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Skipping meals

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"When people skip meals, they think they're saving calories," says Shapiro. But the habit always backfires. "It can wreak havoc on their metabolism, and they tend to eat more later because they're voraciously hungry."

Some research shows that as long as calories stay the same, it doesn't matter if you eat small quantities more often or large quantities less often.

Eating more small meals may help dieters to quell cravings, though, and it also discourages bingeing later, says Shapiro, who recommends meals of less than 500 calories every three to four hours.

(Photo: Getty Images)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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