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TOPIC: Small meals vs. Large meals?

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May 15, 2011 6:43 PM
Am I broken? I've seen so many people here sing the praises of eating small frequent meals.

When I do this I don't ever seem to *get ahead of my hunger*
I tried it when I first started here and tried it again today, the results were the same.

I nibbled all day long, eaten all the same foods as I usually eat just scatter throughout the day. It seems like I"ve gotten nothing else accomplished today because all I did all day long was eat.

I've used up all my calories, but I'm still hungry.

When I have a real meal of 350-450 calories. I feel satisfied and can move on and get other things done.
I'm hungry, cranky and haven't gotten anything done around the house today.

I guess I should end this little rant with the realization that we are all individuals there is no one size fits all answer.
  2131607
May 15, 2011 6:47 PM
I agree with you that large meals work better for me. I know theres 'evidence' that small meals are better and help people from over indulging at other meals, but I feel better with large meals and do not feel hungry after dinner. But I also tend to not eat breakfast (I just wait until i am hungry)

Wake up around 6, eat around 9, then 2ish then 6-7 ish.

So if your broken, we are broken together!!
  6094220
May 15, 2011 6:48 PM
I feel the same way....I eat throughout the day...but it's veggies and fruits. I need to have a full meal to feel satisfied, or, like you said, I never get ahead of my hunger
May 15, 2011 6:48 PM
Like everything else there are always two sides to the issue. I eat three larger meals - if I snack all day, like you I never feel full and end up way over on calories. Three meals keeps me satisfied. If I do get hungry between meals, I'll grab a piece of fruit, some yogurt, or a granola bar.

My vote - listen to your body. It knows what it wants! Good luck!
May 15, 2011 6:48 PM
Try having a large breakfast, small snack, medium lunch, small snack, small dinner. I've seen a lot of people doing that and doing wonderfully with it.
  6493983
May 15, 2011 6:48 PM
I have no idea what's right but I would venture to say that if something doesn't work for you....it just doesn't work for you! I would do what works and I can't imagine that winding up hungry or feeling like I spent my day eating would be useful for me. :)
  6396400
May 15, 2011 6:49 PM
Amen to your last statement...I mix it up...Some days I have to eat all through the day and then some days I need to eat two good meals full of calories...Different strokes...
May 15, 2011 6:49 PM
I find that it helps me to eat 3 relatively normal meals (250-400 calories) and then have a couple of high protein snacks throughout the day (like string cheese or Chobani greek yogurt). My first few weeks on here I was hungry all the time. That will pass. If you eat smaller meals throughout the day your body keeps up a continuous burn instead of holding off for meal times.
  5916789
May 15, 2011 6:49 PM
I eat 3 meals a day. I wouldn's classify them as "large", just 3 normal meals a day. I hardly ever snack. I am rarely hungry. I eat the majority of my calories, rarely go over. I have done this for about 10 months now and I have lost a lot of weight.

This is what works for me.
Edited by k2d4p On May 15, 2011 6:51 PM
  3253791
May 15, 2011 6:50 PM
It works however works for you. I always liked big meal but got hungry in between so smaller meals with snacks in between keeps me going most of the time. Especially at work.

But on the weekends I tend to eat bigger meals with fewer snacks.

It all comes down to cals in vs cals out. Do what lets you stay within your cals best. It's all about making it work for you.
  1971971
May 15, 2011 6:51 PM
I eat 6 times a day, every 2-3 hours--a balanced meal of carbs and proteins. Yea, the first 3 days were tough--but after that it was easier. Its like an alcoholic going through withdrawals. Its going to be hard at first, but now, I know I MUST eat evfery 2-3 hours to keep from getting hungry--food is my fuel--I don't use it as pleasure. A huge breakthrough for me.
  4592
May 15, 2011 6:52 PM
The theory that several small meals keeps your metabolism fired and your blood sugar levels more stable is actually coming under fire as of late. There's actually very little evidence that your metabolism slows down if you don't eat every 2-3 hours. As long as you're getting your caloric needs met, you could eat as little as 1-2 times per day and be okay, if that works for you. The 5-6 meals a day theory is an old myth that got a good PR man.
May 15, 2011 6:53 PM
I eat 2 large meals a day normally. (Breakfast and Lunch) Many times I'm at a softball field from 3-8 and don't have time to eat dinner. So I bring my lunch box with portable snacks to eat during practice. On the days I'm off I've noticed I'm a lot more satisfied eating 3 large meals with maybe a little snack here and there.

I say do what works for you!
  4828573
May 15, 2011 6:56 PM
Hi Auntibabs, I have tried the 5 small meals a day more than once over the years...I understand the science and the reasoning behind it and it makes good sense and lot's of people swear by it. I just don't care for it. I'm much happier and more comfortable with the 3 meals and a snack or 2 plan. I think the key to healthy weightloss and long term maintenance is finding what works for you...something you can live with.smile
  5064762
May 15, 2011 6:56 PM
This is a matter of Training. It's kind of like getting your body liking to eat beans or tofu for a protein instead of burgers.

THe reason small meals are better is this:

Your body can't predict when it's going to be fed again. What happens is if your body goes 10 hours without food and then gets a lot of it, not only does it panic (thinking "WHEN WILL I EAT AGAIN??" but also, your body CAN'T process it all at once!

So it turns it into fat and stores it. Gross.

By eating smaller meals and lite snacks throughout the day, your body gets used to the idea that in 2 hours you will eat again. Also, how much water are you drinking? Did you know that your body can't differentiate between food and thrist? For weight loss, it is recommended that you drink at LEAST half your weight, in ounces, of water a day.

