How Many Meals for Best Results?

When I used to exercise before, I had great success on 3 meals a day. Now, I am getting back into exercising and my primary goal is to burn fat without losing muscle. I am doing 6 small meals per day, and I am having results, I just think 3 worked better for me. What works best for you?
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Replies

  • mrsgoodwine
    mrsgoodwine Posts: 468 Member
    I always felt fuller/bloated on 3 meals. I usually do 6 small meals as well and my stomach thanks me.
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,943 Member
    edited October 2014
    Jbach,

    As many or few meals as fit your needs.

    If you are eating 6 meals a day and it's working, why do you think 3 meals would work better for you? In my opinion- if it ain't broken, no reason to fix it. :smiley:

    On weekdays, I eat six smaller meals a day. On the weekends, I tend to eat three meals a day plus a desert. This just seems to work for me.

    Meal timing and/or size has zilch to do with weight loss. It's calories in/calories out. :)

  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    Some days, I have two or three. Many days, I have four to six.

    I feel better and get less hungry eating more small-calorie meals. Smalll-calorie doesn't mean I don't eat a bunch of food and feel really full all day, though. :)
  • 50sFit
    50sFit Posts: 712 Member
    jbach2 wrote: »
    When I used to exercise before, I had great success on 3 meals a day. Now, I am getting back into exercising and my primary goal is to burn fat without losing muscle. I am doing 6 small meals per day, and I am having results, I just think 3 worked better for me. What works best for you?
    I like 2 huge meals with a few snacks here and there.
    I don't know if meal frequency matters.
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,943 Member
    To add: I know people who have one large meal a day with all their maintenance calories, and they love it. This would not work for me because I'd be thinking about that meal all day long. :)
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
    2,3,4,5,6,7 however the day pans out
  • TossaBeanBag
    TossaBeanBag Posts: 458 Member
    SLLRunner wrote: »
    Jbach,

    As many or few meals as fit your needs.

    If you are eating 6 meals a day and it's working, why do you think 3 meals would work better for you? In my opinion- if it ain't broken, no reason to fix it. :smiley:

    On weekdays, I eat six smaller meals a day. On the weekends, I tend to eat three meals a day plus a desert. This just seems to work for me.

    Meal timing and/or size has zilch to do with weight loss. It's calories in/calories out. :)

    An article spiked the topic for discussion. It had said that eating many small meals kept insulin up, which might not turn on fat burning enzymes. I have always thought that calories in calories out made sense, but I tend to overanalyze and second guess and constantly think the fat burning processes can be somehow enhanced through timing of meals, macros, ratios, and such.

    I don't think calories in and out is the answer when trying to build or maintain muscle while burning fat. A diet of twinkies or just salads would not help me keep the muscle. Lots of sweets could spike insulin. I would need higher protein amounts, but, you are right, I would have to keep the calories consumption lower than calories burned to burn fat. Assuming calories are lower, this article said 3 hours later the gyclogen from meals would be metabolized, and the next two hours would be for fat burning. Then, you have a meal, again.

    Is there any truth to the amount of time a body would metabolize the sugars in the blood stream, which then turns on the hunger response?
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    It doesn't really matter other than for dietary adherence.

    Look up Lean Gains...that guy eats once per day...I think he's doing just fine.
  • BombshellPhoenix
    BombshellPhoenix Posts: 1,693 Member
    I eat 3 meals, maybe 4 a day. Bigger meals keep me fuller longer than small meals. I've done this through weight loss, maintenance, bulk and have had great results keeping within my calorie goal for each. I do mind my macro/micros but other than that, eat in a way that keeps me satiated and happy.
  • Mediocrates55
    Mediocrates55 Posts: 326 Member
    I binge less and make better decisions if I eat two good size meals and three small snacks. That works for me personally, if I keep something in my stomach regularly and don't let myself get so hungry that I eat the kitchen cabinet. YMMV of course. Do what feels right for you.
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,943 Member
    edited October 2014
    jbach2 wrote: »
    SLLRunner wrote: »
    Jbach,

    As many or few meals as fit your needs.

    If you are eating 6 meals a day and it's working, why do you think 3 meals would work better for you? In my opinion- if it ain't broken, no reason to fix it. :smiley:

    On weekdays, I eat six smaller meals a day. On the weekends, I tend to eat three meals a day plus a desert. This just seems to work for me.

    Meal timing and/or size has zilch to do with weight loss. It's calories in/calories out. :)

    An article spiked the topic for discussion. It had said that eating many small meals kept insulin up, which might not turn on fat burning enzymes. I have always thought that calories in calories out made sense, but I tend to overanalyze and second guess and constantly think the fat burning processes can be somehow enhanced through timing of meals, macros, ratios, and such.

