T Nation

Getting Rid of the Burden of Six Meals a Day


#1

Who here has changed from eating six meals per day to three?

I now consume about 2,700 to 3,000 calories per day over three meals in addition to fasting twice per week for 24 hours.

And I'm having a blast and a load of pressure is off me!

Who here has gone back to big eat only a few times per day?

How do you feel?


#2

I've just started 8(eating/16(not-eating) intermittent fasting and have been enjoying it for sure. I seem to be able to stay lean even while bulking.

My 3 meals - breakfast: 2:00 PM, Pre workout - 5 PM, PWO - 9PM (training at 7) are quite large since I'm trying to fit in around 4000 calories in there. I'm contemplating trying carb-backloading in conjunction with this a la Keifer and see how it goes. That would mean steak for breakfast, steak/beef for pre-workout and something high carb/protein for PWO. Either way I definitely feel more alert, though the fasting period gets rough towards the end, I may need to up my calories more on my PWO meal and reduce them some in the first two meals (1000, 1000, 2000).


#3

I have done this for quite some time now but I've been feeling bloated lately and want to shed some fat fast so I might be trying a PSMF soon.

But overall ya going from eating every 3 hours (what a random number) to eating twice a day have been much better and more satisfying.

And after my PSMF I'll even (for a while, not forever) adopt a paleo type approach as I think I've been eating too many grains and have been getting bloated from them.

Eating less often is the way to go for most people.


#4

I eat three times a day, I'm following an IF plan. I have no difficulty eating a 1500-2000kcal meal in one sitting, and it suits my schedule. I'm training fasted in the morning with some BCAAs too, haven't noticed a drop in strength or recovery capacity.


#5

I've never done the 6 meals a day thing so I can't really comment an the change to a "normal" eating schedule... But I usually eat 3-4 times a day. I eat my 3 big meals a day (breakfast is a big shake) and I'll snack whenever I get hungry throughout the day.

That's just how I've always done it


#6

I am somewhat insulin resistant. One thing that has helped me to keep my blood sugar stable is to eat between 5 and 7 meals a day. For me though, a 'meal' can mean just a scoop of protein powder and a handful of nuts; my biggest meals are breakfast and post workout.

I am willing to tolerate the hassle of eating frequently to prevent the discomfort from spikes and troughs in my blood sugar; but I probably would not bother to do so otherwise.


#7

That's good.

You can do IF with a PSMF, and you'll probably suffer less from hunger pangs. I did the RFL diet with 4 or 5 meals, and if I were to do it again (I don't think I can again) I'd just eat 2 or 3 meals. (I attempted to do it again in the past month but couldn't go through with it again. I probably won't do a PSMF ever again because of lifestyle and psychometric reasons.)


#8

Due to school and commute I have been eating all my calories from 4:30-7:30/8:00 PM. It took a day or two to get used to but, I love being able to eat huge meals. I also find that I am much more focused in school.


#9

I'm not convinced that eating more frequently is important for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.


#10

I believe there was a thread perhaps the I.F one where, it was said that following and I.F diet did not cause huge spikes in blood sugars. I was a bit worried about following this approach for that reason, not resistance or diabetes but, because large spikes can give my skin issues. However, I have noticed no aggrevation, it may be because my B.S are so low throughout the day.


#11

Hey man, as much as I agree with you, the guy did find what works for him, so whether he actually is controlling blood sugar or not through frequent feedings, it doesn't really matter if it works for him.


#12

Some studies show improved insulin sensitivity.

I feel a whole lot better and am quite relieved.

I searched Martin Berkhan's site for a book, but I didn't see he has one. I'd definitely buy his book if he has one or when he comes out with one. I wanted a good solid book on IF and all I found was Brad Pilon's. I think his IF schedule works for me pretty good. I just need two 24 hour periods in which I fast and that's it.

I might get a little more detailed with a Martin Berkhan type of approach, but I don't know his protocol and prefer to follow cookie cutter strategies when I'm new to something and then make adjustments along the way. I did that when I started lifting and recently when I started running.


#13

I eat four large meals every 4-5 hours and supplement with BCAAs in between, been doing it all contest-prep. I'll probably cut out the aminos afterwards and switch to three large whole food meals, with snacks/shakes in between.


#14

Brick, I don't think Martin Berkhan has released a book. You can piece together his protocol from his blog, it is outlined in these posts: http://www.leangains.com/search/label/Leangains%20Guide

Yeah, I'm not attacking him, but I wanted to raise that point.


#15

(Totally not sarcastic here and don't want to debate).

But isn't that like going back to six times of eating, the type of meeal pattern that has driven some of us nuts?

Good luck with competing dude!


#16

http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html

That's Martin's guide in terms of timing of everything (he has 4 different protocols) and it has some good key points at the bottom.

EDIT: Looks like someone beat me to it.


#17

For years I ate 5-7 meals a day. This summer I experimented w/ IFing, ala Leangains, where I only ate two big meals every day. Currently, I'm eating 3 meals a day; sometimes I'll throw in a protien shake on training days. Probably consuming right around 3,000 kcal, half of that being in my pwo meal. I feel great on my current eating schedule; so much more convenient than 6 meals a day, and also avoids the distracting morning hunger pangs I had with IF. Once summer rolls around though, IFing is gonna be my got-to for getting sliced. It just works so well.


#18

Good thread Brick. I too used to follow that 6 meals a day guideline, but fuck that. I stopped and it is SOOO much better eating fewer but bigger meals.

  1. My meals aren't as boring. With fewer meals I don't have to eat something different all the time.

  2. I feel fuller and don't want food 2 hours later. This is also good cause I don't want to be eating all the time!

I'm eating 3-4x now. Generally, it's:

  • Breakfast: 5-6 eggs, veggies, ham, grass-fed cheddar cheese
  • Lift (Anaconda, MAG-10, SWF, no more Finibars because my training doesn't warrant the extra carbs).
  • Dinner (yesterday was Shredded pork, 1 cup rice, 1 cup fried plantanes)
  • Protein shake + almond butter

#19

Also used to do 6 meals a day and now I just eat one large meal at night - been on the Warrior Diet since June.

I love it! I never realized what a burden preparing/carrying/eating all those meals and snacks were until I stopped doing it. I feel great, my training hasn't suffered at all (in fact i think its improved) and now I devote more time and energy to doing other things aside from eating or worse, thinking about eating, or even worse, recovering from eating and then being hungry again.

I also save money b/c i don't need to take any supps/whey protein except for Glutamine.

I will say, however, that this lifestyle is more conducive to leaning out or maintaining. I think it would be very difficult to eat like this on a bulk...unless you can really REALLY eat big! lol.

And lets face it, nothing is more gratifying than taking a monster shit in the morning...not that girls do that or anything...cough


#20

Thanks for the comment!

And yes I suppose it is, but for me it is a very relaxed approach. I'll be getting the majority of my protein from three whole food meals -- can't speak for others, but having a peanut butter apple between meals or a PWO shake certainly won't drive me nuts!