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2-Meals-a-Day vs. 6-Meals-a-Day Debate

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I eat twice a day, lunch and dinner, been on that "plan" for two years now. I prefer it because I like to eat "big" meals, it's easier to control calories and I'm typically not hungry in the morning.

http://www.menshealth.ph/nutrition-weight-loss/diet-strategies/the-best-fat-shedding-meal-plan

Quote

So in a more recent review, two of Men’s Health US’ most trusted fitness and nutrition experts—Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., and Alan Aragon, M.S., co-authors of The Lean Muscle Diet—dug back through all of the conflicting research to clear things up.

The verdict: "There was no difference in weight loss between people who ate very few meals or very many—as long as the amount of calories they consumed stayed the same," says Schoenfeld.

 

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4 minutes ago, mvmac said:

I eat twice a day, lunch and dinner, been on that "plan" for two years now. I prefer it because I like to eat "big" meals, it's easier to control calories and I'm typically not hungry in the morning.

 

Me, too.   But my wife eats 6 times a day and it is difficult to keep my weight down b/c of it.  When she eats, I sometimes join in even if I eat two big meals a day.  Sigh.

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I've almost always only eaten twice a day. For some strange reason if I eat in the morning I end up feeling nauseous regardless of what I eat. However, that said, regardless of how much and/or how many times a day I eat there is little impact on my weight so I'm sort of an anomaly anyway. I always heard that eating multiple small meals was more about appetite control. Basically, by eating several small meals the person is never "hungry" so they are less likely to overeat aka overshoot their target caloric intake. 

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I used to subscribe to the 6 small meals a day plan. But I believe that it contributed to my current pre-diabetic state. The principle that I was told behind the 6 small meals is that it keeps your insulin at a steady level instead of the peaks and valleys of three meals a day.

Well if you are eating the Standard American Diet(SAD) then this means really high steady levels of insulin. That is pretty much how I was eating back then.

I have been in the pre-diabetic state for  about the last five years. My doctor says they have never seen this because everybody who is in my condition just goes quickly into full diabetes. I have not done this because I modified my eating.

I am probably genetically predisposed to diabetes so this will not be true for everyone. remember we are all like snowflakes.

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41 minutes ago, mvmac said:

I eat twice a day, lunch and dinner, been on that "plan" for two years now. I prefer it because I like to eat "big" meals, it's easier to control calories and I'm typically not hungry in the morning.

http://www.menshealth.ph/nutrition-weight-loss/diet-strategies/the-best-fat-shedding-meal-plan

 

I found most legit studies have shown there is no significant actual metabolic difference between eating few meals versus a lot of meals. 

To me it's all psychological. If you need structure in your routine, and if more meals keeps you from snacking them more meals might work best at allowing you to maintain your calorie quota. 

I will say that I think everybody should try intermittent fasting a few times. This allows you to get a gauge on what it actually feels like to be more hungry. I think people who eat three very large meals a day don't know what hungry actually feels like. 

I prefer less meals because it forces me not to snack. I look at it that way. 

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21 minutes ago, saevel25 said:


I prefer less meals because it forces me not to snack. I look at it that way. 

How do the two big meals force you not to snack? 

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4 minutes ago, AbsoluteTruths said:

How do the two big meals force you not to snack? 

Because I know I can't snack because I have to do my calories in those two meals. 

If I have 6 meals a day, its almost like snacking each meal. My bad habit is snacking so I rather not have eating habits resembling my bad habit. 

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Oh, I do 3 meals a day most of the time with fruit in between meals. At the moment, semi-homemade chicken soup is being supped for lunch.

I go for smaller portions, less meats, more veggies.

Edited by Mr. Desmond

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I eat two meals a day, breakfast (breakfast is my favorite meal) and dinner, but with snacks in between.  I still have a high enough metabolism that I'm less concerned than most about keeping a healthy diet.  Not a great attitude about it, but I'll deal with the repercussions when it comes I guess.  I do try to keep up with my vitamin and protein intake.  I do eat too many carbs though.

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45 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I think people who eat three very large meals a day don't know what hungry actually feels like. 

Kinda OT but for me losing weight I had to learn what being full really felt like.

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

I will say that I think everybody should try intermittent fasting a few times. This allows you to get a gauge on what it actually feels like to be more hungry. I think people who eat three very large meals a day don't know what hungry actually feels like. 

