Weight Loss Support - Eating Times - Just a curious question

08-10-2009, 03:27 PM
I was having a discussion about this earlier with someone and would like any input from others so here goes -

Say you are alotting yourself 1500 calories a day. Say you decide to eat all those calories in 2 meals. Will that affect your weight loss any different than if you are to spread it over the course of the entire day?

08-10-2009, 03:32 PM
I don't know about how it would affect weight loss. I do know that I have tried that and ended up getting light headed. I think having just 2 meals caused my blood sugar to go low and then spike high. My hunger was also more difficult to control.

Eating at regular intervals works well for me.

Just my 2 cents worth.

08-10-2009, 03:36 PM
one, thats kind of how i eat...i dont even feel hungry til about 2 pm...then again at about 7 pm...i eat at 2pm and 8 pm so from 7 to 8 i get pretty hungry but its only a short time...this works for me...i really believe its calories in vs calories burned

08-10-2009, 03:38 PM
In theory it's not likely going to make a difference. As much as I like the idea (2 big meals) I wouldn't likely be able to stop myself from eating at other times. Having said that, I know a couple of people who have had success with a form of 'Eat Stop Eat' or who literally eat all their calories within a short window period.

For most people, without any medical complications, I believe it's really just a case of calories in vs. calories burned.

08-10-2009, 03:40 PM
Not if the calories are the same.

However, I personally find that eating that way makes me hungrier and tends to cause me to make bad choices, or eat unhealthy things because I "had the calories" for it. I went through a period in my early 20's where I'd basically starve myself all day, then eat Taco Bell at night because it was within my calories...not a healthy way of eating for sure!

08-10-2009, 03:43 PM
SO many theories about this -- one is that if you have alot of small meals you keep your "metabolism" going because you are digesting. However, if you have a meal, then exercise, blood will be diverted from digestion to your muscles, so you haven't really 'revved" anything up. Another other theory is that if you eat two meals, the excess calories not needed at that time will "turn to fat" as they will be stored, making you fat. However, when you need the calories, your body will get them from that stored energy in any event...

My personal view is that you can find research on both sides of the issue. The ONLY thing that is important is that you decide what will work for YOU and stick with it. For some, constant grazing is the way to go. For others, 3 meals a day. For me, I often have 2 meals a day because of when I exercise (I'll have a banana 3 hours before yoga, so that's my meal for that time of day)...I haven't had any bad side effects, but if I was super hungry in the off-eating hours then clearly this wouldn't work for me and I'd spread out my meals more evenly...

Clear as mud, huh...



08-10-2009, 03:46 PM
I don't know what SCIENCE has to say on the matter. In my experience, weeks where I have been careful to spread my calories out throughout the day are the weeks that I see a solid loss.

If I eat all my calories, say, between 1pm to 8pm, I still lose, but it's not as big of a loss.

I think you just have to figure out how your body responds to each method.

08-10-2009, 03:48 PM
For me, I have to spread it over the whole day or I end up binging. The person I was talking with said it wouldn't make a difference weight loss-wise as long as you were staying in your caloric intake amount for the day - if you ate it in 6 meals or even just one. I couldn't try it like that as I would end up back at 330 pounds and we can't have that, can we? :nono: :D

I always love getting the different opinions and feedback on this forum so lemme say thanks to all ya'll :)

08-10-2009, 03:51 PM


08-10-2009, 03:55 PM
Aww Kira huggies for me :D :hug::hug:

08-10-2009, 04:10 PM
My concern would be that my metabolism would slow down from not eating frequently. I know that if I don't eat by 4 pm say, I feel horrible and foggy and tired, and I presume that's because I'm using less energy. I don't really know, though. The times I've lost weight I was eating a really small amount three meals a day, but I don't know whether it would have gone better or I could have eaten more if I'd spread it out more.

08-10-2009, 04:42 PM
Having PCOS I am very sure my doctor would kill me if I tried to do that. It's very crucial I eat every so often to keep my blood sugar stable.

My day is normally:

Up at 6, arrive at work at 7, breakfast between 7:30 and 8 am, lunch at 11:30, snack at 2:30, dinner at 5:30, snack at 7:30-8 pm. Bed at 10:30-11 pm.

