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      06-30-2019, 04:05 PM   #1
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6 meals per day?

Does anyone eat 6 or more meals per day? I do and it works for me in terms of weight and blood sugar maintenance.

I eat any and all food item(s) under the sun. I also eat a fixed number of calories per day, and space them out in 6 portions (meals).

I have been eating this way for almost 10 years, and it is now my habit. I have never done a "diet" or a "plan" or a "system". I was crashing before lunch and before dinner, and hungry before bed. Adding 3 meals to the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner made a big difference for me.

Interested to hear others' views on this.
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      06-30-2019, 08:26 PM   #2
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I am very similar in that I would crash between the "normal" 3 meals. I don't count calories or anything but I do always eat 4+ small meals and no food within 2 hours of bed. This and the gym has helped keep me in shape my whole life.
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      06-30-2019, 09:19 PM   #3
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I've actually gone the otherway and feel great.

Used to be on 6 meals a day, but now do intermittent fasting on most days and one meal a day 3 days a week.

Lost a heap of body fat. 21% down to 10% with no strength loss in the Gym.
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      06-30-2019, 11:03 PM   #4
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There have been some studies that go away from this model and suggest it is better to eat over a much shorter period - see Intermittent Fasting (IF) … some people fast 12 hours, some 16, 18, even 20. Bear in mind that probably 8 of those hours are during the night - so your goal would be to delay your first meal, until noon or maybe 1-2 pm. Then eat your meals over X hours based on how extreme you want to be - 6-8 hours seems pretty easy ( but some people only allow 2 hours for example....) then eat nothing - no snacks, no soda - only water and green tea...

There are said to be lots of health benefits, basically because your body can regenerate and cleanse but only when you are not eating/digesting food. This means you tend to replace old cells with new, vs. if you eat often, you tend to just repair old cells, which can lead to issues like cancer, and which does not optimize training for muscle bulk etc. Also your other organs, like Gall Bladder, Kidneys, Liver all get some down time which allows them to catch up on clearing toxins, rebuilding damaged tissues etc.

One study I read showed that if you eat your food at a certain time, for example - lunch at noon every day, then if you (completely) fasted say 3 days, your hunger would still peak every day at noon (in this case), then it would retreat again until the next established meal time... i.e. you are more hungry because your body "knows" its food time, just like a dog looking at its owner when its feeding time... it also said that hunger gets to a certain point, but doesn't grow beyond that.... so if you can put up with hunger it will only get to a certain level, it doesn't grow in proportion to time without food. This means that your hunger pattern based on 6 meals is more a "learned" behavior, and can be changed or broken by a pattern change. The new patter will only take 3 days or so to establish based on the hunger "tide" described above...

I wont go into more detail about intermittent fasting, but I have cycled it on and off and found it made me feel better, lose weight, gain muscle etc. There is also a version where you fast more or less all day 2 days out of the week - eating on 600 calories on those days and eat normally the rest. People tend to gorge on the day after fast day but they generally only overeat by 10-15% so are still in calorific deficit if weight loss is your goal. Over time, the subjects stop overeating even on the days after fasts as the body adjusts.

All the forms of IF I have tried led me to reduce my appetite and cravings for junk food and when I was training helped me to add muscle, recover faster and not add fat...

There is a great documentary about it on the BBC (I will try and find if anyone is interested) you can find on YouTube last time I checked, and also look up Kino Body on YouTube - he uses it in his training programs. He advocates drinking fizzy water, and then black coffee in the morning to stem hunger and delay your first meal, however I find its pretty easy to hold out until 1pm for my first meal, and it gets easier a few days in even if you struggle day 1.
Also look for a Joe Rogan podcast about IF, which has a PhD who talked through all the advantages and they are manifold... (and I seem to remember she was pretty cute too)

A lot of celebs like Hugh Jackman (when prepping for Wolverine), use IF for body transformations, but they may do the best of both by combining the fasts with 6- 8 meals day. i.e. They may eat all their food in 6 hours, but they eat 6-8 meals/snacks in that period.
Training while fasted can also feel great.

Lots of other studies suggest that it doesn't matter what you eat so much as when you eat. For example, people often take certain supplements right after a workout to make as much protein available for muscle growth. More recent studies suggest that having enough protein for the 72 hours after a workout is key, but the timing of when they are consumed is less critical... i.e. You can work out fasted, or after eating and then fast, and as long as you get enough macro nutrients and have the correct ratios of carbs/protein/fats over the next 72 hours you will do well.

