Meal Frequency… I don’t know anymore!

We all agree that WHAT we should be eating is healthy wholesome foods right? Avoid too much sugar and processed fake foods right?

OK, so that case is closed…..

Now many are arguing about WHEN to eat and this is creating quite a bit of confusion.

I have been asked a million times about meal frequency and my answer remains the same, “As many meals per day that work for YOU.”

50 Years ago we only ate 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. 20 years ago we were advised to have 3 main meals and small snacks in between…….but what I have noticed is we are fatter now than 50 years ago so I am not sure that all this snacking is beneficial to us.

But let’s look at the word “SNACK”………. too many it may be a protein bar or a biscuit with a cup of tea…..and therein lies the problem for most people. If you snack on nuts and fruit have a whey protein shake, snack on a piece of chicken or maybe 1/2 an avocado you would be much better off.

So WHAT you snack on is also very important if you choose to snack in between main meals…IF this works for you.

So let’s talk meals…..how many meals should we be eating?

There are people who eat only 1 meal per day, others eat 2 meals per day, then there are those who stick to 3 meals per day…..then others chomp down 6 meals per day.

The first thing you need to consider is what YOUR goals are…..stuff everyone else.

What I have noticed is when a certain concept works for an individual person OR group of people, they try and enforce this as the ultimate law….because it worked for them.

Some of these groups are like religious sects……the mere mention of a potato on their facebook page could result in your hometown being burned to the ground.

Let’s talk muscle gain……

Building muscle requires quite a lot of food right? So trying to eat 5000 calories in 1-2 meals may pose a problem for some people, so splitting it up over maybe 5-6 meals will be easier for them.

Then eating the correct foods around workout time is vital for these individuals too.

Let’s talk weight loss/fat loss…..

Eating LESS to lose weight does not work, we know this……so here again we need to ensure that adequate energy is entering the body in order to get MORE energy out of the body.

Now if you can eat all your calories needed for the weight loss, body functions etc in 2-3 meals per day………awesome because this is much more sustainable for most people.Extending the time between meals have many benefits, lowering insulin levels one of the most important.

Constantly having to eat requires carrying a cooler box all day and this may not be all that practical for most people.

Back in the day when I was still doing serious bodybuilding, I was eating 6-8 meals per day, setting an alarm to wake up at 1 am because I needed to eat. Did this work for me? Hell, yes…..can I do it now? Hell NO!!! Do I want to? Hell NO!!!!

So for me personally having 3 large meals per day just works better for me than 6 smaller meals per day…..my life is more complicated now than 10 years ago……more stress, 2 new babies in the house, working hours are longer, clients are a lot more, so for ME….there is no time to sit down and eat the way I used to.

Now, 3 MASSIVE meals do the trick.

Now before you tell me that 6 meals per day are better for metabolism, or it is better for blood sugar levels, better for cravings…..bring me the evidence. I know that NO scientific evidence exists to prove 6 meals are better than 3 meals.

If the meals are structured correctly on the 3 bigger meals your metabolism and blood sugar will be 100% fine.

The problem is when people eat fewer meals per day their total energy coming into the body also drops……and there is the problem. Decreasing meal frequency will require an increase in meal size for you to achieve success.

The body requires energy, and cutting back will certainly not get you to your goals…whether you are looking to build muscle OR lose weight.

What I have seen with non-competing clients (and some competing clients) is that when they skip meals on their program it can have a negative effect,  due to the fact that they see themselves as disciplined. When failing to stick to the program some may become irritated at themselves, others or situations that kept them from their meals.

The problem is not THEM ……it could just be that the many meals per day are just not practical.

So to end off, don’t just believe what others are doing…..it may OR may not work for you…..TRIAL AND ERROR….learn from YOUR body and YOUR lifestyle.

Note how many times you get hungry, feed the body at those times and make sure it is ENOUGH food.