Weight Loss Support - How many hours between meals?

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06-05-2007, 01:47 PM
I never used to really have seperate meals. I'd eat all day whenever.

How many hours is good for between meals so you can last all day on 3 meals?

06-05-2007, 01:58 PM
Hey Gamer!

Well, one of the reasons snacks are a good thing is that regular mealtimes can sometimes be far apart, especially between lunch and dinner. If you are having planned snacks between meals, then you should eat no less than two hours apart (breakfast-2 hrs-snack-2 hrs-snack etc.). You can go longer than that if you feel like it.

If you're sticking to 3 meals, then a minimum of 4 hours between meals. Say, 9 am breakfast, 1 pm lunch, 5 pm dinner.


06-05-2007, 02:01 PM
Jay I think thats wierd because I have to wait longer for my dinner till about 6.30 - 7 because if not then at 10pm im raiding every cobard but gamer I think it is a personal thing and you will find out how long you can go but keep asking your self because you dont want to go into starvation mode.

And if you dont like that option some diets have 6 or 7 small meals a day that are light snacks.
Check that out on the internet somewere Im sure.

06-05-2007, 02:04 PM
I go two to three hours between eating. 7:30am - breakfast, 10am - 100 cal snack, 12am - lunch, 3pm - 150 cal snack, 6pm - dinner. I'm not sure I could go more than 3 hours, 4 tops!

06-05-2007, 02:05 PM
On non-excersize days, I have breakfast at 9am. Then a snack at about 11am. Then lunch is at 1pm. Then i have another snack around 4pm and then I eat dinner at about 6:30. On excersize days, i keep to the same pattern only after gym class at 7pm, i try to have a snack on the way home and then dinner will not be until 8 or 8:30pm. I just always try to have a healthy snack. Usually a banana in the morning and a small box of raisins in the afternoon. The raisins are sweet and are almost like a desert snack. (i noticed raisins are sweet enough to keep me from eating chocolate!!)

06-05-2007, 02:08 PM
i have 3 meals and 3 snacks a day i rarely go more than 3 hours without eating something.

06-05-2007, 02:25 PM
I hate, hate, hate to be hungry. I eat every 2 1/2 hours or so.

06-05-2007, 02:25 PM
Hey there! I have three meals and generally 1-2 snacks during the day. To give you a time scale I generally have my breakfast about 7:30am then i have a piece of fruit about 10am then my lunch at 12. Generally im not peckish through the afternoon, but i have my dinner quite early, i like to eat about 6. Hope this helps!

06-05-2007, 02:32 PM
I eat every 2.5 hours. Sometimes I may go to 3 hours but that is pretty rare.

06-05-2007, 02:48 PM
I'm not sure if 3 meals a day is the best way to go. Here's why:

Each time you eat, your metabolism actually gets a jump start. If you eat several small meals a day, your caloric intake will still be within range without going hours upon hours without eating and getting hunger pains. Hunger pains are not good for you - every time you get an intense hunger pain, your body goes into starvation mode. Starvation mode isn't good because your body will start storing extra fat.

So, here's what I suggest: eat 4-6 small meals a day. I eat every 3 hours, and then switch it up a tad towards the evening. Examples:

8 AM - breakfast - eat an orange and a cup of yogurt
OR a banana, some oatmeal, and some orange juice
OR a bowl of nutritious cereal (like Kashi GoLean crunch or All Bran or something equally high in fiber and nutrients)

11 AM - heavy snack - eat some soup or some vegetables with fat free or homemade dip, or some fruit... apples, oranges, whatever you want - it's your call

2 AM - meal... eat something balanced but nurtitious... that could be anything from things you already ate to making yourself some brown rice, seasoned any way you like... with some tofu or some chicken - something with protein and low fat

5 PM - light snack - eat a piece of fruit or a small bag of dried fruit or a cup of yogurt or... whatever.

7 PM - meal - make yourself a dinner low in fat, low in carbs, and preferrably high in protein. Your call as to what.

9 PM - light snack if you want something to tie you over for the night. I don't highly recommend this, but some people need it. it also depends how early you go to bed.

06-05-2007, 03:57 PM
Here's what I do:
6:30 Breakfast
9:00 or 9:30 Snack
12:00 Lunch
3:00 Snack
6:00 or 6:30 Dinner

I'm never hungry. I always have "filling" snacks that keep me until my next meal. My meals aren't very large either, because of the snacks.

I read in another post someone mentioned snacking at 9pm. I would advise against this, actually. I don't think you should eat within 2 hours of going to bed. I rarely eat after 7:30pm, and I usually go to bed around 10 or 10:30.

06-05-2007, 04:27 PM
Jay I think thats wierd because I have to wait longer for my dinner till about 6.30 - 7 because if not then at 10pm im raiding every cobard but gamer I think it is a personal thing and you will find out how long you can go but keep asking your self because you dont want to go into starvation mode.