    I don't think calories in and out is the answer when trying to build or maintain muscle while burning fat. A diet of twinkies or just salads would not help me keep the muscle. Lots of sweets could spike insulin. I would need higher protein amounts, but, you are right, I would have to keep the calories consumption lower than calories burned to burn fat. Assuming calories are lower, this article said 3 hours later the gyclogen from meals would be metabolized, and the next two hours would be for fat burning. Then, you have a meal, again.

    Is there any truth to the amount of time a body would metabolize the sugars in the blood stream, which then turns on the hunger response?

    Calories in/out is the answer to weight loss. Maintaining muscle comes from lifting weights. However, I believe that it is normal to lose some muscle while losing weight/fat (someone, please correct me if I'm wrong).

    The remarks I put in bold above are myths. Meal timing has nothing to do with anything when it comes to weight loss or maintaining muscle.
  • JazzFischer1989
    JazzFischer1989 Posts: 531 Member
    I eat two to three meals a day, but breakfast (if I do have it) and lunch are usually very light. I consume most of my calories at dinner since that's when I have more of an appetite
  • epido
    epido Posts: 353 Member
    I typically do 3 meals a day, and an occasional snack if I am getting hungry. It's what my family is used to, so it just works better for everyone if I stick with that.
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,951 Member
    jbach2 wrote: »
    When I used to exercise before, I had great success on 3 meals a day. Now, I am getting back into exercising and my primary goal is to burn fat without losing muscle. I am doing 6 small meals per day, and I am having results, I just think 3 worked better for me. What works best for you?

    However many needed to achieve caloric goals.
  • TossaBeanBag
    TossaBeanBag Posts: 458 Member
    edited October 2014
    SLLRunner wrote: »
    jbach2 wrote: »
    SLLRunner wrote: »
    Jbach,

    As many or few meals as fit your needs.

    If you are eating 6 meals a day and it's working, why do you think 3 meals would work better for you? In my opinion- if it ain't broken, no reason to fix it. :smiley:

    On weekdays, I eat six smaller meals a day. On the weekends, I tend to eat three meals a day plus a desert. This just seems to work for me.

    Meal timing and/or size has zilch to do with weight loss. It's calories in/calories out. :)

    An article spiked the topic for discussion. It had said that eating many small meals kept insulin up, which might not turn on fat burning enzymes. I have always thought that calories in calories out made sense, but I tend to overanalyze and second guess and constantly think the fat burning processes can be somehow enhanced through timing of meals, macros, ratios, and such.

    I don't think calories in and out is the answer when trying to build or maintain muscle while burning fat. A diet of twinkies or just salads would not help me keep the muscle. Lots of sweets could spike insulin. I would need higher protein amounts, but, you are right, I would have to keep the calories consumption lower than calories burned to burn fat. Assuming calories are lower, this article said 3 hours later the gyclogen from meals would be metabolized, and the next two hours would be for fat burning. Then, you have a meal, again.

    Is there any truth to the amount of time a body would metabolize the sugars in the blood stream, which then turns on the hunger response?

    Calories in/out is the answer to weight loss. Maintaining muscle comes from lifting weights. However, I believe that it is normal to lose some muscle while losing weight/fat (someone, please correct me if I'm wrong).

    The remarks I put in bold above are myths. Meal timing has nothing to do with anything when it comes to weight loss or maintaining muscle.

    Yes, you are so right. If you want to lose weight, eat whatever you want as long as calories are at a deficit. Grab some donuts. If you want to lose only body fat, however it matters where your calories come from. No myth there.
  • TossaBeanBag
    TossaBeanBag Posts: 458 Member
    I eat 3 meals, maybe 4 a day. Bigger meals keep me fuller longer than small meals. I've done this through weight loss, maintenance, bulk and have had great results keeping within my calorie goal for each. I do mind my macro/micros but other than that, eat in a way that keeps me satiated and happy.

    Looks like what you eat is important, too, keeping within calorie goals. Like another said, though, as long as it keeps you within the calorie goals, you should be good to go. Staying within calorie goals seems to be the consensus everyone agrees upon. What ratios of protein, carbs, and fats to eat is a topic for another discussion it appears.
  • michaelachallis
    michaelachallis Posts: 137 Member
    If you maintain a deficit you will loose. There are is no magic number :)
  • crisb2
    crisb2 Posts: 329 Member
    edited October 2014
    Test out different patterns. I tried for years to eat 5-6 small meals a day, because it was "better for the metabolism". I was always hungry, never felt satisfied and found it hard to stick to the amount of calories allotted to each meal, failed miserably every time.

    So, now I do 1-2 large meals and maybe/sometimes 1-2 snacks, but always keeping it within my calories. For me it was just more satisfying to eat a good sized meal that filled me up, than a bunch of small meals that just tickled my taste buds. So, that's why I now do intermittent fasting but it is not everyone, so just do your research, test out some things.

  • libbydoodle11
    libbydoodle11 Posts: 1,351 Member
    I do two large with a couple of snacks in between. I guess you could call that four or five meals too. It fits my schedule better. Experiment and find what works for you and your body and schedule.