T Nation

General Nutrition Question,


Has there been peer-reviewed research done on the notion of eating smaller, more frequent meal as opposed to a few large ones? Wouldn’t your metablic rate increase more after a larger meal rather than a small one? What I’m getting at is given that most of us naturals don’t have the luxury of pigging out day-to-day, eating frequently means pretty much limiting the calories you consume per meal, even when “bulking” if you want to control bf levels. One factor in driving the intricate network of biochemical reactions within our bodies is whether we are in a “fed state” or a “fasting state”. Maybe there would be more potential for growth if one were to eat larger meals and thus not deprive oneself and maybe trigger the anabolic/synthesis pathways moreso than the catablolic ones (provided, of course, one would eat a ton around a workout)? What do you think? I sure do feel better and more pumped after a large meal, even if it doesn’t entail consuming many carbs…just trying to keep an open mind, that’s all. Do most athletes actually eat every three hours? It seems like they don’t, at least not in college (friends).

Thanks again for you input!!!

I’m not a nutrition expert, at least not to the extent of JB. So you should be asking that question to him.

However I STRONGLY believe that infrequent “burst” eating is VERY inefficient for individuals wanting to loose fat.

As for most athletes eating every 3 hours… some don’t … but undertand that elite athlete are often genetically blessed (and some pharmacologically blessed)so they can get away with pretty much anything nutrition-wise. I know a top atlete who eats at McD’s at least once PER DAY (and we’re not talking chicken salad folks), he doesn’t use steroids, and he’s under 7% body fat (veins on his abs, very muscular). Would that validate that form of easting for an athlete? HECK NO!

Now, it’s true that a huge feeding will probably illicit an important anabolic response. However understand that “anabolic response” can also means increased fat storage. Also understand that gong too long without food can lead to a catabolic state. Will the huge anabolic burst balance that catabolic state? Maybe, maybe not.

As for the metabolic increase. It’s true that a huge meal might lead to a higher increase in metabolism (higher thermic effect of food). But is it best to have a sluggish metabolism all day followed by one big surge, or to have an elevated metabolism all day?

One diet espoused the extreme of what you are talking about: the warrior’s diet (which was first discussed in T-mag). While the author of the diet brought some interesting points, I’m yet to see it work in real life. I even tried it myself with very little in the way of results.