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TOPIC: How many calories at one meal should you eat?

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January 27, 2013 9:33 AM
I was wondering, how many of your daily calories should you eat at each main meal? Like breakfest, lunch, dinner.

Lets say you have 2000cal to eat a day. How should you break that up? How many calories at one sitting break,lunch,dinner should you eat?
January 27, 2013 9:43 AM
it depends on how much you need to consider a meal satisfying. If you simple divide up 2000 evenly, you get three 500 calorie meals and two 250 calorie snacks. but maybe you like to have a smaller breakfast and a bigger lunch? or several smaller snacks?
i would start by finding what i liked to eat at a sensible meal on average, like how many calories till i'm comfortably full? and also take into account what times in the day i'm hungry between meals, and make sure i'm still able to fit a snack into my budget for those times.
It really depends on you and how you'd like to budget them.
January 27, 2013 9:44 AM
I prefer to eat light during the day with a heavy calorie load in the evening.
January 27, 2013 9:48 AM

I prefer to eat light during the day with a heavy calorie load in the evening.

Same here. It's how I've been doing things since I started losing weight and it's worked really well for me. Break them up however works best for you. If you want a big meal earlier in the day, do it that way.
January 27, 2013 9:48 AM

I prefer to eat light during the day with a heavy calorie load in the evening.

I do the same thing.
January 27, 2013 9:48 AM
I eat 600-700 calories for breakfast on my 1750 calorie allowance.

Lunch is around 300.

Dinner makes up whatever is left after a couple snacks.
January 27, 2013 9:51 AM

I prefer to eat light during the day with a heavy calorie load in the evening.
To give you another view, I'm more comfortable doing the opposite. I have a solid breakfast before I workout and do a snack midmorning, lunch, perhaps another snack if needed then a lighter dinner. I do this because I work out in the a.m typically and prefer to be fueled for that.

Each one of us is likely to vary depending on our needs due to activity, habits, lifestyle/work etc.

But I do agree with the poster above who shared about 3 meals and 2 snacks. That seems to work well for many of us to keep the blood sugars from dropping dramatically between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. For myself it helps to avoid that sluggish afternoon feeling.

I typically fuel up with a carb/fat/protein at each meal/snack.
Edited by Hearts_2015 On January 27, 2013 9:53 AM
January 27, 2013 9:52 AM
it depends for me day to day. sometimes i eat breakfast and sometimes i don't. my dinners are typically 500-600 calories. i like to leave at least 200 calories for a late evening snack. i can do 1400-1500 calories a day pretty easy on that.
January 27, 2013 9:53 AM
It really doesn't matter.... How one person divides up their calories may not work for another. I would suggest thinking about what time of day you are usually hungriest and eat your biggest meal then. For me that's usually dinner. I will pre-log my dinner, I eat the same thing for breakfast so I know what that will be, then my lunch/snacks/dessert is worked around what I have left. Breakfast usually ends up being the least amount for me because I don't like to eat a lot before I workout (between 200-250), dinner is the biggest (500-800), lunch is anywhere between 300-500 then dessert and snacks is what ever is left.

But like I said, there is no set way. Do what works best for you.
January 27, 2013 9:53 AM

I prefer to eat light during the day with a heavy calorie load in the evening.

I do this too, mainly because I like to look foreward to a big dinner at the end of the day. Plus that way if my fiance cooks instead of me I don't have to make myself something separate or only eat a few bites because I only have like 400 calories left for the day
January 27, 2013 9:54 AM

I'm kidding, it varies from person to person. Eat the amount that works for you to give you the max energy and still either lose or maintain (or build muscle if that is your goal).
January 27, 2013 9:55 AM
I am more interested in eating in the late afternoon/early evening, so my early calories are on the light side (with rare exception). Usually breakfast is around 250-300 and 11sies is about the same.
January 27, 2013 9:59 AM
I think you are going to get as many different replies as there are members here, and that can only mean that you should do whatever works for you.

Personally, I find that an equal balance of calories per meal, with about 200 cals. allotted for snacks, works best for me.
Edited by JanaCanada On January 27, 2013 10:00 AM
January 27, 2013 10:00 AM
P.S. - When I'm not exercising and only have 1200 calories to work with, each meal is pretty close to the same calorie count (300). But the last 2 meals of the day are bigger if I've earned exercise calories.
January 27, 2013 10:02 AM
I have to stay within 1400 or under and split my meals like so:

Breakfast: 300
Lunch: 500
Dinner: 400
Snacks: 200
January 27, 2013 10:33 AM
Depends how hungry you are for each meal. For me, I eat around 2000-2200 per day and I usually end up splitting it something like this:

Bkfst: 300 cals

Snack: 200 cals

Lunch: 500 cals

Snack: 200 cals

Dinner: 500-600 cals

Dessert/snack: (whatever's left) around 200-400.

I thought about having a bigger breakfast around 500 calories but I am just not THAT hungry first thing in the morning...
January 27, 2013 10:37 AM
I typically eat about half my calories between breakfast, lunch and mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, then the other half at dinner and an evening snack. Dinner alone is usually about 1200 calories.
Edited by LorinaLynn On January 27, 2013 10:37 AM
January 27, 2013 10:39 AM
i feel as if i can go the day finishing way below my daily calorie allowance. does anyone else?
January 27, 2013 10:39 AM
It doesn't matter to me as long as I have no more than 45g of carbs at the meal.
January 27, 2013 10:41 AM
does anyone else feel that they are eating way too much even thought they stay within their calorie limit
January 27, 2013 10:42 AM
breakfast - 250

lunch- 300

dinner- 700

snacks - 300

dessert - 200

drinks - 450
January 27, 2013 10:45 AM
Breakfast 200-300
Snack 100-200
Lunch 300-400
Snack 100-200
Dinner 400-500
Snack 100-200

So... 1200-1800 cal.

I am working on maintaining now, so I strive for the higher end and may tuck in some extra calories at the end of the day to get closer to the higher end. When I was at 1200 I did stay with the lower cal intake for each 'meal'. I do find that 6 'meals' per day works best for me.
January 27, 2013 11:57 AM
I think it would not matter how much you eat per meal as long as you do not go over your daily goal. However, that can cange if you have a workout that requires you to fuel up in adavance. For ex, if I go out for a 30-40 mile bike ride, I like to eat a larger breakfast. And for sure need to bring snacks.

During the work week, I eat the same Breakfast nearly every day (I LOVE MFP's Remember Meal feature) which is just under 400 cals. Then most of the time, the same Lunch which is around 300 cals (unless I go out with work friends). Snacks are usually 100-150 cals. Which leaves 600-650 for dinner. Dinner is determined by what I ate for lunch but is typically my largest calorie meal. Breakfast may change slightly on weekends, so meal totals can vary but the daily goal total ends up the same.

Breakfast ~400
Lunch ~300
Snack ~100-150
Dinner ~600-650
Edited by Luv2ChewBaca On January 27, 2013 11:57 AM
January 27, 2013 12:38 PM
As many as you like . . .?

I do IF and regularly consume 1000 calorie or more meals (still staying at an overall deficit for the day, of course) and it's worked very well for me
January 27, 2013 6:44 PM

does anyone else feel that they are eating way too much even thought they stay within their calorie limit


And why would you want to? You have to eat to lose.


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