Of course opinions vary, but there is a lot of independent research suggesting this approach is worth considering.
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      06-30-2019, 11:49 PM   #5
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Once a day for me, most days. Nothing until I get into work at 8am. Water and coffee(black) during the day up to about 3-4pm. Dinner around 5:30-6ish, sometimes just salad(lots of it), raw veggies, or I'll grill some chicken or steak. Only water past that until bed time. I've been doing this off and on for a couple of years, but now that I've committed to it and it's become normal, I feel fantastic.

@Britbimmer, I do regular water throughout the day, and "bubble" water in the evening and weekends.
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      06-30-2019, 11:57 PM   #6
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The wife and I have been doing just the opposite for a while now with positive results; keto and intermittent fasting. The wife eats one meal a day (OMAD). I generally eat two meals a day (lunch and dinner) and fast for ~18 hours per day. This way of eating is about getting insulin resistance under control and reducing circulating insulin levels. Dr. Eric Berg has a bunch of youtube videos explaining this way of eating.
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      06-30-2019, 11:57 PM   #7
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Yes I do similar but it's a gym thing and my calories are fairly high.
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      07-01-2019, 06:40 AM   #8
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Over the years...I have done it all.

This led me to one distinct conclusion as you can make almost any plan for you work if you adapt to your body.

I let my body dictate when I eat. Your body lets you know when it's thirsty, when you have to go to the bathroom, etc. I also rely on it to tell me when to eat.

Now granted....you have to "know" your body. Some people experience hunger from being dehydrated and a whole host of other issues. Some let mood dictate their pattern, some simply eat out of boredom.

But once you truly realize that your body is asking for food, you develop that to a point that it becomes second nature.

Now I do have a set % of Macros that I follow when it's time for a meal. And I eat foods that agree with my body...stuff that I digest fairly easily. If I do this, I find that my body can process the meal, and be ready again in just a couple of hours for more depending on what your metabolic needs are.

For example on leg days, I may eat 5-6 times per day. On a day that I train a smaller muscle group, I may eat only 2-4 times. But doing it like this when my training is consistent typically averages out to a set amount of calories per day....especially if you track your food and average it for the long term.

After that, if I want to drop weight, I go into a slight deficit. If I am looking to add weight, I try to stimulate more of a surplus through my training. Same Macros as before, just a small amount more or less depending upon my goals.

Doing this allows me to "hover" no more than 12% in the off-season...and get down to around 6% when it's time for the beach. Typically I can hold between 8%-10% without much effort or thought, but I do find myself occasionally chasing the "gains train" even though I am older.

Nothing feels like slapping 3,4,5 plates on a bar when doing the "big lifts"! But as I have aged...I don't push the weight like I used to as I don't want any injuries.
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      07-01-2019, 08:38 AM   #9
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I eat 4 meals and 3 calorie dense protein shakes.

I been at this for 20 years btw
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      07-01-2019, 09:22 AM   #10
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Caloric balance >
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      07-01-2019, 09:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilime75 View Post
Once a day for me, most days. Nothing until I get into work at 8am. Water and coffee(black) during the day up to about 3-4pm. Dinner around 5:30-6ish, sometimes just salad(lots of it), raw veggies, or I'll grill some chicken or steak. Only water past that until bed time. I've been doing this off and on for a couple of years, but now that I've committed to it and it's become normal, I feel fantastic.

@Britbimmer, I do regular water throughout the day, and "bubble" water in the evening and weekends.
Wow - you are dedicated.... I would like to get there, but its tough to stick with what you describe
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      07-01-2019, 09:31 AM   #12
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I would say that sounds terrible, eat like a caveman your gonna look like one. Need protein throughout the day.
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      07-01-2019, 10:05 AM   #13
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Lol, ok, if you say so. It works for me, not everyone "needs" the same shit. I'm leaning out. My energy and after work motivation has increased greatly. No noticeable decrease in strength or stamina in the gym. The ladies dig me. Not sure what else I'd need here. Not trying to get jacked, just fit and healthy.
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      07-01-2019, 10:48 AM   #14
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That's good it works for you. I'm just opposite and cant relate, I get hangry after 2 hrs.
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      07-01-2019, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britbimmer View Post
Lots of other studies suggest that it doesn't matter what you eat so much as when you eat.
I have read a few studies that say the exact opposite. It doesn't matter when you eat, it matters what you eat. I would be interested to read a study that claimed you can eat whatever you want as long as the timing is right.
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      07-01-2019, 12:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
I have read a few studies that say the exact opposite. It doesn't matter when you eat, it matters what you eat. I would be interested to read a study that claimed you can eat whatever you want as long as the timing is right.
People way overthink this shit. Eat nutritious foods. Want to gain weight then up your calories. Want to lose weight then reduce your calories. And break your meals down so you are not eating 4k calories in 2 sittings.

