Eating every three hours seems to be as much of a part of the bodybuilding culture /peronal training NYC like curls and crunches. But is it true? I stressed myself out so much (and my environment ) by trying to eat every three hours in roder to avoid going into the dreaded catabolic state. I would bring containers to church, weddings, flights… you name it.
The truth is: you body does not have a stop watch and even if you do not eat every three hours you will not fall apart immediately.
Here is what really matters:
1. Hit your overall macros on a daily and weekly basis. Consistency is key; meal timing a very distant second or third.
How to go about macros? Good question: basically people fall into two categories: wanting to gain weight or lose weight. If gaining weight is your goal, multiply your bodyweight by 15 to get a caloric baseline. If you want to shed fat, take it by 10.
So, let’s say you are 180 lbs. and want to lose fat.
180 lbs x 10 gives you 1,800 calories for a day.
From here on, you set the protein as 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and fat at 0.3 grams; carbs are the rest.
This means 1 gram x 180 = 180 grams of protein. In calories, at 4 calories per gram, 4 calories x 180 = 720 calories from protein.
For fat, 0.3 grams x 180 = 60 grams of fat. In calories, at 9 calories per gram, 9 calories x 60 = 540 calories from fat.
To get the carbs: 1,800 – 720 – 540 = 540 calories of carbs. At 4 calories per gram, 540 calories / 4 = 130 grams of carbs.
Obviously, the person trying to gain mass would get to eat more carbs and protein.
2. Do not take longer eating breaks than 6 hours (that’s right, I do not recommend intermittent fasting) as you will get too hungry and eat everything in sight).
3. What about the thermic effect of food? Here is the thing: a few smaller meals will give smaller rises of the basic metabolic rate due to the digestive action, whereas a few big meals will give… you guessed it: bigger bumps. The net sum is the same.
If you are a smaller individual and you are only consuming 1,500 calories, a 5-6 meal approach with 300 calories per meal is not all that satisfying. Someone bigger taking in 5,000 calories plus, will obviously needs multiple meals to achieve that goal, causing a higher meal frequency.Till next time!