I'm curious to know, how long does it actually take for the body to enter a catabolic state? Is it really within the supposed window of a couple of hours (one of the arguments that supports the case for eating 6+ meals a day) or does it take longer? Reason I ask is because during the course of my day, there is a number of consecutive hours where I'm constantly on the move, usually 3 or slightly more, and it's cardio based activity (i.e. lots of walking.)
During this time I pretty much don't get the chance to eat, and even when I've tried to, it doesn't sit well. However, I always make sure that I get my calorie quota by the end of the day. During this time period, if I've burnt off the calories I've consumed, will my body immediately go catabolic, or does it not matter, just so long as by the end of the day I've met my calorie needs?