Some people swear by intermittent fasting, others say that 5+ meals a day are the way to go to keep your metabolism up. Is one better advice than the other or Can they both be good advice for different situations? If they can both be good advice for different situations then in what situations would IF be right and in what situations would 5+ meals a day be good advice.
asked byStephen_4 (10989)
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on April 25, 2013
at 12:38 AM
Here are is a more in depth answer.
I have done "Leangains" feeding window and meals, and have also done 5 small meals. I like the latter more based on both it's physical effects and its compatibility with my lifestyle.
Here is why I like about Leangains: Firstly, Leangains is "cutting edge," so I just felt like I was ahead of the game when doing it. In fact, that's the only thing that attracted me to it in the first place.
Here's what I did not like about Leangains: Firstly, the huge meals. I just don't like feeling stuffed. I believe there is some true wisdom in that we should eat until satisfied, not full. Leangains, stretches my stomach and I don't like that. Secondly, due to the nature of my workouts, I feel better when I get to eat before and after, and I also workout daily and do A LOT of NEPA (non exercise physical activity), especially in the Spring and summer- eating the majority of my cals late in afternoon and into the night just doesn't fuel my activities...and I don't like going to bed full either (much less at any other time of day). Thirdly, it's incompatible with my lifestyle. Just way too obsessive and inconvenient for me. I like to go out to lunch and dinner with friends and on dates, and ordering giant meals is going to cause a scene. I also like that I can eat the typically small restaurant portions and be satisfied.
So, yeah, leangains is not for me. That being said, I don't mind missing a meal here or there and don't stress about it. That's my INTERMITTENT fast.
Why I like 5 small meals: For the freedom it gives. I can just eat clean 24/7 and not stress about missing a meal or be a pain when going out to eat with friends. I can also fuel my workouts more appropriately. I can also not feel full. Some people like that feeling, but I don't. So for me I like 5 small meals. 5 small meals means things like oatmeal with eggs/egg whites, chicken/fish with greens and sweet potato. Salads with meat/fish on top. I like that better, as opposed to literally a pound of meat in one sitting along with a bunch of roots and then a giant 3 scoop casein protein fluff. It's just too ridiculous FOR ME. I don't like it.
In the end, the lesson is you have to do what works for you, and by works for you I mean is (1) flexible (2) compatible with your lifestyle and (3) allows to consistently meet your calories/macros/nutrient timing desires.
For me that's just eating "clean" 24/7, 365. Not obessing about meal timing but fueling my activities and being mindful of portions and nutrient timing.
Do what makes you happy :)
on April 24, 2013
at 11:54 PM
Definitely NOT 7 meals a day..but not 1 either..:) id say for most people depending on their schedules and when they workout a smaller feeding window (around 6-8 hours) with 2-3 meals would work best. Inbetweeny :)
on April 24, 2013
at 11:21 PM
I think eating more often leads to food obsession, because (for me anyway) you always have to plan ahead and make time to eat (I mean 5 times a day is a lot of different times to eat) and I find I never satisfy myself with the portion sizes... I think fasting is better because it gives your body a rest, and I don't think that the effect of regular eating on metabolism is really substantial enough to bother... I suppose if you were to get into what situations best for each, I would say fast on busy days...That way you won't be preoccupied with hunger, and on days of rest you could eat more regularly? It's really your own call :) Everyone is different :)
on April 24, 2013
at 10:56 PM
I IF because I still have some weight to lose. I'm not all crazy about it, and if I feel hungry I eat. As long as my energy is good then I feel it's good for my metabolism. I admit that I primarly read pro IF sites, but in the past, before paleo, trying 5+ meals was difficult, and I prefer eating to fullness in one go, not to just not as hungry repeatedly. IF just feels more natural to my body.
As for anyone else, I think that once you start paying real attention to your body, you know what it needs. And for some, that may very well be five or more meals a day. I don't think it's one size fits all.