T Nation

Eating Every 2 Hours or a Few Large Meals


#1

Hi all

Just curious to see if in your opinion , is eating throughout the day more beneficial to eating say 2-3 heavy meals instead ?

Been researching this a bit but was unable to get a firm answer.


#2

It doesn’t matter as long as you’re meeting your macros and calorie goals for the day IMO. It’s just more convienient to spread your food out evenly throughout the day.


#3

[quote]Theorangebanana wrote:
Been researching this a bit but was unable to get a firm answer. [/quote]
That’s because there is no one “best” answer that applies to all people in all situations.

Do what works best for your goals and lifestyle.

That said, I like to suggest most people shoot for 3 meals a day plus a workout drink when they train. I consider that setting up a “baseline”, and then you can tweak from there adding meals/snacks if needed or experimenting with intermittent fasting-type plans down the road.


#4

Untill I started working with Amit Sapir I believed 2-3 meals a day was fine and maybe for some it is. However since I have bumped my meals to a minimum of 5-7 I have noticed a dramatic decrease in digestion issues (gas and acid reflux), much more energy as I dont feel like I need to fall asleep after every meal, and I noticed I have much less bloat to deal with.


#5

Greg Nuckols wrote an article about this. Essentially you get a lot for a little effort and as you increase effort you eventually reach a limit where you put in very high effort for little returns - this is represented by an increasing exponential decay function. Greg gave examples of this model being applicable to training frequency, volume, eating frequency, etc. More can be better but questions to ask yourself are how much better for you and is the extra effort worth? For some it is, for some it isn’t.


#6

[quote]Reed wrote:
Untill I started working with Amit Sapir I believed 2-3 meals a day was fine and maybe for some it is. However since I have bumped my meals to a minimum of 5-7 I have noticed a dramatic decrease in digestion issues (gas and acid reflux), much more energy as I dont feel like I need to fall asleep after every meal, and I noticed I have much less bloat to deal with. [/quote]

Digestive enzyme supps work really well for the bloat, gas, full rock in stomach feeling etc you get from crushing food. They were a digestive life saver for me.


#7

I think one overlooked point is how many calories you are eating. Someone eating only 2500 calories in a day (maybe they’re on a diet or something), eating 6 meals a day is only 400 ish calories a meal. That’s a very small meal, and I wouldn’t fell all that full after eating what basically amounts to a 10 oz chicken breast and broccoli. However, if someones eating 4000 calories than 6 meals would be just under 700 calories. Easily a “full” meal.

Basically, I think it matters how many calories you eat in a day. And personal preference, time constraints, etc. In a perfect world, when I’m eating to gain weight 4 meals and a small pre-workout shake is my “ideal” but I only consume around 3000 calories. Due to time constraints it’s sometimes easier to just combine the last two meals in a day and really feel like I’m “splurging” with a 1300 calorie meal. Nice mentally.


#8

I’ve been wondering the same. Currently feeling that three insulin responses per day may create a better overall hormone profile. But it’'s all theory and based on minimal understanding, so not worth much.


#9

A few large meals every 2 hours


#10

No science backing it but…personally i have been doing more frequent meals and my training has been going much better.


#11

I think you should eat as you feel more comfortable. The most important is calories in and calories out. I would personally go for 3 meals a day. It just easier for me that way.


#12

I found just increasing the amount of times i ate benefitted me more as I normally eat very little in one sitting.


#13

I think the only really good reason for more meals is if you are having trouble getting in as many calories as you want. At some point, if you are gaining weight and large and muscular with a really fast metabolism, 5 to 6000+ calories in 3 meals sucks.

Otherwise, I don’t think it makes a lot of difference.