I find this totally helps me during the day to eat every 3-4 hours :)

I used to eat 1-2 large meals a day- YEAH didn't work...

08-10-2009, 08:10 PM
I eat 1350 calories per day and exercise frequently. I have been following the advise of Barbara Rolls' book about Volumetrics. I eat four times a day and keep that basically regular: 4:30am wake, 5:15am workout, 6:45am eat (meal 1), 10-10:45am eat (meal 2), 2-2:45pm (meal 3), and 6-6:45pm eat (meal 4).

Lessons Learned:
1) I pace myself with 300-325 calorie meals
2) I keep my hunger, blood surger, etc. balanced and minimal
(if I'm hungry, I look at the clock now and find that "makes sense, it's been about 3-4 hours and time to eat)
3) I've taught myself small portions (my hugest problem since my personal problem has always been appropriate portions)

So, I would recommend eating several times a day. When I begin my maintenance phase, I will only add 50 calories to each meal (i.e., 200 calories per day). If I can add more calories without gaining weight, I'll add a small snack (thus four meals plus a snack evenly paced).

08-10-2009, 08:21 PM
I had the thought that each meal would be about 750 calories, which is a fairly big meal (I supposed depending on what you're choosing to eat).

Eating smaller meals and snacks for me has led me redefine the size of my meals, and to feeling full on smaller meals. I think choosing 2 larger meals would lead me to eating more eventually because I'd go back to considering larger sized meals as a "norm" (I don't think it would be easy for me to eat 2 meals a day, and would go back to 3 meals at some point).

I could see that making my blood sugar spike and dive too, and I'd probably end up reaching for even more food because of the dives.

08-10-2009, 09:45 PM
I've been thinking about this some more. I didn't eat breakfast or lunch for years. (like a decade). I only ate dinner and evening snacks. I was not eating a 2000 calorie dinner, let me assure you. My favorite evening snacks were popcorn and grapes (still are ;) ) I wasn't counting calories, but I wasn't eating triple portions, either.

I went from 145 to 227 eating this way. I think eating all of my calories w/in a handful of hours definitely contributed to the ballooning of my weight. Funny, as I was thinking today about this thread, I realized something. When I would visit my parents (out of state), I usually DROPPED a few pounds. I would always join them for each of their meals. Guess I should have recognized this trend earlier! :lol:

As I said before, I don't have any science to back this up, but from my experience, spreading the calories throughout the day seems to be the way MY body works best.

08-10-2009, 09:47 PM
To my knowledge there haven't been any studies that have shown a substantial benefit of eating frequently when calories are controlled. If two meals a day keeps you satisfied, eat two. If you need six, eat six. Personally, four a day works well for me, so that's what I do :)

08-11-2009, 12:09 AM
A woman loses weight harder than a man, while men can lose more pounds in the same period than women. Someone living in cold climates may lose weight more easily than someone living in warm climates, while a young person can lose weight more easily than older people. Those who have many unnecessary pounds and those who have not done a weight loss diet can loose the first pounds faster than those with fewer unnecessary kilos or «veterans» of weight loss diets.:carrot:

08-11-2009, 12:08 PM
I'm so glad I don't count calories !

Interesting discussion though.


Lori Bell
08-11-2009, 12:36 PM
Here is the deal with me. I have lost weight eating only 2 meals a day, and I have lost weight eating 3 meals a day, I have lost weight eating 3 meals 2 snack, and I have lost weight eating 2 meals and one snack. I have lost weight not eating, I have lost weight eating six tiny meals, and I have lost weight eating every other day, I have lost weight eating cabbage soup...lol (Anyone seeing a pattern here?)

For me, I can lose weight as long as my calories in are less than my calories out. I have, however, figured out after SO MANY trials that I NEED to feel full at least once a day. It is a must. I feel deprived or something weird if I don't have a full feeling. Probably some deep rooted trauma in-vitro...LOL :)

I eat 3 times a day, no snacking. A typical day, (now that I'm in maintaince) would be 400 calories for Breakfast, 500 calories for Lunch and 600 for supper. The weekends are a little higher. I didn't used to ever eat breakfast because I would eat massive amounts of food late at night and I simply was not hungry until noon.