Overweight people are often advised to eat smaller meals more often to shed those extra pounds. Now however, a new study has found that this dieting method is nothing more than a myth, and that it won't help you lose weight.
Dieticians put theory to practice when they asked 179 obese Australians to eat smaller meals more often.
The volunteers were split into two groups. One group ate three times a day, while the other added in three extra snack to speed up fat-burning by boosting metabolism.
Their finding -- it didn't help the participants lose weight.
"There seems to be little benefit to changing how often or how regularly you eat if you're trying to lose weight," The Australian quoted lead researcher Michelle Palmer, a dietician at the University of Newcastle, as saying.
"We found it's not when you eat that matters, but what and how much you eat.
"Many people find it hard enough to stick to a healthy eating plan to lose weight, let alone worrying about any suggested benefits of snacking or not snacking," she said.
Tim Crowe, a nutrition specialist at Deakin University in Melbourne, said that instead of the "faddish dieting trend", people should focus on how much and what they're eating.
"It's rubbish. In fact, there's some research to suggest playing around with when you eat may actually cause you to put weight on. It's best if they focus on how much they're eating and of course what they're eating," he said.