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Another question about eating 5-6 times a day versus once a day.

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Old 03-29-2007, 11:23 PM   #1
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Unhappy Another question about eating 5-6 times a day versus once a day.

I'm just full of questions today, aren't I? I hope it's alright. I can imagine someone asking this question in the past but... I guess I want answers for myself.

My problem is this.

I have this FEAR in my head that I really shouldn't be eating 5-6 mini meals a day, even if the total calories might range between 1200-1500, more or less, depending on your need. I don't have a problem counting calories. But I feel like if I ate 5-6 times a day, no way would I lose weight.

Now get this.

I think to myself that if I ate a normal sized meal just once a day, I'd lose weight. And it's true, I do. But I know I cannot do that. That's a surefire way of binging later. And yet I can't bring myself out of that mentality.

I know several mini-meals a day, while keeping calories in mind, works. It's worked for so many people here. But why do I feel like it won't work for me? Why am I being so stupid?

I realize I have to get this off my chest. If I don't I'll never have the facts I want or make peace with my body and start to lose weight in a healthy manner.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:24 PM   #2
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Eating once a day will work for me if I keep at it. But that's just it. I can't keep to it. Not due to lack of motivation. But because life just doesn't work that way. And besides, eating that one meal a day, I get to eat whatever I want (especially the stuff that's so bad for me), thinking, hey, it's only 500-800 calories, I can get away with it.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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I eat 5-6 mini meals per day on my diet. Generally breakfast, lunch, dinner and 3 "snacks". I use that word loosely, because my morning snack often has more calories than my breakfast. On the South Beach diet, you are supposed to eat 5-6 times a day. The theory is it keeps your blood sugar stable and keeps you from feeling hungry. It's easier to keep from feeling starving when you know you have another small meal or snack coming soon.

Some people have better success with only eating 3 meals a day and maybe one snack. It might be easier for you to think less about food and only eat 3 times a day. Just don't try only eating once, by the evening you'll be so hungry you'll probably eat everything in sight. It's hard to control yourself when you're over-hungry. I can never make sensible food choices if I've gone too long without eating.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:35 PM   #4
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No, of course you can't keep at that. The reason for eating 5 -6 times a day, is to keep your metabolisim moving, keep your blood sugar levels steady, provide you with energy throughout the day and to keep your stomach full and from grumbling. For me it also works just knowing that when I'm done eating that in just another short 2 hours or so I get to eat some more. This is what keeps me on plan. You can not possibly lose all the weight that is needed and then MAINTAIN that forever and ever by eating just one meal a day. That is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure.

500- 800 calories of junk is a terrible idea. First of all you should never go below 1200 calories a day. But they have to be highly nutrious calories, so that you get all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fiber that your body needs to function properly.

The key to success is to look at this as a lifestyle. Something that will continue on forever and ever. Not just some quick "diet" with a beginning and an end. Then what happens when it does end? You go back to your old ways and before you know it you've packed on the pounds again, maybe even more.

Do please, fear not. Eat 5 - 6 times a day, every 2 1/2 - 3 hours or so. And make each meal/snack full of protein, fiber and vitamins.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:40 PM   #5
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Robin said it very well! The only thing I might add is anything worth having (good health and a new lifestyle) is going to take effort and time. Old habits die hard and new habits don't form overnight. Keep at it, and in time you will have a new mindset of eating 5-6 small meals. It is just something you have to keep at until it is a new way of life for you.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:41 PM   #6
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I agree with the others - eat 5-6 times per day. You'll feel more satisfied in the long run than with that one binge meal/day.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
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Dawn - I had the same fear as you. I think the fear lies more in that maybe I've gotten so far out of it that NOTHING is going to work for me. Even if it is working for others. At least, that's what I was feeling. Try it for a while and once you see that it DOES start working it will change your fears. At least, that's what happened to me.
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:02 AM   #8
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I eat 2 and for me that works
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:14 PM   #9
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Here's the thing (and I've not conducted any scientific studies or anything, so this is just based on what I've read/researched/experienced firsthand)--if you only eat that 800 calories once a day and you lose weight at a good rate, then that's all well and good, but why would you do that if you can have MORE calories by eating more times throughout the day and still lose weight at about the same rate? Based on what I understand of how our bodies work, I'm assuming that if you only eat once or twice a day, your metabolism is going to be SLOWER. Eating many times a day keeps your body awake and energized and constantly metabolizing what you put into it. By forcing your body to only process food/nutrients once or twice a day, you have allllll those other hours of the day where your body's processing parts/processes are just sitting there doing NOTHING. Therefore, the more often you eat, the more calories you burn throughout the day, and the more calories you can eat and still lose weight at about the same rate (within reason, of course--I'm saying to spread your alotted calories out, not to eat more calories all the time).

Does that make sense to anyone else?
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:49 PM   #10
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I am not a professional of course, but you have some pretty unhealthy ideas about food/eating. You might want to speak to a professional (a therapist or registered dietician) who can help you have a better relationship with food. You shouldn't be afraid to eat more than 1 meal a day!

