I eat 6 TIMES a day , that is not the same as 6 MEALS. My day goes like this :
I eat about every three hours , most snacks are about one hundred calories or less , and everything is counted in my calorie amount for the day, snacks could be Non Fat Yogurt, Laughing Cow Cheese maybe on a WASA cracker , an apple or orange , Sugar free Jello, Sugar free pudding , anything your mind can dream up will work . This keeps me from becoming ravenous and wanting to eat anything thst doesn't move .
The ONLY "diet" that has ever worked for me is eating 6 (sometimes 7) times a day. It really gets your metabolism going. Every time you eat, your metabolism sort of revs up to burn what you ate...so if you are only eating small amounts, guess what? You start burning stored calories! It works really well for me. I don't count calories at all, I just sort of use common sense, honestly. I eat fruits and vegetables every day and also make sure to get protein and dairy. It's pretty simple.
I lost 30 pounds in around 2 months with this plan and it's easy.
I eat 6 times a day, but as Bargoo said, not the same as 6 meals. I'm following kind of a set plan at the moment (which works well).
Breakfast: egg/egg whites, roll & jam OR waffle & syrup, citrus (orange OR grapefruit) <-- 300-350 cals
Snack: beef jerky (108) OR protein cake (78)
Lunch: wrap with lettuce, mustard, smoked turkey/beef/pork/chicken (I rotate) OR soup with rolls, apple <-- 400-450 cals
Snack: hummus/flatbread (164) OR 1oz bag of chips (150) (halloween leftovers)
Dinner: various, anywhere between 450-750 cals (aiming towards the low end, but not freaking out on the high days) includes a salad as well
Snack: fruit salad, piece of protein cake <--- 174 cals
Oh, and on days I lift weights I add a small protein shake with a little fruit (150 cals)
I'm definitely proof that 'no eating after ____' doesn't apply. That evening snack is a must for me. It's taken less than 30 minutes before I go to bed, but it keeps me out of the kitchen. I think the thing to watch is the total number of calories. If you're going to eat 6 times a day it's not simply adding three snacks, it's about balancing your total intake better.
I just checked - without dinner I eat between 1121 cals and 1271 cals. I do try and make the lighter choices on days I'm having a higher calorie dinner though. It generally works out between say 1650 and 1900 calories a day, plus the protein shake 4x a week, which for me works well (ie. I still lose weight on it and I don't always feel like I'm dieting).
Like the ladies above, I eat 6 or more times per day, but not what most people would call meals. Basically I take the same foods most would eat for a meal and but divide it up. For example breakfast in the past would have been cereal and milk with cup of fruit or juice. Now I don't have the fruit serving generally until 2 hours after "breakfast". I actually started eating this way before dieting to get more servings of fruit and veg in. I found if I had those foods with my meals, I just didn't eat enough of them.
Sometimes people say 5 or 6 meals but really mean 3 meals plus small snacks.
But sometimes they really do mean 5 or 6 meals. The thing is, though, that they are much smaller meals. It can take a little practice to get used to eating a small quantity and stopping, but it's a nice feeling.
Started 4/14/08 LINK TO PROGRESS PICS 1/1/2009
"It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably" Epicurus
My approach is to eat very small meals and, like caryesings, to splinter meal components. I think I eat 5 times a day - breakfast (about 200-300 calories), early lunch (about 300 calories), snack (100-200 calories), snack (100-200 calories), small dinner (400-500 calories). My goal at present is to land in the 1400-1600 calorie range. My day is divided like this due to work and a long lag between lunch and dinner.
My schedule doesn't allow for a better distribution, but this really helps from becoming ravenous. I still get hungry. In fact, I don't eat lunch until my stomach is really grumbling away, but I never find the need to start shoveling any food I can find in my mouth.
For me, this method really helps to stick with very small portion sizes as well which has slowly made my stomach size shrink to the point where I'm uncomfortable eating a full-size meal. I have about 8 oz. of coffee and a very small portion of some carbohydrate for breakfast (a tiny scone, 2 palm-size pancakes, 1 slice of wheat toast).
Lunch is usually soup, vegetables, and whatever I feel like for protein - sometimes chicken or tuna salad. Sometimes I just have a chef's salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, whatever meat is on hand, dressing, and croutons. I occasionally have one small slice of frozen pizza (about 150 calories). I also like having hummus as a spread on toasted whole wheat bread then topped with thin tomato slices with salt and pepper if I have hummus on hand. For a slightly more decadent version, I'll sprinkle the hummus with pine nuts instead of using tomatoes.
Snacks are an ounce of cheese and pretzels, a fruit smoothie with frozen bananas, a piece of fruit, etc. The cheese and pretzels combination is particularly gratifying. One ounce of cheese and one serving of pretzels is 220 calories (18 mini pretzels) and will really fill a grumbling belly for the duration.
The key is mainly eating small and paying attention to every bite. You enjoy the food more and your body adjusts tot he small portions. I scaled down the meal sizes in increments so I wouldn't be fighting so hard at the start. It also helps to use small plates that look full instead of your normal dinnerware. Acres of blank plate fool you into thinking you're eating very little.
I eat six smaller meals a day, not snacks in between but actual meals. Like some of the ladies have said, it revs up your metabolism and I'm never really hungry. I also don't count calories, it works for some people but it never did for me and you have to remember that not all calories are created equal! Some (from fats) are worse that others.
I learned about eating smaller meals when I started following the Eat-Clean diet. That's what it calls for and it's worked very well for me. I eat every 2-3 hours but it does take a lot of planning in advance because I prepare all my meals and make sure there's no added preservatives in them and that there's lean protein and complex carbs in almost every meal.
Here's an example of my meal plan:
Meal 1: 3 Hard Boiled egg whites with quinoa and fruit (this morning I used frozen mixed berries) and coffee with skim milk
Meal 2: Sliced carrots, cucumber, and red peppers w/ hummus
Meal 3: Black beans stir-fried with mushrooms, green onions, and tomatoes, 1/4 cup brown rice & green tea.
Meal 4: Banana with 1 tsbp almond butter spread on whole wheat wrap.
Meal 5: Chicken with 1/2 sweet potato and green beans or mixed green salad(with balsamic vinegar)
Meal 6: Apple and a handful of raw almonds
I also make sure to drink water with every meal (and in-between) and a lot of my meal ideas come from the Eat-Clean Diet Books.