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Is grazing bad?

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  • Is grazing bad?

    In contrast to my usual approach of eating three meals plus a snack, lately I've found myself slipping into the habit of grazing during the day.

    Even though I'm still eating primal choices, I wonder if I'm missing out on something by going down this track.

    Do you think meal timing matters much?
    Annie Ups the Ante
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

  • #2
    You can inadvertently eat too much during grazing sessions, and that can impede your weight loss goals, that's it methinks.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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    • #3
      You have a direct impact on your hormones by the frequency at which you eat. There is much in the paleo blogosphere on this point
      Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

      Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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      • #4
        I am a born grazer...for me it's been a lifelong habit learned from my mother. In my experience, limiting my eating to three meals a day, nothing in between (besides black coffee, tea, water) has helped me get a handle on my insane sugar cravings, ignore cravings when they do strike and has helped me to relearn what my actual hunger signals feel like.

        I second Damiana's thought that you may unintentionally eat more by grazing, and there certainly is plenty of information out there about how meal timing (or timing any eating) impacts hormone levels (gargantuan Leptin Reset thread...?). There are a lot of eating plans out there (Whole30 and No 'S' are the first to come to mind) that advocate three meals a day (or two, if you just aren't hungry enough for three) and no snacking in between. That said, if grazing works for you, hasn't hindered your goals or had a seemingly negative impact on you, I don't see the issue.

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        • #5
          +1 for accidentally eating too much by snacking. I find that snacks don't actually satiate me, and I end up eating the same amount as I would have anyway at meals, so altogether it adds up to a higher food intake than my body needs.

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          • #6
            there is some difference in insulin response by grazing, but i'm not sure how much of a concern it is. i agree with the fact that it can lead to overeating though. i mostly graze, but i eat in a fairly small eating window so it amounts to maybe two meals if i were limiting myself to those. i figure that grazing is probably how ancestral humans would have done things...eat food as its available, not by eating before hunting/gathering, waiting for an employer provided lunch break, and then more food in the evening. that schedule is a product of agriculture. the thing is, the grazing would have been fairly moderate in amounts of food until there was something big to eat.
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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            • #7
              I don't think grazing is bad. Maybe not optimal depending on your goal. Maybe totally natural at times.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                Bad for what and what is exactly meant by "grazing" here? Anyway, it depends very much of the context of your diet – and the warrior diet incorporates a grazing period for the most of the day and one huge meal at night, so doing that will probably be OK. Everything boils down to calorie input versus expenditure after all, so if you are “grazing” on fatty cheese and bulletproof coffee between the four heavy meals it may backfire on you…
                "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                - Schopenhauer

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                  Everything boils down to calorie input versus expenditure after all
                  And does the type and timing of calories input not have an effect on the expenditure? And does the nature of the expenditure not have an impact on the perceived demand for calorie input? This is a less than worthless statement in the context of this discussion. Shouldn't you be drinking a diet coke?
                  The Champagne of Beards

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                  • #10
                    And your point exactly? Even if it should turn out to be correct what you are saying, then everything for sure boils dpwn to calorie imput versus expenditure, and that's mean in this context that if your meals and grazing inputs are larger than you burn by activities, then you will gain weight, and if that's what you are shooting for, then go for it!

                    And yep, right now I am "grazing" on my usual CokeZero and lime juice, less than 20 calories to keep hunger at bay compared to your 500 calories + bulletproof...
                    "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                    - Schopenhauer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                      And your point exactly? Even if it should turn out to be correct what you are saying, then everything for sure boils dpwn to calorie imput versus expenditure, and that's mean in this context that if your meals and grazing inputs are larger than you burn by activities, then you will gain weight, and if that's what you are shooting for, then go for it!
                      I'm not arguing FOR grazing by any means. I'm arguing that telling people that they need to burn more calories than they expend in order to lose weight is like telling someone about octane molecules when they want to know why their car is getting 5mpg. Yes, that's the mechanism by which weight is lost, but the variables are interdependent, and your earlier statement was useless at best.

                      Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                      And yep, right now I am "grazing" on my usual CokeZero and lime juice, less than 20 calories to keep hunger at bay compared to your 500 calories + bulletproof...
                      Uh-huh. If someone is able to remain satiated for 8 hours or more because they ingested 500 kCal of healthy fats, that's far worse for their health than sipping on some lime-flavored chemical concoction all day. Great argument.
                      The Champagne of Beards

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                      • #12
                        I think of grazing or snacking as something for growing people - children and people trying to gain weight, whether muscle or to recover from illness.

                        As far as CICO, I haven't read anything that convinces me that over time, the time of day one eats is that big of a factor for the average person. It might be different for athletes. But logically, to me, it's either CICO, or it isn't.

                        We're all different. If grazing keeps you sated and you're not gaining fat, then it's good for you. I would never feel satisfied eating lots of small meals, so a big honkin' supper with little else throughout the day is good for me.
                        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                        B*tch-lite

                        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                          As far as CICO, I haven't read anything that convinces me that over time, the time of day one eats is that big of a factor for the average person. It might be different for athletes. But logically, to me, it's either CICO, or it isn't.
                          There's absolutely 0 debate as to whether the mechanism for weight loss or weight gain is a differential between energy input and output.

                          The question is whether the amount and type of input influences the output and vice versa. Anyone who says "Just eat less and exercise more" ignores this very well-demonstrated fact.

                          To quote someone much smarter than me:
                          Originally posted by Peter Attia
                          "Do Calories Matter? In a word, yes. But, technically this is the wrong question. The correct question is probably closer to, “What is the impact of the calories I consume on my body’s ability to store fat versus burn fat?”
                          Originally posted by Peter Attia
                          Conventional wisdom, perhaps better referred to as Current Dogma, says that you gain weight because you eat more than you expend. This is almost true! To be 100% true, it would read: when you gain weight, it is the case that you have necessarily eaten more than you expended. Do you see the difference? It’s subtle but very important — arguably more important than any other sentence I will write. The first statement says over-eating caused you to get fat. The second one says if you got fat, you overate, but the possibility remains that another factor led to you to overeat.
                          Originally posted by Peter Attia
                          What you eat actually changes how you expend energy. Similarly, how you expend energy changes what (and how) you eat. To be even more nuanced, what you eat further impacts what you subsequently eat. As you increase (or decrease) in size, this impacts how you expend energy.
                          Originally posted by Peter Attia
                          Obesity is a growth disorder just like any other growth disorder. Specifically, obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation. Fat accumulation is determined not by the balance of calories consumed and expended but by the effect of specific nutrients on the hormonal regulation of fat metabolism. Obesity is a condition where the body prioritizes the storage of fat rather than the utilization of fat.
                          here's the link: Do calories matter? The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D. The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.
                          The Champagne of Beards

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                          • #14
                            I also think grazing is natural to many of us. Perhaps you could plan out 3 good meals but eat them in 5-7 meals.
                            "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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                            • #15
                              To answer the original question instead of debating the value of trying to control CICO math with Gorbag:

                              I think grazing is a really good candidate for a contributing factor to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. I graze sometimes on a weekend, or at a party, or whatever, but I would refrain from doing it as an every day thing.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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