As far as timing goes I eat as soon as I feel a bit hungry. After the gym i consume a large intake of carbs and protein with limited fats and I noticed this always worked well for me. But besides that I keep my fats, carbs, and proteins consistent through the day.

If you are wondering. I am 5'6 maybe 5'7 and 205lbs in the winter. In the summer I trim down to about 195.
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      07-01-2019, 12:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
That's good it works for you. I'm just opposite and cant relate, I get hangry after 2 hrs.
Lol! Same. No way eating once a day would work for me. I burn too many calories during work and at my gym. I always tend to think people that do that are skinny but so soft. I like muscle density so that's not for me. I'm sure there is exceptions but I decided long ago that way isn't for me.

Last edited by eatsleepboost; 07-01-2019 at 12:17 PM..
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      07-01-2019, 12:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoang View Post
I've actually gone the otherway and feel great.

Used to be on 6 meals a day, but now do intermittent fasting on most days and one meal a day 3 days a week.

Lost a heap of body fat. 21% down to 10% with no strength loss in the Gym.
I made the same transition. I use to be all about 6 meals a day and meeting my macros, it was depressing. I jumped into IF 2 years ago and I am still going strong on a 6/18 split. I don't count anymore and typically have one large meal around 6pm, the only thing I do is make sure I stay more on the clean side so its typically a ton of veggies, fruits, few grains, some meat and limit the processed foods & sugars.

Chilling at 170# and 6-8% for the past 2 years, breaking PRs every few months and feel solid.
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      07-01-2019, 12:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
People way overthink this shit. Eat nutritious foods. Want to gain weight then up your calories. Want to lose weight then reduce your calories. And break your meals down so you are not eating 4k calories in 2 sittings.

As far as timing goes I eat as soon as I feel a bit hungry. After the gym i consume a large intake of carbs and protein with limited fats and I noticed this always worked well for me. But besides that I keep my fats, carbs, and proteins consistent through the day.

If you are wondering. I am 5'6 maybe 5'7 and 205lbs in the winter. In the summer I trim down to about 195.

+1.

People have spent years trying to find the "easy" way out. There isn't one. You may find a "plan" to help you stay with what a diet entails easier...but that's about it.

In a nutshell:

Eat balanced meals, eat foods that "agree" with your body, eat in a surplus to gain, deficit to lose...and the most important part of any of it.......Consistency!

I find that it's only when getting to extreme levels and holding it (<~6%) do you have to sometimes trick your body into doing what it doesn't want to do.

We are the same height.....and I like to settle in about 190 in the summer. That puts me about a true 8%. I tend to carry bf evenly over my entire body, so 8% for me actually looks leaner than 8% for someone else.

I go any lower, and I start feeling like I don't even look like I lift. Napoleon syndrome I guess.

But I think anyone who is serious with lifting and dieting should go down to at least a competition BF at least once in their life. It gives you a much better appreciation for what it takes to get there...and helps you learn your body.

I've done it quite a few times but don't much care for it anymore. Extremes towards one way or the other aren't really healthy.
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      07-01-2019, 12:49 PM   #20
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I fast in the morning for 3 hours then the eating begins.

3 meals plus 2 smaller in between meals...so normally 5 meals a day.

Depending on work and schedule. But pretty consistent. I eat smart and use common sense with my food intake.

Like others have said it’s not rocket science. Although some make it out to be.
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      07-01-2019, 02:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
I have read a few studies that say the exact opposite. It doesn't matter when you eat, it matters what you eat. I would be interested to read a study that claimed you can eat whatever you want as long as the timing is right.
Let me amplify on what I meant because I wrote a short sentence and didn't spell out the full argument but I think I therefore may have confused... complex subjects don't always work well on a site like this right :-)

I was not under any circumstances suggesting that if you eat junk food you will be OK as long as you Intermittent Fast (IF). For myself, I eat super clean 90% of the time, organic veggies, some nuts and berries, fish, chicken, very little red meat, water, green tea etc. Keto.

Because of the role of insulin (added to the the fact that in developed countries many people have become insulin resistant) when you are eating / digesting you have more insulin in your system and that triggers a cascade of metabolic, hormonal and biochemical reactions, the net sum of which is to store fat, take short cuts with repairing vs building new cells and tendency to put off dealing with toxins vs. breaking them down in the liver. In the west we eat too much, too often, and yes a lot of crap, and so our body never gets that break it needs to catch up. IF provides that down time.

