ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Fitness Friday" series on WJON, we see how spreading out your daily meals can help you reach your ideal weight.

The right combination of eating the right way and exercise will help you reach your fitness goals.

When it comes to eating many of us believe three large meals a day is the way to go. Rejuv Medical's J.R. Burgess says in reality having five to six smaller meals is better for you.

"If we eat more frequently with snacks mixed in that can be beneficial to our metabolism and prevent us from eating those larger meals that are more likely to store those extra calories as fat," says Burgess.

However, knowing how to properly portion your meals is where Burgess says most people have a hard time early on.

"So if I'm looking at a goal of 2,000 calories a day and I have an average of 400 calories per meal, which can be more or less at times, as long as we stay near our calorie mark is when we will see the most benefit toward our goals," says Burgess.

Burgess says snack can count as one of your six meals. Just remember portion control and eat things with more fiber such as protein bars or a handful of almonds to satisfy your hunger longer.

"For a lot of foods you don't need to count every calorie but understanding serving sizes for each food is important because we tend to under or over estimate the actual calorie intake," says Burgess.

If you plan on having a snack before bed make sure you're eating things that digest slowly like proteins over foods that provide energy.

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