cutting it down to two meals a day or three meals a day can be the way to go because one size does not fit all.

>> plus for a lot of us, we may graze but we don't necessarily keep the meals that small.

>> yeah, the six minimeals turn into major meals and people wonder why they're not losing weight . this is good documentation that eating less often can help promote the same weight loss .

>> do you think you could do it with three meals a day and make it more suitable.

>> three meals a day is more workable. this is a study so people are regimented. when you translate it to real life this can be a good way to go. hearty breakfast and medium lunch. you can mix and match. this was a weight reducing diet. they cut calories by 500 calories a day.

>> is that the magic number in terms of when you would start seeing weight loss ?

>> that's a workable number every day. that gives you about a pound a week. it depends on what you want to tolerate but a pound a week is good progress.

>> it is. coming up we have kris jenner live to tell us about her new granddaughter and her other baby.

>> and a live performance from the former first lady of france. but first, a check