23/09/2010 06:22 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Three Square Meals 'Best For Weight Loss'

Honestly, when it comes to eating healthily and losing weight, how's a girl supposed to know what to do for the best?

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We grew up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner - three good meals a day, all eaten at the table. Then the trend for grazing changed everything, with diet experts recommending eating little and often as the healthiest way, especially if you want to keep your energy levels up or shed a few pounds.

But your mum was right all along, say scientists from the University of Missouri. Three square meals a day is better for you than grazing, especially if you want to lose weight.

In tests the researchers found overweight dieters felt more satisfied and less hungry when they ate three times a day than others who ate six smaller meals a day. Writing in the journal Obesity, they've effectively slammed the idea that mini-meals are the holy grail of appetite control many think they are.

But that's not all. The researchers also decided to experiment with the amount of protein in the dieters' meals. And guess what? They found eating more protein helps you feel fuller throughout the day (not an Atkins amount of protein, but more than normal).

There again, the study was partly funded by The National Pork Board, so it's hardly surprising it recommends eating more protein.

Do you think it matters how often you eat? Or is losing weight simply down to calories in vs calories out? Tell us what you think.