If it helps at all, I eat at least 6 times a day and I lost over 70 lbs and I have kept it off for 2 years. It is more than a possibility, it is a fact for a lot of people. Some people prefer 3 meals a day and that is fine too.
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Old 03-30-2007, 03:25 PM   #11
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I too, feared that nothing would work. Even when I began what I am doing, I didn't think it would work. This is what it is:

It all came from a change in attitude. Realizing losing weight isn't the goal. Freaky, I know. Counter-intuitive. Losing weight is just this: it's just a method of tracking progress toward the goal. The goal for me (and I assume for all of us) is to be healthy and energetic, and as comfortable in my body as possible.

I couldn't be any of those things by eating loads of nutrient-lacking foods daily, as I was doing.

So I made a bunch of decisions.

1 - I would do my best to give my body what it needed, and wanted.
2 - To do (1), I would give it healthy, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible.
3 - To do (2), I would eat whenever I was hungry.
4 - As part of doing (1), I would stop eating when I was satisfied.
5 - To keep (4) from being fearsome (omg, what if I get hungry again two hours later!), I would eat more healthy, nutritious food even if I had eaten only two hours ago, or even one. Whenever I felt hungry.
6 - I could eat whatever I wanted. Foods that didn't nourish my body I would naturally limit, as the primary goal was nourishment.
7 - I would not fret over numbers on the scale. I would not deny that I wanted the numbers to go down, but if I ate in the manner of (1) through (6) for a while and the numbers did NOT go down, I would begin considering other options.
8 - I would accept that there are ALWAYS other options. No matter what I tried, if it didn't work, there would always be a way to adjust or change my methods. It was a long-term project, an experiment. If one thing doesn't work, try something else. Use the scientific method.
9 - I would accept that there is no failure. One only fails when they stop trying.

You want a healthy body. There's no one way to achieve that. There's no failure in trying. If your mind still thinks one meal a day is the way to go, try it for a while. If you end up bingeing, understand that it's not a moral failure, but rather your body telling you something. When one meal a day does not work, try something else. Love and nourish your body; it wants to work with you, not against you.
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:24 PM   #12
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Luminous said it better than I ever could. I was eating 3-5 small meals a days during the week and have switched to 3. On the weekend since I am not locked into a routine I don't eat more than once or twice a day and I know I was eating 1500 or less. I've lost 28 lbs.

I think you need to do what works for you. Everyone can offer advice, but in the end you need to decide what works for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luminous View Post
I too, feared that nothing would work. Even when I began what I am doing, I didn't think it would work. This is what it is:

It all came from a change in attitude. Realizing losing weight isn't the goal. Freaky, I know. Counter-intuitive. Losing weight is just this: it's just a method of tracking progress toward the goal. The goal for me (and I assume for all of us) is to be healthy and energetic, and as comfortable in my body as possible.

I couldn't be any of those things by eating loads of nutrient-lacking foods daily, as I was doing.

So I made a bunch of decisions.

1 - I would do my best to give my body what it needed, and wanted.
2 - To do (1), I would give it healthy, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible.
3 - To do (2), I would eat whenever I was hungry.
4 - As part of doing (1), I would stop eating when I was satisfied.
5 - To keep (4) from being fearsome (omg, what if I get hungry again two hours later!), I would eat more healthy, nutritious food even if I had eaten only two hours ago, or even one. Whenever I felt hungry.
6 - I could eat whatever I wanted. Foods that didn't nourish my body I would naturally limit, as the primary goal was nourishment.
7 - I would not fret over numbers on the scale. I would not deny that I wanted the numbers to go down, but if I ate in the manner of (1) through (6) for a while and the numbers did NOT go down, I would begin considering other options.
8 - I would accept that there are ALWAYS other options. No matter what I tried, if it didn't work, there would always be a way to adjust or change my methods. It was a long-term project, an experiment. If one thing doesn't work, try something else. Use the scientific method.
9 - I would accept that there is no failure. One only fails when they stop trying.

You want a healthy body. There's no one way to achieve that. There's no failure in trying. If your mind still thinks one meal a day is the way to go, try it for a while. If you end up bingeing, understand that it's not a moral failure, but rather your body telling you something. When one meal a day does not work, try something else. Love and nourish your body; it wants to work with you, not against you.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:57 AM   #13
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I eat three meals a day. I don't do snacks. However, my lunch and dinner are good-sized so that I don't have problems feeling hungry 3 hours later. I just prefer to eat larger meals for lunch and dinner, rather than smaller meals more often. If I ate more often, I'd have to eat smaller meals at those times. I would never eat less than 3x/day because then I'd be going hungry for a while, and I like to eat when I'm hungry!
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tara D View Post
I eat three meals a day. I don't do snacks. However, my lunch and dinner are good-sized so that I don't have problems feeling hungry 3 hours later. I just prefer to eat larger meals for lunch and dinner, rather than smaller meals more often. If I ate more often, I'd have to eat smaller meals at those times. I would never eat less than 3x/day because then I'd be going hungry for a while, and I like to eat when I'm hungry!

I am with you, I eat two meals a day and maybe a fruit snack, for me eating 6 times a day is crazy, why be in the ref...that many times a day, really research has nothing to do with my choices, Because you know your own body, and you need to do what is right....Why listen to Researchers,, I remember them telling us our Meds, smoking and other item were safe....now there are sooo many class action suits, its just crazy...
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