T Nation

Three Meals a Day

I realize that I am probably going to be crucified for this, thread, but here goes. I am a habitual snacker. I used to eat when I saw food. I have gotten better but I am trying to kick the habit with out having to constantly obsess over it.

I don’t buy into the whole, you have to eat 6 times a day to stroke your metabolism theory and I am contimplating eating three meals a day (500-600 calories each) with no snacks or meals in between to get me out of that habit. Let me state my goals.

I am 5’7 180 (down from 230 and a 42in waist about 9 years back in my early teens) with about a 20% bf. My ideal body is that of a soccer player, lean and sinewy. I think I would look good at 160.

I do cardio (sprints, intense calisthenic circuits, and steady state) about 5X a week and do a full body weight session 2X (just started back on weights, I was passionate about them for years, then about three years ago lost the passion).

Do you guys think I oculd make progress like this? My goal is to get leaner, and stop constantly obsessing over food.

Yes you can, optimal? prob not but try it.

I personally feel more meals and frequent is even more important when cutting to keep metab rolling etc but yes it has and will be done again on 3 squares. If you need to do it this way go for it

Phill

[quote]tthornell wrote:
I realize that I am probably going to be crucified for this, thread, but here goes. I am a habitual snacker. I used to eat when I saw food. I have gotten better but I am trying to kick the habit with out having to constantly obsess over it. [/quote]

Seems like you problem isn’t the frequency of your meals, but the quality. At no point would anyone recommend “snacking” on here. I haven’t had a “snack” in years but I eat 6-7 times a day.

Why don’t you buy into it? Have you tried to do it correctly to see how it feels or works for you? 1800 cals a day isn’t much at your weight/height. You stand to lose a fair amount of muscle doing it that way, especially with the timeframes of only eating three times a day.

Leanness is a factor of muscle content vs. weight. Not just weight. If you don’t have a decent amount of muscle, or if you lose it all while dieting, you’ll just end up a skinnier version of your overweight self, or “skinny fat”. You would probably be surprised how easy it can happen.

Eat more than three meals!!! Eating 5 or 6 small meals is vital to reducing body fat by reducing, cravings and the release of the catabolic stress hormone, cortisol.

Once again I just think ppl take this dogma to damn far. 6-8 meals is great I do it myself but it isnt the only way. Hell I went from 300lbs to 215 and stayed there for 2 years on 3 meals a day. Find what works for you and your LIFE.

More then one way to skin a cat

Phill

[quote]Phill wrote:
Once again I just think ppl take this dogma to damn far.

6-8 meals is great I do it myself but it isnt the only way. Hell I went from 300lbs to 215 and stayed there for 2 years on 3 meals a day. Find what works for you and your LIFE.

More then one way to skin a cat

Phill[/quote]

Agreed!

Six or more meals a day can be great, but there have been many big, strong guys who got that way by eating less often. It may not be ideal for most people, but do what works for you.

By the way, I snack all the time throughout the day. If I’m hungry, I eat something. It might be a full-blown meal or it might be what most would consider a snack.

Beware those preaching absolutes.

If you are eating a Mediterranean style diet, get your protein in, and cycle carbs or decrease carbs from am to pm than 3 meals versus more will not make or break you.

The multiple meals are probably beneficial due more so to hormonal manipulation than actually increasing metabolism from a body composition standpoint. The discipline of such an approach keeps people on track as well.

Many people can not eat 8 meals a day. Everyone should be able to get 3 healthy meals in, and most us could cut our dinner in half and eat some more later which makes 4. Add in a protein shake around workout and possibly before bed and have healthy snacks handy for cravings and you are doing pretty well painlessly and already to at least 5 or 6 without obsessing.

The discipline is more in eating and cooking clean 90% of the time than obsessing on eating 8 meals every day and feeling you are screwed if you can not walk around with a cooler at work and it has been more than 2 hours since a meal.

To get to 8% body fat you probably will need to follow that approach, obsess about food and keep a diet log, but not to get below 12%. To get to 10-12% body fat all 90% of us need to do is eat very clean, lift weights, and do some cardio, without the need to obsess as much on actual portions, calories and exact timing of meals. Good and optimum and 2 different things.

Read the article below

Plus, with more smaller meals, you aren’t ever really hungry, which cuts down on snacking and binge eating. Even if you don’t “buy into the metabolism theory,” you did mention a snacking problem, maybe this could help.

There is no magic number of meals that you have to eat. However, you do have to get in enough calories, which you will not do on your current plan.

There is nothing wrong with snacking either. I tend to eat three or four big, balanced meals, and have three or four snacks inbetween. But my snacks are healthy and calculated into my daily caloric intake.