That will also help with the hunger.

THis is mental. I promise. I went through it too. When you get used to eating all the time, portion control is KEY. But I went from a size 16 to a size 10 in three months by switching. Control sugars, calories, fat, and DRINK WATER!!!
May 15, 2011 6:58 PM
Like you I tried the 5-6 small meals and got fatter, it wasn't for me. I also don't do the breakfast thing I only have two cups of coffee in the morning I have learned not to listen to what works for other people. I listen to my body, I eat when I am hungry and I usually enjoy two large meals a day and a apple or small baked potato in the evening if I need something before bed. My meals are about 700 calorie each. I try to stay under 1500 calories and I do not eat my exercise calories.
  263303
May 15, 2011 7:01 PM
Holy cow--just saying congratulations! I hope I'm as successful as you!
May 15, 2011 7:04 PM
I guess everyone is different, I'm not used to smaller meals, but I have pretty much forced myself into it, and it does seem to speed up my metabolism. By meal though, it could mean something as singular as an apple or a protein bar. I eat lunch which almost always consists of a sandwich and chips. Then I have a protein bar. Then I have dinner, usually a meat and two veggies. Then I have a peice of fruit and/or a snack pack of something salty or sweet (I swear by those 100 calorie packages of ritz crackers mix or keebler sweet stuff not for the calories but for low sugar content for a snack). So that's four times, two normal sized meals and two smalller meals. That's wat works for me. Some of the advice I've heard doesn't work for me, so maybe this doesn't work for you... glad you're doing so well though!
May 15, 2011 7:05 PM
And btw, I don't eat breakfast. Ever. I know it's the most important meal of the day supposedly, but I just can't stomach it. And it hasn't hurt my metabolism, I'm still losing weight at a pretty rapid pace of almost 2-3 pounds per week.
May 15, 2011 7:10 PM
QUOTE:

So if your broken, we are broken together!!


Nice to know Sunjenk
  2131607
May 15, 2011 7:13 PM
QUOTE:

The theory that several small meals keeps your metabolism fired and your blood sugar levels more stable is actually coming under fire as of late. There's actually very little evidence that your metabolism slows down if you don't eat every 2-3 hours. As long as you're getting your caloric needs met, you could eat as little as 1-2 times per day and be okay, if that works for you. The 5-6 meals a day theory is an old myth that got a good PR man.


Oh so true. All the research I have looked at shows absolutely no physiological difference between few larger meals or many small meals. It may have some helpful psychological effect for some people, but it make no difference for your metabolism or speed of weigh loss except in terms of helping some people stick to their calories.

As Parks et al say in their article in the Am Jrnl of Clinical Nutrition, "Simply put, the question of whether there is a health benefit from the consumption of multiple small meals will ultimately depend on how much energy is consumed, as opposed to how often or how regularly one eats."
  3004823
May 15, 2011 7:18 PM
QUOTE:

I have no idea what's right but I would venture to say that if something doesn't work for you....it just doesn't work for you! I would do what works and I can't imagine that winding up hungry or feeling like I spent my day eating would be useful for me. :)


Thanks emilex, I'm sure yu are right.

Mostly, I guess, I'm trying to switch things up a bit because I'm frustrated that I've plateaued 1.5 lb away from my goal! I've done the slow and steady loss. I stepped my loss rate down as I've gottne closer to my goal. I know I should be patient, but I just want to get there already.
  2131607
May 15, 2011 7:25 PM
QUOTE:

Hi Auntibabs, I have tried the 5 small meals a day more than once over the years...I understand the science and the reasoning behind it and it makes good sense and lot's of people swear by it. I just don't care for it. I'm much happier and more comfortable with the 3 meals and a snack or 2 plan. I think the key to healthy weightloss and long term maintenance is finding what works for you...something you can live with.smile


Makes sense to me.
I understand the theory, but this is a battle I've waged my whole life and you right if you got to find something you can live with or it's all for nothing....
  2131607
May 15, 2011 7:41 PM
QUOTE:

This is a matter of Training. It's kind of like getting your body liking to eat beans or tofu for a protein instead of burgers.

THe reason small meals are better is this:

Your body can't predict when it's going to be fed again. What happens is if your body goes 10 hours without food and then gets a lot of it, not only does it panic (thinking "WHEN WILL I EAT AGAIN??" but also, your body CAN'T process it all at once!

So it turns it into fat and stores it. Gross.

By eating smaller meals and lite snacks throughout the day, your body gets used to the idea that in 2 hours you will eat again. Also, how much water are you drinking? Did you know that your body can't differentiate between food and thrist? For weight loss, it is recommended that you drink at LEAST half your weight, in ounces, of water a day.

That will also help with the hunger.

THis is mental. I promise. I went through it too. When you get used to eating all the time, portion control is KEY. But I went from a size 16 to a size 10 in three months by switching. Control sugars, calories, fat, and DRINK WATER!!!
Edited by ADAVIS425 On May 15, 2011 7:46 PM
  7561868
May 15, 2011 7:42 PM
Thanks Everybody!!! flowerforyou flowerforyou flowerforyou flowerforyou flowerforyou

I guess I'm just frustrated because I've plateaued a pound and a half away from my goal.
I'll get there I'm just being impatient. The close you get the slower it goes.

Thanks Again!!! flowerforyou flowerforyou flowerforyou flowerforyou flowerforyou
  2131607

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