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How important is eating within a window (as well as meal frequency)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM

I stalled recently. I was still feeling good but my body improvements stopped. I tried IF a few months ago and couldn't handle it but decided to give it another go. The results were great! I have seen steady fat loss over the past few weeks and I look leaner. This got me to thinking.

How much of the obesity epidemic and the various illnesses related to it is due to a large eating window with high meal frequency? The SAD both facilitates (very high sugar/carb and low nutrition) frequent eating and even encourages it (eat 3-5 meals a day with snacking to shudder stroke the metabolic fire).

Obviously I don't think it is just this one factor but snacking and drinking soda (empty calories) throughout the day is new and correlates with the health of America becoming worse.

How many problems that we see today are due to this constant eating throughout the day?

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 11, 2012
at 04:58 PM

So overall, I think *what* we eat is a bigger factor than when or how many hours we go with eating or not eating. I do think, however, that experimenting with IF or compressed feeding windows can be helpful for someone who's trying to tweak those last few pounds and maybe optimize sleep or results from workouts. I don't think it's necessary for the average Joe who wants to lose, say, 50+ pounds. More important to just eat the right foods and not worry about the clock.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 11, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I think you answered your own question: "The SAD both facilitates (very high sugar/carb and low nutrition) frequent eating and even encourages it (eat 3-5 meals a day with snacking to shudder stroke the metabolic fire)." I think there are *a lot* of factors contributing to obesity, but how much, how often, and *what* we eat are probably the biggest. Someone who's very overweight could probably lose some body fat eating in a large time window as long as - like you pointed out - those feedings weren't loaded with sugar and too much starch for their activity levels.

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on June 10, 2012
at 07:00 PM

I agree, feeling truly hungry before eating is awesome.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 10, 2012
at 06:08 PM

+1 great answer. All these points apply to me as well. Also, it allows me to feel hungry (not ravenous) before eating which I think is a healthy feeling to have and makes eating more enjoyable.

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1 Answers

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Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

on June 10, 2012
at 06:03 PM

An eating window, for me, does a few things that are really beneficial...

Firstly it gives my digestive system a huge break. Constantly putting food into the digestive system, never letting it rest, really wears it down in my experience. Now it has a chance to heal, and concentrate enzymes.

Eating out of boredom or habit really makes no sense, and it is an unnecessary burden on my body. Plus eating out of boredom is just silly. Go be active.

Eating in a window means the rest of the day my digestive system requires little blood and energy, allowing more of each to be used on activity. Who wants to throw up during a hard workout or perform less because they have a full stomach.

Those are just benefits. In my opinion there are a lot of drawbacks to eating frequently, too many to list. They're not all just because of meal frequency, but they build on each other and make the situation worse.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 10, 2012
at 06:08 PM

+1 great answer. All these points apply to me as well. Also, it allows me to feel hungry (not ravenous) before eating which I think is a healthy feeling to have and makes eating more enjoyable.

Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

(657)

on June 10, 2012
at 07:00 PM

I agree, feeling truly hungry before eating is awesome.

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