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Eating "six small meals a day", anyone?

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  • #16
    Just my fwiw, which isnt much...

    When I started out and losing at a good clip, I was eating something every few hours it seems. Not alot, but something. Counted calories always. I had already lost 15 or so with small changes, so I think I already had the easy initial weight loss that ppl have. I was also hungry alot, going to bed hungry, waking up hungry. I was also exercising more, which made me more hungry.

    Something happened later - I switched macros around & I wasnt as hungry anymore. I wasnt going to bed hungry nor waking up hungry. Only eating once a day, maybe couple times every couple of days, or maybe BPC for breakfast then dinner later. Energy tanked also, exercise pretty much non-existent. Result: Weight loss slowed down until finally it stopped.

    And I am still trying to get things moving in the right direction again. I have even tried to experiment back to the old way. I have found that I can be happy both ways. I can drag out 1200 calories over the course of the day, or I can eat it all at one meal. I guess it just all depends on what it is and what the rest of my day looks like. But I am still trying to find my groove back as far as weight loss is concerned.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Derpamix View Post
      I usually graze all day due to the food I eat being liquid or small in size. Eating every few hours keeps stress down and metabolism up.
      Yep, The Primal Hummingbird Diet.

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      • #18
        I used to eat 3 meals plus 2 snacks a day because I couldn't make it to the next meal without snacking. I didn't like how I felt, though, thinking about when the next time food is.

        When decreasing carbs and increasing fat, and eating more nutrient foods, I eventually stopped feeling hungry all the time. I like to eat a huge dinner, go to sleep with a full belly, and not wake up hungry. Makes me more alert in the mornings. Brunch/lunch is usually half the amount of dinner, just enough to not feel hungry. When I feel like a snack, it's usually tea or broth or juiced veggies.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by AngryKiwi47 View Post
          I tried eating six meals a day to gain weight. Lost weight.

          Yep, I physically cannot do it - I lose my appetite, feel sleepy, feel like I'm eating all day, etc. I can devour a massive meal (kilo of potatoes/pound of meat/cheese/cottage cheese/veggies/guac - a la nachos) and dessert in a couple hours, but couldn't possibly eat that same amount spread throughout the day. It's maddening,

          The benefits of it - the reason I tried it and why I recommended to a couple of my undereating school friends trying to bulk up - is it's easier (for some people) to get their calories in that way. Some people can't eat volumes of food in a sitting. It's weird.
          This is me. I could never get my usual calories per day without snacks (2 per day to go with my 3 meals).... I just have never been able to eat a lot at a sitting, but can eat often. I tried doing the 3 meals per day thing, but I was either uncomfortable from being too full, or way low on calories.

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          • #20
            If I'm not at work I usually have about 5 snacks through the day and then a big meal at night before bed. I don't like feeling of eating big during the day.

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            • #21
              I have found that I operate best on four: Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner.

              If lunch is too small or too early then I tend to graze through the afternoon trying to fill up and it is very unsatisfying. So it's better to eat enough lunch, then later sit down to a decent snack/mini-meal.

              Occasionally I will skip breakfast, so that would leave three meals. I can't imagine going for six now, but in the old days, yeah, eating all the time.
              Annie Ups the Ante
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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              • #22
                Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                At the risk of being burnt at the Paleo stake...

                Just wondering if there is anyone out there who follows the "eating smaller amounts, more frequently" protocol, and if so, how do you implement it? Do you actually have six small meals, or is it four meals+two snacks / three meals+three snacks etc. etc.

                Do you notice any benefits from eating this way?
                My husband did this for . . . oh, 15 years or something.

                Essentially, he ate exactly six meals per day and would *freak out* about his meal times like an obsessive fool. And, he had to eat at *exactly* the right times or he would DIE. And, he had to carry the most massive, massive lunch box known to mankind.

                It worked fine, honestly. He as just crazy.

                Now with fat, paleo, and IF, he's so happy. He just feels like he'll be ok no matter what.

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                • #23
                  In my case, it depends... some days I feel like having 4 meals or so, some days I'm totally stuffed with just one! It depends on the level of activity, the kind of foods, even the weather (does anyone else here tends to eat more when it's cloudy and cold?:P).
                  My sister can't eat more than some bites per meal, so she has 6 meals per day (she's not primal, true, but she's fit, thin and ultra-active-and usually avoids processed crap) and it works for her, so if you think it'll be better for you, just give it a try!

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                  • #24
                    I am still doing 6/day, i find a combination of snack/shake and 3 main meals does the job perfectly for me.

                    day looks something like this.

                    4am, cycle 2.5hours
                    8am Banana Pancakes + coffee (4eggs + 1.5 banana)
                    11am Green Apple
                    14.30ish Lunch, today we have sweet patato and curry mince
                    16.00 5km run + 1km swim
                    17.30 Post training shake (30g protein +- 20g hi-GI carbs)
                    19.00 dinner, some kind of meat and veggies
                    21.30 casein protein mousse

                    hope this helps you, this works well for me. i am never really hungry, besides during the morning bike ride. i am going to try the cocconut oil mixed into the coffee on the next ride and see if this helps.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                      My husband did this for . . . oh, 15 years or something.

                      Essentially, he ate exactly six meals per day and would *freak out* about his meal times like an obsessive fool. And, he had to eat at *exactly* the right times or he would DIE. And, he had to carry the most massive, massive lunch box known to mankind.

                      It worked fine, honestly. He as just crazy.

