Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How many meals a day?

The more you read about nutrition, the more confused you will become. This is just a fact. I have been studying health and nutrition (this includes holistic nutrition, alternative medicine, nutrition for fitness, etc.) on my own for the past 5 years. Then I finally decided to take courses to become a certified Health Coach. I love learning about the variety of dietary theories that exist, but they are just that : THEORIES. No one know what will work 100% of the time as there are always exceptions to every rule. However, this is where common sense comes in. We know eating vegetables is better for you than eating candy. We also know that while Atkins, Raw Foods, Macrobiotics, etc, might work for one person, it may not work for another. So it's important to tune in and listen to what makes your body happy!

A lot of people ask me how many times a day they should be eating. Some "nutrition experts" say 3 square meals a day, while others say eat 6 times a day. This is HUGE difference!

If you follow Ayurvedic Medicine, they say it is best to eat 3 meals a day, without any snacks. Lunch is the largest meal of the day and should be consumed between 12pm-2pm because this is when the digestive fires are the strongest. Dinner should be the lightest meal and eaten early between, ideally between 5-7pm.

Then there is what I call "Eating for Fitness." This is how many body builders, fitness competitors and those trying to eat for specific fitness goals feel is what keeps their metabolism going the best: They eat 5-6 smaller meals a day, spaced about 2-3 hours apart. Those eating for fitness try to balance carbs, proteins and fats, but usually put a greater emphasis on protein intake and try to get a certain amount of protein at each meal. This way of eating is similar to those who "graze" throughout the day.

Personally, I feel that every day is different, so it would be very difficult for anyone to restrict themselves to one way of eating. Some days you wake up earlier than others, therefore you may need to stick a snack in somewhere. Some days you may have an intense workout and need more food to fuel yourself. Other days you may sit on the coach all day and have a lazy day (no shame, we all do!), so these days you might just eat 3 meals. It all depends, but I know that if I listen to my body it will tell me exactly what it needs.

What works best for you? Are you the type of person that has 3 meals a day without snacks? Or are you a grazer and have smaller meals throughout the day?

*Just a little side note, I added a "Book Shelf" page so you can check out some of the books that I have recently read


  1. Hey love!!!

    Oh I get so confused over how many meals, how often, etc.... !!!!

    I usually eat 3 meals and one snack, the snack is in between lunch and dinner, if Im hungry for it!

    It really just depends, my day meal plans change, depends how active I am on a day, or if no workout, bottom line, I listen to my body!

    Have a great day! xoxo

  2. YES!! It ALL comes down to the individual!!! My friend went to IIN, she has been giving me info about going...I feel like I have independently been studying all the theories since I was 12, LOL. I could of written Josh's book, but probably not as well as he did ;-)

    I usually eat 4-5 times a day, I like to graze, but it varys depending on my schedule and activity level, hunger, etc!

    GREAT POST!!!!