+1!  Occasional fasting is super good for you, though the (currently incomplete, don't get me started on that rant...) available research indicates that it's really only quite long fasts that give you the significant health benefits.  It's 2-3 days of fasting before you switch to fasting metabolism.  I did a 5 day fast earlier this year that was educational...

Extra benefit is that fasting also seems to be pretty powerful against cancer.  Only full studies so far are in mice, but in mice it's as effective as chemo against a range of cancers and chemos, and a combo is much more effective than either alone.  Some early biomarker studies in humans seem to indicate that the results may port to humans as well.

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I eat 2 meals a day, usually (5 or 6 days a week). Definitely breakfast, and then dinner mostly in the early afternoon, 3:00 - 5:00 PM.  I will snack midday on the likes of half an orange or apple and some raw almonds or a granola type snack bar.  I used to eat a lunch when I was working, but as I got older, though my work was active, I started gaining weight.  After cutting out lunch, and cookies for morning snack, I shed 20 lbs. in about a year.  I have been retired for about 2 years now, but have stuck to the same meal plan and my weight has remained the same.  I was never really heavy, so 20 lbs. was a lot of weight.

Breakfast consists of cold cereal fruit and 1/2 an English muffin dry with a small amount of jam.  I have always considered breakfast my most important meal.

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I'm behind the times ... a question about the number of meals per day and THREE isn't one of the options??  ;)

I usually eat a fairly light breakfast - a scrambled egg and some veggies, along with a coffee (400 or so calories) - and then a 500-700 calorie lunch, leaving me with 800 or 900 for dinner and any sneaky snacking that may occur afterward.

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I generally eat one, with some snacks, or two, with far fewer snacks.

And by snacks I don't just mean sugary stuff. Fruits, or some almonds, etc. count. I just mean food that isn't a full-sized meal.

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19 minutes ago, metbid said:

I eat 2 meals a day, usually (5 or 6 days a week). Definitely breakfast, and then dinner mostly in the early afternoon, 3:00 - 5:00 PM.  I will snack midday on the likes of half an orange or apple and some raw almonds or a granola type snack bar.  I used to eat a lunch when I was working, but as I got older, though my work was active, I started gaining weight.  After cutting out lunch, and cookies for morning snack, I shed 20 lbs. in about a year.  I have been retired for about 2 years now, but have stuck to the same meal plan and my weight has remained the same.  I was never really heavy, so 20 lbs. was a lot of weight.

Breakfast consists of cold cereal fruit and 1/2 an English muffin dry with a small amount of jam.  I have always considered breakfast my most important meal.

I am with you on breakfast - my biggest meal of the day, if big is oatmeal/strawberries/bluberries/cranberries/pumpkin seeds/cherries, and a slice of fruitwood lean bacon (my sin), half piece of seeded toast, coffee.

Lunch is salad, 2 oz of meat, Dinner is usually similar - 3 oz of meat, veggies. Apples in between meals. 

Lots of water - I make a water cocktail of mineral, sparkling, and filtered with a squeeze of lemon.

Simple.

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Isn't the six-meal idea sort of a bodybuilding related thing. The idea is to cram in the fuel since you need it after all that lifting.

Usually, I'm on two-and-a-half real meals. Breakfast is real small. It's typically a cup of yogurt or some toast. I need to stay away from the famous fourth meal that generally consists of beer and junk.  

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1 hour ago, mdl said:

+1!  Occasional fasting is super good for you, though the (currently incomplete, don't get me started on that rant...) available research indicates that it's really only quite long fasts that give you the significant health benefits.  It's 2-3 days of fasting before you switch to fasting metabolism.  I did a 5 day fast earlier this year that was educational...

Extra benefit is that fasting also seems to be pretty powerful against cancer.  Only full studies so far are in mice, but in mice it's as effective as chemo against a range of cancers and chemos, and a combo is much more effective than either alone.  Some early biomarker studies in humans seem to indicate that the results may port to humans as well.

I did a 7 day fast before I got married.  The only thing I had to eat for seven days was....nothing.  I drank a lot of water and had a cup of coffee (black) in the mornings and a cup of tea (no sugar) in the afternoon.  After a few days the hunger goes away, what was really difficult was cooking for my family and not eating but I did it.  I did it for a number of reasons, physical health not really one of them and thought it was an interesting journey.  I had done other fasts of 24-72 hours previously but wanted to do a full week.  

I have seen where they say that the body heals itself better when it is not busy trying to digest foods.  Not saying I agree with all of what they say but I do think an occasional fast is not a bad thing.  

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