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Thread: So which is right: Two big meals per day or "stop when you're not hungry" page

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    banananutmuffin's Avatar
    banananutmuffin is offline Senior Member
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    So which is right: Two big meals per day or "stop when you're not hungry"

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    I was under the impression that Mark recommends "eat when you're hungry, stop when you're not hungry." On the other hand, I hear a lot of people here suggest just eating two big meals per day.

    The problem is, if I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm not hungry (or just satisfied), I get really hungry way too soon to limit myself to just two meals. As in... dizzy, weak, low-energy, lightheaded hungry.

    If I want to just eat two meals a day, then I really need to pack it in during those meals. I'd have to eat way past the "not hungry" point.

    One possible relevant note: I am still breastfeeding my kid, but not exclusively. She eats solids, too.

    Any thoughts on which is better?
    Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
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    activia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banananutmuffin View Post
    I was under the impression that Mark recommends "eat when you're hungry, stop when you're not hungry." On the other hand, I hear a lot of people here suggest just eating two big meals per day.

    The problem is, if I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm not hungry (or just satisfied), I get really hungry way too soon to limit myself to just two meals. As in... dizzy, weak, low-energy, lightheaded hungry.

    If I want to just eat two meals a day, then I really need to pack it in during those meals. I'd have to eat way past the "not hungry" point.

    One possible relevant note: I am still breastfeeding my kid, but not exclusively. She eats solids, too.

    Any thoughts on which is better?
    I think you should eat when you are hungry. If I am feeling ill I find fasting helps a lot tho..then I'd make sure to eat more later, but this isnt necessary. The longer you go without eating the more food it should take for you to feel satisfied... a lot of when we are hungry is by our internal clock more then anything... you can adjust this by changing to two meals a day but if you still arent getting enough food in then just eat when you are hungry, but I'd put this as a low priority unless you have specific goals in mind. You are breastfeeding so I would go with..just eat when hungry.

  3. #3
    Yvonne PHX's Avatar
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    When I was breastfeeding, I ate all day long. Didn't gain a pound, and I wasn't even Primal. The same rules just don't apply when you're making milk. Today, I eat two very small meals because I am not a big fan of breakfast and lunch, but I need *something* to avoid dizziness and migraines. Then, I gorge at dinner.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    I did it both ways, and both ways I am fine. But I need to eat a lot of meat, as in a pound of ground beef, for example, or 6 eggs with some egg whites, to keep comfortably full for 4 to 6 hours.
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    I naturally tend to eat 2 meals per day, with maybe a small snack in the later evening. I have a problem telling if i'm actually hungry or if i'm bored/like the taste of something. Having planned out two designated times to eat helps me control not overeating. Now that i'm burning fat for energy primarily, I do not get hungry in the mornings till around 11 or later sometimes. This allows me to IF and maintain easily. Just find out what works for your body, schedule, and goals.

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    I think you have to determine what works better for you. Some people prefer to have structure to their eating. I think this is partially why the Leptin reset works well, especially since Leptin-resistance is characterized by messed up hunger/satiety signals. Other people aren't all messed up from years of dieting or eating bad foods and really can listen to their hunger/satiety signals. And then some people don't need to lose weight and just need to hear this doesn't have to be a weight-loss program, that it really is a way of life program.

    If you are unable to go very long between meals and get dizzy and weak it is because your body is unable to access its stored fat reserves. It may still be adjusting to this lower-carb way of eating. But since you are breastfeeding, it may be that you just need to eat more food or more often. You should find out what breastfeeding mothers ought to do and do that.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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    Neither is "right." You have to figure out what works for you.

    And, to be honest, it might be different on different days. Some days your body might want 2 big meals. Some day it might want something different. That's the kind of thing you have to figure out for yourself. Try 1, see how it works--if it doesn't work, try something else!

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    Bron's Avatar
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    When you are breastfeeding, you only need about the equivalent to a cheese sandwich (sorry, that's the 'amount' of food I know) in extra food. It may be you can't eat enough in one sitting because your tummy shrank during pregnancy and hasn't grown very much since your baby was born?

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    Some of write I am writing is in another thread I wrote but I believe it explains some good points and what is the purpose of rewriting it for different people if it is the same message and I am satisfied with it lol.

    I don't understand not eating breakfast or limiting it too much for everyone because many of us have busy schedules and are active either physically or mentally with our jobs or other tasks and cannot eat during these tasks so we need a meal to bring us through the day. You can consider a light breakfast or lunch, this is like training you to eat what is needed as our body's goal to eating is to become as efficient as possible and the body tries to avoid eating as much as it can. But it enjoys eating because it is needed of course and the ability to enjoy it is a gift. I definitely advocate fasting on some days for one meal or more for days in a row; with days in between of normal meals for a break in between the fast and then continuing the fasting periods for more periods of several days. I recommend though three meals because many minerals and vitamins, and protein, benefit from portions for absorption and utilization and also the combination of these inhibit each other at times. But depending on your schedule, you might benefit with a light breakfast as this is also vital in just as many situations.

    I think though a large amount of my point against a limited breakfast is because my job is physically and mentally stressful. On the weekends where I have a large amount of yard work and I also have important tasks to attend to, I feel a strong urge to not eat breakfast and just make it to lunch. Then I remember that spacing the nutrients is quite important, and if I can I adjust by waiting to eat after three or four hours or limiting what I can from my breakfast. I am 6'1, 150, and I eat 1600 calories a day, and I am still hungry of course lol, but when I eat more protein or fat I get a layer of fat that just hangs off my muscle. But that is me, and I am sure I am going at it a bit strict but I get this feeling whenever I eat that the food is a vehicle for my replenishment and I need to be more satisfied with what I am eating and really see how there really isn't a need for more (in my situation of course). I exercise with my job which requires a good amount of lifting and cardio, as it is a large part of my job, but not an excessive amount. Vegetables certainly can be eaten too much though and fiber can become an enemy and after too much I believe it makes me hungrier instead of satisfying me because it makes my body stocky and suddenly I feel the need to eat more to support this larger body with something effecting me on the inside. Fiber also significantly inhibits absorption of minerals in higher amounts that are above 170% the daily value.

    But shapeshift a meal, depending on your schedule of course, and remember to space the necessary nutrients appropriately. And remember how much work our bodies go through with eating and how much of a reward it is. I know when I adjust my meals I feel satisfied with the next meal and this feeling of not wanting to eat as much as I wanted begins to work and there is less struggle. And remember that your best interest and your body's idea is to be as efficient as possible, which means your body would love to not eat at all if it could. But of course, food is meant to be enjoyed fully because it is vital.

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