Small meals through out the day or intermittent fasting

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I have been watching lots of Youtube clips from some "Nutritionist" lately, trying to educate myself to not only do it, but understand why should I do it. I have made up my mind to follow a whole food low fat diet, but the timing really confuses me.

I learned from some personal trainers that we should never skip breakfast, eat within 30 minutes after you wake up, eat small portion with protein every 3 hours, etc to keep your metabolism high. This is what I have been following in the past 3 years and I lost about 20 lbs by keeping MFP recommended calories. This method is supposed to prevent us from getting too hungry and binge, however I am still constantly hungry and never truly satisfied. I also carry lots of healthy snacks, and always seem to be eating something during work - not very professional looking.

Intermittent Fasting diet (warrier diet, breakfast skipper) makes some sense to me, where the most popular method is to eat only between 12 noon and 8 PM, so you are not keeping insulin level high, your digestive system gets a good rest, and you are more satisfied with a big meal when all you need to do is wait a few more hours. But I wonder if the method really works in the long run, will it hurt your stomach when it starts to release acid at normal meal time, but you don't put in any food? Will a big meal overload your digestive system especially late at night? Will it cause low blood sugar and make you feel dizzy during a workout in the morning?
Then there is the Jillian Micheal's recommendation of 3 meals a day, every 4 hours. This seems to be a compromise of the 2 diets above. I have an open mind and welcome any experience sharing from people who follow either diet, or had experience with both!

Replies

  • beekay70
    beekay70 Posts: 214 Member
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    I typically follow the 16:8 IF protocol, but mainly just because it suits the way I eat during the week - I don't eat breakfast because I don't have the time, I have heard all sorts of reasons why people who IF are successful, but I think it's simpler than that. Eating within a smaller window results in a calorie deficit.
  • gloriaqzhao
    gloriaqzhao Posts: 40 Member
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    I typically follow the 16:8 IF protocol, but mainly just because it suits the way I eat during the week - I don't eat breakfast because I don't have the time, I have heard all sorts of reasons why people who IF are successful, but I think it's simpler than that. Eating within a smaller window results in a calorie deficit.

    Thanks! I guess the question is which way is healthier for the digestive system, as we can manage total calorie in-take one way or the other.
  • sunshineonfridays
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    I have tried both ways and have found that intermittent fasting has worked for me. When I ate 5-6 small meals a day I found myself very hungry as well. I also wanted sugary snacks. When I tried intermittent fasting at first I was snacky because my body was getting use to not having food in my mouth constantly. After a week I noticed that my body was a schedule. I would be hungry at the same times, I would use the rest room at the same time, and way better I was full and did not want to eat constantly. My digestive system actually worked even better. Am not sure if it was that my body had time to digest food from the previous day, but I did not feel as bloated. I have tried for 2 weeks now to do the5-6 meals a day and I feel terrible. Am snacking really bad foods and I am not using the rest room as I was doing before. I am going back on to intermittent fasting. I think it has helped me a lot with my eating habits, discipline, plus I lost a lot of weight about 10lbs in a month. I was not losing any weight while eating 5-6 meals a day. I was actually gaining and stayed stagnant for a whole year before I started intermittent fasting.
  • The_Enginerd
    The_Enginerd Posts: 3,983 Member
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    Neither is right or healthier for your body. It all comes down to personal preference and what is easiest for you to adhere to.
  • teresadutton
    teresadutton Posts: 232 Member
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    I am wondering what exactly you mean by intermitting fasting? You only eat 2 big meals a day instead of 5 small ones? Thanks!
  • Mischievous_Rascal
    Mischievous_Rascal Posts: 1,791 Member
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    I typically follow the 16:8 IF protocol, but mainly just because it suits the way I eat during the week - I don't eat breakfast because I don't have the time, I have heard all sorts of reasons why people who IF are successful, but I think it's simpler than that. Eating within a smaller window results in a calorie deficit.

    Exactly. My window is 14:10, though, noon to 10 pm. I'm 45 and fasting for more than 14 hours a day was starting to mess with my hormone levels.

    Meal timing isn't a magic pill for weight loss, though. You should really just do what fits your lifestyle and what you'll be able to sustain long term.
  • gloriaqzhao
    gloriaqzhao Posts: 40 Member
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    I am wondering what exactly you mean by intermitting fasting? You only eat 2 big meals a day instead of 5 small ones? Thanks!
    It means you give your body a fairly long window of not eating any solid food, and a relatively short window to eat almost whatever you want. For example, skip breakfast, eat lunch and dinner between 12 noon and 8 PM, then you get 16 hours fasting each day.
  • Dogwalkingirl
    Dogwalkingirl Posts: 320 Member
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    I have never done the intermittent fasting but I enjoy eating smaller meals and snacks. I love to eat so I enjoy being able to eat more often!
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    meal timing has nothing to do with metabolism..


    eat when you want, what you want, and as long as you are in a deficit you will lose weight..

    If eating six meals a day makes it easier to stay in a deficit then do it; if IF makes it easier to stay in a deficit then do that…but just keep in mind that they are not magical fat burning methods….they are just tools that you use to create a calorie deficit…
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,030 Member
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    I've been doing 16:8 for a couple years. It's how I naturally like to eat - two largish meals.

    I don't think it matters to your digestive system. Meal timing is more about adherence and convenience.
  • CyberEd312
    CyberEd312 Posts: 3,536 Member
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    meal timing has nothing to do with metabolism..


    eat when you want, what you want, and as long as you are in a deficit you will lose weight..

    If eating six meals a day makes it easier to stay in a deficit then do it; if IF makes it easier to stay in a deficit then do that…but just keep in mind that they are not magical fat burning methods….they are just tools that you use to create a calorie deficit…

    QFT!!
  • SKME2013
    SKME2013 Posts: 704 Member
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    I have done various forms of intermittent fasting over the last three months, mostly though 16:8. All of them were combined with either 5:2 ( 5 days eating up to my TDEE and 2 days staying under 500cal); 4:3 (same as the before but three days under 500 cal); ADF (alternate day fasting) and calorie counting. I have lost 8kg (17.6lbs) without a problem. (I am 48, female)

    I actually like my fasting days and believe in giving my body a rest from having to digest food all the time. Fasting can have enormous health benefits, just google it. I feel not too different, but one thing I have seen very strongly over the last three months is that I lose less hair when washing it, quite dramatically actually. Not that I lost a lot before, but now it is next to none!

    Anyhow, for me it works.

    Best wishes
    Stef.
  • daw0518
    daw0518 Posts: 459 Member
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    eat when you want, what you want, and as long as you are in a deficit you will lose weight.

    ^This!