T Nation

Clean Eating vs. 6 Meals a Day?


Do to my busy schedule at school, it is nearly impossible to get 6 "clean" meals a day. If you could only have one or the other, which would you say is more important?


for more helpful responses, give us your definition of "clean"


What are your goals? Where are you at now? The biggest factor is total cals and macros. Eat when you can and what you can that fits your macros. NOw if health is a goal then "clean" would be better


I agree that it depends on your definition of "clean."

I'd like to hear your goals (I'm guessing they're related to muscle gain based on your leanness/size in the avi and question).

In general though: I don't think it's a good idea to count SHIT towards your macro totals. If you're talking about grabbing some sandwiches, pasta, burgerz, meats that are a bit heavy on the sauces, etc on campus for convenience, I don't think it will be a huge problem (assuming that you're bulking up). Eating a little dirty when bulking isn't the worst thing in the world, but I don't think that it's a good idea to rely on the really crappy stuff like desserts, potato chips, microwave snacks, fried stuff that is more batter than meat/potato- you know, the real garbage that doesn't even remotely resemble the ingredients it's made from. Not saying you can't have a little fun with the eating when you're bulking. I'd just want to make sure I'm fueling my muscles with good nutrients so that they'll actually grow. So IMHO the "fun" eating should be on top of a solid base of at least semi-clean food.

Also, regarding the "6 meals a day" thing. If getting in EXACTLY six meals each day is a real pain in the ass on some days based on the schedule, you should be fine with less. I think it's more important to worry about what you're eating ON THE DAY rather than what you're eating at 6 specific times. If you only get 4-5 meals in on a given day due to a shit schedule, just make sure you eat enough at the meals you do get in. Assuming you get in enough cals/macros on a given day, you shouldn't be sabotaging your gains by splitting those nutrients between a few meals rather than a full 6.

Hope that helps. Can make more specific recommendations if you give more specific background/goal info.


Some days I eat 2 meals. Some 4. SOme 0, where I just graze throughout the day. Sometimes I eat at 12:30 at night and dont know whether to count that as the next day's 1st meal or the previous day's last meal.


Youre small as shit. Go eat much more than whatever you have been. How "clean" it is, is entirely up to you.


Lol sounds fairly similar to my current nutrition 'plan'


You probably shouldn't be eating anything off of the floor.


But what if it's a delicious, untouched cheezburger?


If that's you in the avatar, I am thinking your version of "clean" is a little too spotless.


If I could recommend: you should listen to some old Iron Radio podcasts about approaches to eating for mass.


Just eat man. You honestly look like a famine victim!


Eat however many you want, as long as you meet your calorie/macro demands you'll be fine. Most people with normal jobs/lives cannot sit down and eat 6 actual meals a day. They may eat 3, they may eat 3 with a couple shakes throughout the day, or they may actually eat 6 solid food meals. Or they may eat 2. As long as you get in the calories, your body really wont care if it was 500 spread out evenly over 6 meals or 1500 over two.