How Many Meals Per Day?
Have to eat every 2 hours to speed up the metabolism right? Well, no! This is just more bro science and has no real scientific merit.
Meal frequency has been shown to have no impact on your metabolic rate. However having regular meals containing protein will facilitate muscle protein synthesis (the process of building muscle). Generally we want to spread your daily protein targets over 4+ meals per day.
Having a meal (or at least a snack) before you train is also beneficial. This will give your body the energy required to push harder in your workouts and not “gas out” half way through.
If your personal preference or lifestyle dictates that you are only eating 3 meals per day, the world is not going to end. Realistically you could only eat one meal per day, (if it contained all of your macronutrient requirements) although this would not be optimal and difficult to maintain.
Personally we like to eat around 5 meals or so per day as this is our personal preference. A normal day for us would generally look something like this:
5:00am – Meal 1
9:00am – Meal 2
12:00 noon – Meal 3
3:30pm – Meal 4 (Pre Workout)
6:30/7:00 – Meal 5
This gives us a good distribution of our protein and works well with our lifestyle.
But what about Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent Fasting is classified as a period of time where calories are and aren’t consumed. A beginners fasting schedule may look like 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of consumption.
IF can be utilised as a tool in aiding with fat loss, if it is something that you enjoy or fits in with your lifestyle.
Remember at the end of the day it all comes down to your energy balance. Some people may find it easier to follow IF protocols as it will stop them from snacking during the day and they can eat larger meals later on.
Although this can also be detrimental if you find yourself so hungry that you end up over eating (binging) at the end of your fasting period.
We suggest that you try a few different methods and find out what works for you. It should become less of a diet and more of a lifestyle. If you are able to remain consistent then continue what you are doing and try not to over complicate things.