T Nation

Thoughts on Eating Every 2-3 Hours

just read this

www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=105041

some of this stuff seems to be refuting everything i’ve ever read here on T-Nation!

any thoughts?

All I know is that all the fat people I know only eat two or three times per day. I read the forum and the linked article. I think that much of what was said and concluded is an oversimplification. I eat every two hours because I get hungry every two hours and to me it just makes sense to break up your food intake into multiple meals. Always good to see the other side though.

Go here:
wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=66713&highlight=meal+frequency

Scroll down and you will read this:

“These results suggest that the lower frequency of meal intake leads to a greater myoprotein catabolism even if the same diet is consumed.”

So ya, you’re gonna lose weight the same amount of weight whether you have 2 600 kcal meals or 6 200 kcal meals; however, you will retain more lean mass on the 6 meal/day plan.

[quote]markdp wrote:
Go here:
wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=66713&highlight=meal+frequency

Scroll down and you will read this:

“These results suggest that the lower frequency of meal intake leads to a greater myoprotein catabolism even if the same diet is consumed.”

So ya, you’re gonna lose weight the same amount of weight whether you have 2 600 kcal meals or 6 200 kcal meals; however, you will retain more lean mass on the 6 meal/day plan.[/quote]

well I guess that settles it.

I find if I eat every 2-3 hours in small amounts, I don’t have an urge to eat a lot in one meal, and I never get hunger pains from going too long without a meal.

[quote]darraghoconaill wrote:
just read this

www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=105041

some of this stuff seems to be refuting everything i’ve ever read here on T-Nation!

any thoughts?[/quote]

Yeah. I think I’m hungry again.

My breakdown is this:
Breakfast: 9:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm
Snack (fruit or veggies + 1/4 c nuts): 4:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm
Snack: (cottage cheese) 9:00 pm

That’s five meals/snacks…I haven’t gained weight eating like this…although, I don’t think it’s necessarily “ramped up” my metabolism. I don’t even understand how one would measure that. I think spreading out your calories is a sensible idea, but I do question claims that it has any significant effect on your metabolism or other such claims.

[quote]Digity wrote:
My breakdown is this:
Breakfast: 9:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm
Snack (fruit or veggies + 1/4 c nuts): 4:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm
Snack: (cottage cheese) 9:00 pm

That’s five meals/snacks…I haven’t gained weight eating like this…although, I don’t think it’s necessarily “ramped up” my metabolism. I don’t even understand how one would measure that. I think spreading out your calories is a sensible idea, but I do question claims that it has any significant effect on your metabolism or other such claims.

[/quote]

Because you haven’t been eating enough calories overall.

Eating more often has several beneficial effects with regards to fat loss:

  1. Smaller insulin spikes

  2. Less time spent in a catabolic state

  3. Fuel intake more likely to be used for body maintenance and tissue repair rather than stored as adipose tissue due to the fact that the surplus at any one time is much smaller.

The effects aren’t incredibly drastic, I mean it’s not going to make you lose weight in calorie surplus or anything, but compared to a plan with fewer meals your progress will be faster. Most studies on the subject are inaccurate because they only measure weight, not bodyfat.

what about just eating constantly through out the day? like an through an i-v, would that be the best case scenario? or is there any advantages to only eating 6x a day

[quote]dom wrote:
what about just eating constantly through out the day? like an through an i-v, would that be the best case scenario? or is there any advantages to only eating 6x a day[/quote]

Well, see, when you eat, your body has to digest food. If you eat, say, six meals a day, your body digests a small amount of food multiple times a day, rather than a lot of food a few times. Therefore, constantly eating means that the body will have a harder time constantly digesting the food being consumed.

Also, an IV is totally different. The nutrients in food have to pass through internal organs and be digested, whereas in an IV, nutrients are more or less raw and go straight into the bloodstream.

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
dom wrote:

Well, see, when you eat, your body has to digest food. If you eat, say, six meals a day, your body digests a small amount of food multiple times a day, rather than a lot of food a few times. Therefore, constantly eating means that the body will have a harder time constantly digesting the food being consumed.

Also, an IV is totally different. The nutrients in food have to pass through internal organs and be digested, whereas in an IV, nutrients are more or less raw and go straight into the bloodstream.[/quote]

from the arguments given in the thread i linked to i think the argument was that because your body takes hours and hours to digest food that giving it in smaller doses makes no difference. also could an argument not be made for having a greater TEF if it has to break down more food at once?

I forgot to mention:

  1. Increased fullness and dietary compliance due to frequent feeding.

With each additional meal diminishing returns grows, so adding more meals after six per day really doesn’t help that much. With regards to IVs they found that it’s actually less effective, there is an article on here about it, though I don’t remember the name.

1 - The study listed in the forum post above shows that when given isocaloric diets, the group that ate more frequently lost the same amount of weight as the group who ate less frequently, BUT they lost more body fat and less lean mass…HHELLLLOOO… thats the name of the game. I’ll be eating 6 times a day myself.

2 - I remember reading on this site that eating more frequently also lead to less fat gain while gaining weight… I certainly am not going spend hours looking for the article. I think it was one of those conference review articles where they bullet pointed the findings.

3 - I dont think that eating more frequently will actually increase your metabolism, meaning that you will burn 2500 calories a day if you eat 3 times, and 2750 if you eat 6 times. I would love to see the science on this though.

4 - Eating only 3 meals a day while bulking would be H-A-R-D… If you need to hit 4500 cals a day thats 3 1500 calories meal. If you diet resembles anything like “clean” foods at all, this would be a phenomenal undertaking. Here is a 1500 calorie breakfast for fun:

10 whole eggs = 700 calories
4 slices toast = 350 calories
4 slices cheese = 280 calories
6 slices bacon = 210 calories

Thats a lot of food. Lunch and dinner would be equally huge.