When I said it matters more when you eat than what you eat, my point was that you will get health benefits by just adopting IF, even if you change nothing else. However, of course, the optimum is to eat healthy while doing IF. Most people recommend 90% clean with some cheating maybe 1 or 2 days so you are not a monk...

In addition, I was making the point that I have read stuff that suggests (and I am not sure where I stand on this, because I am not a body builder - just a reasonably fit person) that the practices that some people use around the gym workouts like carb loading before and cramming protein within 30 mins after, may not really add all that much.
For example, lots of people train fasted, and report great energy, and as long as you get enough protein in general, and in particular over the 72 hours post work-out, it doesn't seem to make that much difference vs cramming protein right afterwards. As long as your body has sufficient protein overall, you will be OK.
Now I am not a body builder - I just stay fit, so I was never doing the protein drinks during and after workouts. I know a lot of people who do and I was just offering a perspective on that.

This video has 3 people interviewed - all three make great points but the most interesting is Dr Rhonda Patrick - which starts at 12.33 into the video.

"Why you should do Intermittent Fasting | Joe Rogan feat. GSP, Dr. Peter Attia, Dr. Rhonda Patrick"



At minute 15.30 or so she also speaks to the fact that in tests on mice, they do better eating 'normally' using IF than eating whenever they want. She speaks to the fact that yes if they eat only lard and sugar they will still get fat, but outside of this extreme in essence the restricted hours are the most important factor in gaining muscle and losing fat.

hope that helps?

Last edited by Britbimmer; 07-01-2019 at 02:33 PM..
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      07-01-2019, 03:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britbimmer View Post
Let me amplify on what I meant because I wrote a short sentence and didn't spell out the full argument but I think I therefore may have confused... complex subjects don't always work well on a site like this right :-)

I was not under any circumstances suggesting that if you eat junk food you will be OK as long as you Intermittent Fast (IF). For myself, I eat super clean 90% of the time, organic veggies, some nuts and berries, fish, chicken, very little red meat, water, green tea etc. Keto.

Because of the role of insulin (added to the the fact that in developed countries many people have become insulin resistant) when you are eating / digesting you have more insulin in your system and that triggers a cascade of metabolic, hormonal and biochemical reactions, the net sum of which is to store fat, take short cuts with repairing vs building new cells and tendency to put off dealing with toxins vs. breaking them down in the liver. In the west we eat too much, too often, and yes a lot of crap, and so our body never gets that break it needs to catch up. IF provides that down time.

When I said it matters more when you eat than what you eat, my point was that you will get health benefits by just adopting IF, even if you change nothing else. However, of course, the optimum is to eat healthy while doing IF. Most people recommend 90% clean with some cheating maybe 1 or 2 days so you are not a monk...

In addition, I was making the point that I have read stuff that suggests (and I am not sure where I stand on this, because I am not a body builder - just a reasonably fit person) that the practices that some people use around the gym workouts like carb loading before and cramming protein within 30 mins after, may not really add all that much.
For example, lots of people train fasted, and report great energy, and as long as you get enough protein in general, and in particular over the 72 hours post work-out, it doesn't seem to make that much difference vs cramming protein right afterwards. As long as your body has sufficient protein overall, you will be OK.
Now I am not a body builder - I just stay fit, so I was never doing the protein drinks during and after workouts. I know a lot of people who do and I was just offering a perspective on that.

This video has 3 people interviewed - all three make great points but the most interesting is Dr Rhonda Patrick - which starts at 12.33 into the video.

"Why you should do Intermittent Fasting | Joe Rogan feat. GSP, Dr. Peter Attia, Dr. Rhonda Patrick"



At minute 15.30 or so she also speaks to the fact that in tests on mice, they do better eating 'normally' using IF than eating whenever they want. She speaks to the fact that yes if they eat only lard and sugar they will still get fat, but outside of this extreme in essence the restricted hours are the most important factor in gaining muscle and losing fat.

hope that helps?
Most people overdo protein intake in my opinion. It's been proven that it only takes a small amount to trigger protein synthesis.

In fact in the past, I've substituted all of my shakes with just EAA'S and BCAA'S and never noticed a negative impact.

Plus I would rather eat my protein vs. drink it, but sometimes it comes down to convenience.

I'm guilty in the past of probably taking in too much as the more is better mentality is prevalent in the bodybuilding community....But it was usually only when I was dieting and my carbs were lower than normal and workload was higher.

But that is just something I did as added insurance against gluconeogenisis in case it where to happen. But over the years I graduated towards keeping more carbs in my diet as I found it works just as good and I feel better.
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