'Dad, you can't compete with a cow... you don't have 4 stomachs.'
Should we adopt a more regular frequency of 3-4 meals a day opposite to grazing, or that doesn't matter?
Is the stomach under stress if someone is grazing? Are there any drawbacks to it, physically, due to the stress imposed on it (if there is any), and psychologically, due to grhelin hormone, if you decide to go from grazer > "normal" paleo, and have 3 meals a day, but your little ghrelin just makes you hungry between meals because you were used to grazing?
I used to have 6-8 meals a day, like father like son heh, then went to 3, then 2 meals, then back to 3. This was while going Paleo. BUT what about someone who isn't paleo, and wants to go from grazing, like my father, to 3 squares while being high carb and non paleo?
Another question I wonder... what if... just what if you're a kind of paleo grazer? Let me explain: suppose you just eat some berries in the morning because you're not that hungry. Then you eat some tubers one hour later. Then you have a good size meal yet one or two hours later, and your next meal after that is 7 hours later and so on and so on (eat when you're hungry or what have you). And suppose you mix this up and never have a set schedule every day. How would this affect your patterns, would you feel more hungry, less hungry etc?
asked byJonas (395)
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on November 13, 2011
at 04:44 PM
It really just depends on what works for you. Do not tell a competitive athlete to not graze, there's no way they're getting in 6000+kcal in 3 meals in any reasonable manner.
At the same time, a lot of people find they do best on 3-4 meals. It helps control hunger, and keeps excess snack calories down. This is especially true if they are not involved in a lot of heavy training or are trying to lose weight.
Not to mention, if dietary fats are kept very low, a high meal frequency will probably better control hunger due to better blood glucose control and the fast gastric emptying. Since most people here have moderate to heavy consumption of fat, they can likely get away with eating less often.
So, it really just depends on you and your goals. If snacking helps you achieve your goals, then there's nothing wrong with it. Conversely if it is getting in the way of your goals, it might be something to look at.
E: And ghrelin becomes entrained to meal patterns after a while, so whatever you do your body will get used to (to an extent).
on November 13, 2011
at 05:12 PM
There have been studies showing both methods (3 meals with no snacks/5-6 small meals) have positive benefits. It could be that it depends on the person; it could be that it depends on the diet. It could be something else entirely. At this point we really don't have enough information to know what's best as a general rule for everyone. But, each person can experiment to find out what works best for them and their particular goals.
Personally, I would be more concerned about the quality of the food than the frequency of eating. If he is open to dietary changes I would start with more paleo foods. Paleo foods are more satiating to most people and many have found switching their diet caused them to stop snacking automatically.