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Old 06-05-2010, 12:13 PM   2 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1 (permalink)
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Default Number of meals a day question?

I need some help from all the supporters out there in regards to my debate of number of meals a day 5-6 vs 2-3.

I understand the concept that the body will be burning through out the day with more meals but at the end of the day the number of calories would be the same regardless of the number of meals.

If I am exercising multiple times a day wouldnt my body be looking for fuel regardless?

I currently have been eating 2-3 meals a day and exercising 2-3 times a day. I have been losing weight with this plan but I am looking for more info on the 5-6 meal plan in case I plateau.

Please help with yalls thoughts.

Frank
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I personally go a couple of weeks where I eat about 5 times a day (roughly every three hours), then switch to more like 7 times a day (eating about every two hours). I think it helps keep my body guessing and keeps my metabolism moving. Most nutritional data will say that smaller, frequent meals helps keep your blood sugar from dipping too low, and subsequently spiking after a big meal. Scheduling snacks takes some forethought and planning, so keep that in mind. I'd say to stick to whatever is working for you and once it isn't anymore, then shake things up.

As a general rule, I do try to eat within an hour of working out. Your blood is pumping and the body is all awake and hungry for the nutrients you just expended during the workout. If you're working out several times a day, you might want to schedule a little snack after those workouts if you're not already.

And I don't know what kind of workouts you're doing, but keep in mind that multiple workouts puts more stress on the body and makes it more difficult for it to recover in between sessions, so if you start to plateau, that could be part of the reason too...the body just needs a little more rest.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's really an individual decision. I eat breakfast around 6:00--about 300 calories. Then a snack of fruit (100 cals or so) around 9:00. Then lunch around 11:30 of 400 cals or so, next supper of 400-600 and a snack around 8:00 of 100-200 for a total of 1500 cals. This way I don't get too hungry and set off a binge. I also drink at least 2 liters a day of ice water a day. This is what works for me, but everyone is different.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't understand when you would get in your extra meals if you workout up to 3 times a day? Are your workouts easy enough to do on a full stomic? I would not be able to make it through one of my workouts (1.5 - 2 hours long) with much food in my stomic. I guess the meals are very small?

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't understand when you would get in your extra meals if you workout up to 3 times a day? Are your workouts easy enough to do on a full stomic? I would not be able to make it through one of my workouts (1.5 - 2 hours long) with much food in my stomic. I guess the meals are very small?
Well the first workout is first thing in the morning at about 5am. I will run or sprints for about 30 - 45 min. By 7am I am eating breakfast then it is off to work. Around nine I eat a granola bar followed by lunch at noon. Afterwork I
eat an energy bar go to the gym and do light cardio followed by some weight lifting, Yoga, or Pilaties This will go for another hour or so. After the afternoon workout I wat another energybar and around 730pm I go for a 4 mile walk at about a 4.5 mile/hr pace. then it is shower and sleep time. This is my routine for the past month and I have been losing the pounds it started at 4 pounds a week at the begining and now it is at 2 pounds per week. This week is the first week that I have incorperated the 5 meals a day and it seems to be working. I am not hungry through out the day. It is more of a "look at the time....time to eat" kind of thing.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fourank View Post
workout 5am.
7am breakfast
nine I eat a granola bar
lunch at noon.
Afterwork energy bar
gym light cardio, weight lifting, Yoga, or Pilaties
energybar
730pm 4 mile walk at about a 4.5 mile/hr pace.
I am not hungry through out the day. It is more of a "look at the time....time to eat" kind of thing.
If it is working for you then you don't have to change. If you are looking for suggestions to tweak it then here are mine:

Change the morning granola bar for fruit or a vegetable. (Replaces simple carbs, like sugar, with complex carbs.)

Replace the after workout energy bar with a protein shake. (Reduces carbs and replaces them with protein.)

Spread your calories to allow a evening meal with a protein source (meat, poultry or fish) and complex carbs (vegetables).

If you have gotten to the point that you aren't hungry all the time and you are losing weight then you are already well on your way to a lifestyle change instead of just dieting. Congrats on your success so far. At your current rate you will hit your goal well ahead of time!
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the great thing, at least for me about eating 5-6 times per day is i'm less likely to get hungry. It's also a more consistent flow of energy for your body.

It's really how we're genetically programmed to eat too. We're grazers by nature which is why so many people today are overweight.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It's really how we're genetically programmed to eat too. We're grazers by nature which is why so many people today are overweight.
We ate when we had food. Not at certain intervals throughout the day. There would be days when a few berries would only be found, other days when a hunter would bring in game and there would be a feast. There were no freezers, no packaging, and best of all, no preservatives, and if we didn't eat the food we had, it would rot and waste.

People are overweight today because of agriculture and farming and eating wheat/grains/flour. People eat upwards of 400+ grams of carbohydrates per day. Our sugar intake is at an astronomical level and the food industry, a multi-billion dollar industry, convinces us that it is important to eat constantly in order to maintain energy.

Genetically we haven't adapted to eating grains which is why our nation is littered with obesity, diabetes and heart related issues/diseases. We have be grazers by nature, but we were never meant to graze on grains and flour based food products. THAT is why the nation is fat. Not enough real food, too much phoney filler 'food'.

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Here's one interesting article I found regarding this subject at one of my favorite websites. I'm not saying I necessarily agree with everything in it, but he does lay it out pretty well with straightforward biochem explanations and brings together a lot of relevant research too. It's worth a read if you want more information about how often to eat in a day.

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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Despite what a lot of people might tell you, the only thing that meal frequency comes down to is personal preference; it doesn't matter whatsoever. If it did why would be people be having such great weight loss success eating 5-6 small meals a day and, on the opposite side of the spectrum, with Intermittent Fasting?

Do whatever you like best or whatever fits your lifestyle easier.
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