The key there was the word minimum. Minimum 4 hours between meals. Obviously if you have a big lunch, you won't be hungry for awhile... :)

Gamerchick has been trying to eat just 3 meals a day. I myself eat 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks. I don't eat a snack if I'm not hungry. I don't eat on the clock, either--but I do try to let the minimum amount of time pass.


06-05-2007, 05:05 PM
I think you'll find lots of variation in the responses, like everything else about trying to lose weight, there isn't really a default that works for everyone. Some prefer to graze on small meals throughout the day, others like a more regimented schedule of what time to eat.

I tend to have 3 meals (around 8:30, 12:30 and 6:30), and 1-3 snacks (10:30, 3 and occasionally right before bed). I'm pretty loose with my schedule, dependent on how busy/hungry I am it may be +/- an hour.

And mirroring some of the other responders, the bigger key is "what to eat" as opposed to "when to eat".

06-06-2007, 01:51 AM
I eat something about every 3 hours.

7:00 am breakfast
Usually 2 Kashi waffles, 1 with natural peanut butter, 1 with jam

10:00 snack
Almost always some sort of berries (around 6 oz, vary the type)

12:00 lunch
Salad with chicken, soup/sandwich, veggie tacos

2:00 snack
Non fat latte

4:00 snack

5:30ish snack
Cut up veggies

7-8:00 dinner
Shrimp stir fry/brown rice, home made sun dried tomato sauce/whole wheat pasta, grilled salmon/sweet potato/steamed vegetable

after dinner: snack if I am hungry (doesn't usually happen)
Baked apple with blueberries, 100 calorie kettle corn snackpack

There is a study that demonstrated that total number of calories per day does matter, but time of day that calories are consumed doesn't matter. There is so much to keep the brain busy with weight loss - don't stress about eating at night/before bed.

06-06-2007, 03:38 AM
If you prefer to save your calories for your big 3 mealtimes AND ARE NOT HUNGRY the rest of the day, that's fine. But don't starve yourself. If you're perpetually hungry, it's not going to work.

06-06-2007, 04:45 AM
I could never survive on just three meals a day. I eat three meals and three to four snacks per day. At least one of my snacks is large enough that it could be considered a small meal. I generally eat every two to three hours. If I wait longer than three hours between eating, I'm starving.

Also, I don't think it matters when you eat. I often have a snack within an hour of going to bed and it doesn't seem to impact my ability to lose weight. I've read that there is no scientific basis to the claim that you shouldn't eat after 8 PM (or whenever). It's all calories in, calories out. The reason people are advised not to eat after a certain time is that people have a tendency to overindulge in the evenings. But if you are eating food that you planned to eat and that fits in your diet, it is fine.

06-06-2007, 05:29 AM
If you're perpetually hungry, it's not going to work.

I think it's worthwhile to learn, really learn, that's okay to become hungry and that one doesn't need to eat everything in sight to then become un-hungry.

06-06-2007, 05:35 AM
I have three meals a day... and thats all. Occaisionally I'll have an apple but thats rare. I eat when I'm hungry but sip water all through the day, and if my tummy tells me i'm hungry I drink water and wait 20 minutes to see whether it's really hunger or not. If I don't sip water all day I'll end up eating all day because when you're thirsty sometimes your tummy tells you you're hungry instead. Once I've had a few sips I know I'm not hungry. But Anyways, its up to you, you'll need to do trials and tests to see what works for you!!

06-06-2007, 05:41 AM
I think it's worthwhile to learn, really learn, that's okay to become hungry and that one doesn't need to eat everything in sight to then become un-hungry.

Well for me, I really don't like to be hungry. So I do my best to avoid it. But, and this is a biggie for me, it takes very, very surprisingly little these days to satisfy me and make me UNhungry. I wouldn't say FULL, but definitely NOT hungry. So I find myself having quite a few "nibbles" during the day. It can be 3 or 4 baby carrots, a small amount of berries, a tiny handful of dry cereal, 3 or 4 pistachio nuts or whatever.

06-06-2007, 08:25 AM
I agree that it's OK to be hungry sometimes--in fact, I have felt hungry now and then during a typical day ever since I got serious with weight loss. In the past I used to snack all the time--not just "a" handful of pistachios, "several" handfuls. It was out of control.

I've discovered that a person doesn't die from feeling a bit hungry and putting off that urge to snack!

And, I now feel hungry much less often than I used to. I think partly that's because I weigh less, but also I think my body has become more accustomed to eating on a loose schedule (and my food is spaced out during the day).


06-11-2007, 09:29 AM
i eat at 8am, 12pm, and 4pm. Every 4 hours.