Are the benefits of eating 6-8 small meals a day exaggerated? Not that doing so is bad, and subjectively it may well be the best way for those wanting to bulk to get their calories in and the best way for those wanting 6 pack abs not to over eat.
It is the objective data I am questioning. I could post several journal articles and write a convincing article for why eating several small meals is great. I could also do the converse and cite articles and compose a convincing paper that doing so had no real positive effect.
Looking at all the research it seems that eating several small meals has strong evidence for a favorable lipid profile. It has a very slight effect of preserving lean body mass. It does not seem to conclusively increase metabolism. The last point was surprising because I thought this would have had the strongest backing.
I know Serge Nubret would usually eat 2 meals a day, and it was not uncommon for him to eat only one.
I think eating many small meals is still probably the best way to go, it is just the advantage of doing so versus eating 3 meals with appropriate calories and protein is much more subtle than one would be led to believe based on the current dogma.
It has some slight proven benefits, but maybe its greatest benefit is it just keeps people focused whether they want to build muscle or lose fat.