T Nation

Meal Frequency

I know common wisdom is that 6 meals a day is better than 3, while researching the subject on pubmed, there were very few articles on the subject.

I came across this review that seems to conclude that the body of evidence shows that either approach is about as effective:

The article dates a bit (it’S 10 years old) does anybody have more recent scientific information showing that frequent feeding is better than traditionnal 3 meal a day? Thanks!

I’ve placed the full PDF here
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EFECWHWP

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=9155494&ordinalpos=169&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Meal frequency and energy balance.Bellisle F, McDevitt R, Prentice AM.
INSERM U341, Hotel Dieu de Paris, France.

Several epidemiological studies have observed an inverse relationship between people’s habitual frequency of eating and body weight, leading to the suggestion that a ‘nibbling’ meal pattern may help in the avoidance of obesity. A review of all pertinent studies shows that, although many fail to find any significant relationship, the relationship is consistently inverse in those that do observe a relationship. However, this finding is highly vulnerable to the probable confounding effects of post hoc changes in dietary patterns as a consequence of weight gain and to dietary under-reporting which undoubtedly invalidates some of the studies. We conclude that the epidemiological evidence is at best very weak, and almost certainly represents an artefact. A detailed review of the possible mechanistic explanations for a metabolic advantage of nibbling meal patterns failed to reveal significant benefits in respect of energy expenditure. Although some short-term studies suggest that the thermic effect of feeding is higher when an isoenergetic test load is divided into multiple small meals, other studies refute this, and most are neutral. More importantly, studies using whole-body calorimetry and doubly-labelled water to assess total 24 h energy expenditure find no difference between nibbling and gorging. Finally, with the exception of a single study, there is no evidence that weight loss on hypoenergetic regimens is altered by meal frequency. We conclude that any effects of meal pattern on the regulation of body weight are likely to be mediated through effects on the food intake side of the energy balance equation.

Screw that crap and look at some real-life data.

The biggest guys I’ve seen, talked to, etc. all eat a lot and often. If a person is trying to get big/gain weight it is easier to eat 5000 calories (for example) in 6 x 834cal meals(just to be safe) instead of 3 x 1666cal meals.

When trying to lose weight, the thermic effect of food, though a small number, does cause your metabolism to remain elevated.

Tell me if I’m way off base here.

[quote]PozzSka wrote:
Screw that crap and look at some real-life data.

The biggest guys I’ve seen, talked to, etc. all eat a lot and often. If a person is trying to get big/gain weight it is easier to eat 5000 calories (for example) in 6 x 834cal meals(just to be safe) instead of 3 x 1666cal meals.

When trying to lose weight, the thermic effect of food, though a small number, does cause your metabolism to remain elevated.

Tell me if I’m way off base here.
[/quote]

Precisely, the body of empirical evidence seems to show that multiple small meals are better. I was just wondering if there was science had caught up with real-life evidence in this case.

Took science 20-40 years before realizing steroids were effective.

But I always like to look at the pretty graphs, that’s why I was asking if anybody had come across any newer studies