What is all the hub-ub about meal timing? Do I need to eat every 2-3 hours?
This has been a hot topic for decades. Bodybuilders of the past believed that it was imperative to eat every 2-3 hours, but is this really the case? Let’s examine what frequent eating proponents say:
Skipping Meals causes:
1) Decrease in T3 hormone
2) Insulin levels to be all over the place (negatively effecting fat loss)
3) Protein tissues to break down, causing muscle loss
4) Slowing of metabolism
Does it really? Is there any evidence backing this up? Not much, what you’ll see is anecdotal evidence. People will follow this method because that’s the way bodybuilders of old (and mostly of present) do it. They follow it because some jacked guy at the gym does it and says that is his secret to success.
Fortunately though, as of late, we have seen a gradual shift in this thinking. Recent studies indicate that the most important aspect of a diet is adhering to the diet, and hitting your caloric goals, NOT how often you eat. In fact there is a new revolution happening in bodybuilding called Intermittent Fasting. There are many variations of it, but the basic premise of it states that you eat all or nearly all of your calories within a small window, say 4-8 hours. The rest of the day you ‘fast’. You can drink water, but you don’t eat. What type of results are being reported? Just check out Eat Stop Eat or Lean Gains and see. People are getting as ripped with this method as they are with the old, eat every 3 hour method.
In fact, there are numerous studies that back up the whole meal timing theory is a fallacy. A great article ‘debunking’ these myths can be found a HERE.
Bottom line, do what will allow you to follow your diet, and stick to it. If that means you eat every 3 hours, then go for it. If that means you eat once per day and save all your calories, then do it! Just don’t expect one to be the ‘silver bullet’ if you will.