                      Now with fat, paleo, and IF, he's so happy. He just feels like he'll be ok no matter what.
                      Ha, well I'm already crazy, how much worse can it get?
                      "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                      In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                      - Ray Peat

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Annieh View Post
                        I have found that I operate best on four: Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner.

                        If lunch is too small or too early then I tend to graze through the afternoon trying to fill up and it is very unsatisfying. So it's better to eat enough lunch, then later sit down to a decent snack/mini-meal.

                        Occasionally I will skip breakfast, so that would leave three meals. I can't imagine going for six now, but in the old days, yeah, eating all the time.
                        Originally posted by tdugmen View Post
                        In my case, it depends... some days I feel like having 4 meals or so, some days I'm totally stuffed with just one! It depends on the level of activity, the kind of foods, even the weather (does anyone else here tends to eat more when it's cloudy and cold?:P).
                        My sister can't eat more than some bites per meal, so she has 6 meals per day (she's not primal, true, but she's fit, thin and ultra-active-and usually avoids processed crap) and it works for her, so if you think it'll be better for you, just give it a try!
                        Originally posted by Pikes View Post
                        I am still doing 6/day, i find a combination of snack/shake and 3 main meals does the job perfectly for me.

                        day looks something like this.

                        4am, cycle 2.5hours
                        8am Banana Pancakes + coffee (4eggs + 1.5 banana)
                        11am Green Apple
                        14.30ish Lunch, today we have sweet patato and curry mince
                        16.00 5km run + 1km swim
                        17.30 Post training shake (30g protein +- 20g hi-GI carbs)
                        19.00 dinner, some kind of meat and veggies
                        21.30 casein protein mousse

                        hope this helps you, this works well for me. i am never really hungry, besides during the morning bike ride. i am going to try the cocconut oil mixed into the coffee on the next ride and see if this helps.
                        Thanks for the positive reinforcement guys I can relate to everything you're saying. I'm going to try eating when hungry instead of being militant about no snacking / ideal meal spacings / "appropriate" meal times.
                        "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                        In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                        - Ray Peat

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                          Thanks for the positive reinforcement guys I can relate to everything you're saying. I'm going to try eating when hungry instead of being militant about no snacking / ideal meal spacings / "appropriate" meal times.


                          Sounds like a good plan. I started eating 2 or 3 meals a day, depending on when I am hungry and it has worked wonders for me. I have definitely lost weight but more importantly, I just make sure I eat good meals and dont snack. Snacking is the fastest way for me to go right off the deep end. But if I eat a good solid meal, I am not hungry long enough to be able to prepare another good meal. For ME, getting rid of the snacking habit has been the best thing. Plus, I dont worry or even think much about food or when to eat or how many calories I've had. I eat meals with protein, lots of veggies and healthy fats and maybe some fruit. I think everyone is different but that is what works for me.

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                          • #28
                            Hi yogabare,
                            I have a different approach that I haven't seen mentioned yet.

                            I do it all.

                            From snacking all day which leaves me not really having any "meals" to only having 2 large meals a day and anything in between; 3 meals, 4 meals, 3 meals + a snack, 3 meals + 2 snacks, you get the idea. I go from eating lots of food in a day to not very much if any. My macro ranges can fluctuate wildly on a daily basis. The only thing that stays consistent is the type of food in my fridge & cupboards.

                            The benefit I find this gives me is it keeps my metabolism guessing, with various systems working hard at stages and resting at other stages, it makes for a more robust metabolism. I've got a thread going at the moment that explains this in a little more detail, here it is:

                            Applying fitness principles to your diet.
                            A little primal gem - My Success Story
                            Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by dilberryhoundog View Post
                              Hi yogabare,
                              I have a different approach that I haven't seen mentioned yet.

                              I do it all.

                              From snacking all day which leaves me not really having any "meals" to only having 2 large meals a day and anything in between; 3 meals, 4 meals, 3 meals + a snack, 3 meals + 2 snacks, you get the idea. I go from eating lots of food in a day to not very much if any. My macro ranges can fluctuate wildly on a daily basis. The only thing that stays consistent is the type of food in my fridge & cupboards.

                              The benefit I find this gives me is it keeps my metabolism guessing, with various systems working hard at stages and resting at other stages, it makes for a more robust metabolism. I've got a thread going at the moment that explains this in a little more detail, here it is:

                              Applying fitness principles to your diet.
                              That definitely resonates with me - eating with the rhythms of the body instead of adhering to what you believe is the best way to eat. Clearly for some people the body's rhythms work better feeding it less frequently; not so for other people.

                              Maybe the "Eating like a predator" theory depends on if you're predatorial in life. I don't think I have an alpha bone in my body to be honest... in ancient times I'm sure I would've been the one eating peyote and going into trances (for the good of the tribe, of course )

                              Brilliant summation on your thread btw!
                              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                              - Ray Peat

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                FWIW (and for background, I am not fully Primal so take this with several grains of salt) I have always naturally eaten many small meals. I genuinely believe that it is how my body prefers to eat. I think a lot of backlash you get for that idea stems from people who naturally tend to skipping breakfast or eating a couple of large meals who then forced themselves to do the "6 small meals a day" thing because "CW" said it was healthy. Once you get in tune with your body (which I realize is a Herculean feat for some and I'm not at all belittling that) it will tell you how often and how much to eat. Also for context I am F, 28, 5'9" and I have always been lean. (another theory I have about the CW advice to eat many small meals a day is that it is correlation not causation - the people whose bodies "naturally" prefer this way of eating are often lean, but people who are choosing to lose weight who artificially force this on themselves end up hungry and anxious and miserable)

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