How Many Meals Do People Typically Eat In A Day? - Health Digest Survey

Most of us grew up hearing that three square meals a day is a healthy way to eat. That said, some people only eat only one or two meals per day. On the other end of the spectrum, some people eat several small meals per day. Those in favor of small, more frequent meals claim benefits including stabilizing blood sugar and increasing metabolism. Other studies show that when people stick to three meals, they make healthier choices (via MedicalNewsToday). 

To figure out which method was best, MedicalNewsToday examined numerous studies regarding meal frequency and how it impacts health. What they found was that one meal plan that works for one person might not work for another — personal goals and health conditions are important factors to consider. For example, athletes may benefit from more frequent meals, while those who want to lose weight might fare better if they stick to fewer meals. With this in mind, Health Digest decided to find out how many meals readers eat in a day, and the results might surprise you.

Almost half ate the same number of meals

The Health Digest survey included responses from a total of 583 respondents, and almost half of them — 47.3% — eat the traditional three meals per day. Surprisingly, 36.36% eat two meals a day, and 5.32% eat just one meal over the course of a day. Of those polled, 6.86% eat four meals in a day. Eating more than four meals was even less common, with just 1.37% eating five meals a day. Approximately 2.74% eat more than five meals per day.

More important than the number of meals you eat is the quality of the food you're consuming. When planning meals, it's important to make sure they are nutrient-dense while keeping sugar, saturated fat, and alcohol intake to a minimum. You should also try to stay within the recommended daily caloric intake to avoid gaining excess weight, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture.