T Nation

How about listening to your body?

Do you eat every 3 hours wether you feel hungry or not?

When you still feel full / don't feel hungry, your body is telling you that here is still food in your stomach. So perhaps it is not wise to eat every 3 hours unless you feel hungry or the additional food will just get stored as fat.

What are your thoughts?

I typically eat every 2-3 hours. If for some reason I am not hungry, I will skip the meal, but I end up making it up later, as my body adjusts and is always hungry later. So even if I miss one meal, it’s made up later!

Sometimes my body tells me to eat doughnuts, lay around all day, and screw women besides my wife. Should I listen to it? :slight_smile:

If you still feel full, you shouldn’t eat. But I think if your meals are smaller and nutritious you should probably be hungry about every three hours or so. This six to seven meal a day religion (which is what it’s become) isn’t good for absolutely everybody. I know some people who weight train and eat maybe 3-4 times a day instead of 6-7 and they do just as well.

Every 3 hours whether I am hungry or not. My Body don’t know crap, it wants HoHo’s and Pizza and would never work out If I didn’t make it.

By the time you are hungry, it’s already too late to prevent catabloism. When your body signals you that it is hungry, it’s already begun breaking down muscle to use as nourishment.



As it is, you shouldn’t necessarily be eating until you are full either. As stated by one of the contributers to t-mag “Simply eat until you are no longer hungry



Eating should be a means to achieving your body comp goals, not an easy way to quick satisfaction. How many newbie’s bodies tell them they should bench every day and avoid squatting “because it hurts”? Or “freeweights are too hard, machines are just as good.”



Try this: Determine your caloric requirements and macronutrient breakdown for the day, and assign these to 5 or 6 meals. Then simply eat what you set out, whether you are still hungry or feeling full. Those people who eat instictively are either experienced and have paid their dues, or are too damn lazy to keep track of what they shove in their mouth. Unfortunately, more people fall into the latter category and not enough into the former.

If you are not hungry at your appointed meal time, eat smaller meals more frequently. If you are eating to gain mass you just have to shove it in to make your caloric goals, but on maintence just adjust your amounts until you are hungry on a regular basis.

I have found that if I am not hungry every 2-3 hours then I have eaten too much the previous meal. Simple as that.

Sometimes it is tough for me to get into eating every 2-3 hours, especially with classes. Nonetheless, I try to get in at least six meals a day, either a little under the two hours or a little over the three hours if I can’t eat every 2.5 hours.

im going to have to agree with rob on this one. i eat every 2-2.5 hours, and i NEVER EVER EVER let myself go more that 3 hours unless im sleeping. and yes, im going to agree that i too know people who eat 3-4 meals a day and make gains, but for what im going for “looking great nekid” and putting on mass, i personally feel that every 2-2.5 hours is absolutely necessary.

Keep in mind that you’re somewhat working against your body with the lifestyle of bodybuilding. It doesn’t WANT to have lots of energy consuming muscle and single digit bodyfat, which would leave you especially screwed in a famine. Now why would you listen to it?

Your feelings are very valuble, if kept in context with feedback (for example an up to date written log), but they can also be deceptive as well. Its like someone said about donuts, laziness and adultry, sometimes my feelings lead me away from whats important to me. Usually I regret taking my focus off of my goals and wasting time following a fleeting feeling.

That being said ignore your feelings at your peril, they can be powerfull fuel for achievement, and an important sign of problems.

Ultimatly you should listen to your body and brain, and put that into the larger context of recorded progress, and your specific actionable goals.

Make your feelings a servant, and not your master.

Very articulately and succinctly stated! The real world wisdom and street smarts on this forum never ceases to amaze me.

If you are new to this game you need to train your metabolism. If you’re not hungry every 2-3 hours you either ate too much or your metabolism is slow. Eating small meals every 2-3 hours will eventually speed up your metabolism. It can be trained just like your body or your mind. Anyone eating less than 6 times a day is shortchanging themselves.

I would take issue with the claim made above about “knowing people who only eat 3-4 times a day and do just as well”. Just as well as what? As well as others who eat 6-7 times a day? Doesn’t prove anything, really, since everyone’s individual genetics are different.


My experience has been that I know a LOT of people who went from 3 meals a day to a higher number and made better gains. (In fact, for a lot of them, it’s no exaggeration to say that they started making gains once they did this.) In these cases, there was a definite improvement with more frequent feedings.


I can’t name even one individual (not to say that there aren’t any out there) who has tried 6-7 meals a day and gained less that way. I don’t even know anyone who tried 6-7 and then voluntarily went back to 3 (although I do know people who have been forced into it by work schedules, etc.).


So that (coupled with my own personal experience, of course) is why I think that 6-7 is better. But trying to compare one person who does things one way to another who does them a different way doesn’t demonstrate anything.

shhhhh…I’m listening to my body right now…and…it’s saying…“feeeeeed meeeee”. :slight_smile:

Small bites, chew chew chew your food, and don’t eat until your full. Its not about how much your stomach can hold its how much your body can digest.

2 maybe 3x’s a day with some snacks sometimes.