Q:

Why is it important to eat three meals a day?

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Quick Answer

Eating three meals a day prevents overeating in a single meal and secures more energy throughout the day, according to nutrition consultant Melodie Anne Coffman for JillianMichaels.com. Skipping meals also means missing essential nutrients the body needs to function.

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Why is it important to eat three meals a day?
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Full Answer

Coffman notes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because the food energizes the body after being deprived of food when sleeping. Breakfast aids in weight loss and prevents snacking on unhealthy foods. Food in each meal should include different food groups. For instance, each meal should have 3 or 4 ounces of grain products, 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables, 5 to 6.5 ounces of meat or beans, 1 1/2 or 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of milk-based products. This provides a thorough balance of macronutrients, and the eating plan provides the necessary amount of fats, protein and carbohydrates for the body. Splitting nutrition into three meals prevents the body from fatiguing and balances the body's sugar levels. A 2,000-calorie eating plan can be divided into 400 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch and 600 calories for dinner. Save the remaining 500 calories for a few snacks in between meals.

Coffman claims that eating too many calories in one meal forces the body to speed up the digestion process, and eating too much often results in diarrhea from trying to break down so much food at once. Nutrients may be wasted instead of absorbed, because the body cannot process the food in one eating session. The body feels fatigued after wasting so much energy digesting the food. Eating snacks between meals is the best way to prevent overeating.

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