T Nation

meal frequency?

curious about meal frequency. if theoretically someone is dieting and they do better on 4 meals a day as opposed to 6-7, what’s one to do? is there really that much of a benefit in 6+?

i have noticed when dropping weight for a meet (gradually) that i feel much better and satisfied eating 4 or so meals a day. i feel full after each meal and it just makes dieting easier.

i know that lyle mcdonald has come out and said that he basically feels that 6+ meals a day will have almost no effect on your metabolism as opposed to say 3-4. just curious what you guys think

I think overall you might be dealing with something beyond metabolism (relative to fat loss or “speed” of it). If you take into account that the body can’t process (utilize fully) more than 35(ish) grams of protein per meal, the only way to get enough protein for muscle growth might be to eat more frequently.

I have to think at this point that 6 meals is going to have a metabolic effect relative to 3. Four meals might be enough to get the benefits of a higher metabolism. While juiced to the gills, look at what bodybuilders have been eating since the 70’s. Its going to be 4-7 times a day, and even more. Check out Jay Cutler’s pre-contest diet for laughs sometime on his site. Juiced? Sure… that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no benefit to frequent, small meals for an average person doing progressive resistance training.