5 or 6 small meals vs. 3 big meals - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-15-2006, 08:37 PM
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Is it true that eating 5 or 6 small meals a day is healthier than 3 large meals?

I few years ago, I ate 5 or 6 small meals a day for a few months and I found that I ate healthier. I ate more veggies and fruits and less junk food. I'm thinking of going back to that again, eating at 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, and then a snack at around 9. I've always heard that it's healthier and reccommended.

One thing that's a bit of a concern is that I tend to brush my teeth after eating a meal (I get cavaties very easily), and I think it might be overdoing it to brush my teeth 5 times a day.
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#2 Old 08-15-2006, 08:46 PM
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Well, most commercial weight loss plans seem to recommend three modest meals and three snacks, which isn't that far off what you're talking about. Of course, most commercial weight-loss plans aren't necessarily good for you...
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#3 Old 08-15-2006, 10:13 PM
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As far as I know, that is the recommended way of eating. Some say that it increases your metabolism, and some say it doesn't, but eating 5 small meals rather than 3 large meals can certainly help you control your portions and keep your blood sugar stable to help you avoid eating more than you actually need to.

It is a way of eating that I prefer and I feel better doing, the only problem is I find it harder to fit into my lifestyle.


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#4 Old 08-16-2006, 03:18 AM
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I eat six times a day. It works for me. I would have to eat a tremendous amount of food in order to go 4-5 hours between a meal. Three hours is pushing it for me. As far as brushing your teeth goes, as long as you are using a soft bristle brush and not brushing the heck out of your gums, you should be ok. Be gentle!
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#5 Old 08-16-2006, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tymps View Post

... I've always heard that it's healthier and reccommended.


These recommendations created myths. There's no evidence that the one or ather way is healthier.

Best is look how things are working out for you and choose then.

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#6 Old 08-16-2006, 08:24 AM
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calories are calories. i know a girl that used to weigh 130 pounds and got down to 90 by eating a 1000 calorie meal each evening and nothing before that, since she had a binge problem then anyway. find what works best for you. eat when your hungry.
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#7 Old 08-17-2006, 03:49 AM
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Mdee, thats fairly extreme! a step up from even the three meals thing! SURELY that can't be good for this girl? i understand that calories are calories..and i can't put my finger on WHY it seems like a bad idea but it sorta does.

i guess maybe i figure..to fit in 1000 calories of (wholesome. junk is a lot less dense..) she'd have to stretch her stomach a fair bit, which would mean she'd be hungrier the rest of the day. if that makes sense?

where as my stomach seems to be pretty small, so filling it up every few hours (KLS im with you on this one. 3 hours is pushing it for me. but ive been trying the meal thing lately coz ive been eating out a lot. its a lot harder) doesn't actually mean physically eating that much, but im never hungry, coz as soon as im hungry, i fill up. if that makes any sense? the only reason i don't pack on the pounds is because 'filling up' is not really that much i spose. whatever works for you (and that girl) i guess. but for some reason it struck me as bad? does anybody else know any biological reasons why fasting all day then one big meal might have negative effects? surely your energy would lag?
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#8 Old 08-17-2006, 06:52 AM
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It would totally WRECK your metabolism:

Your body would be begging for food all day, so when it got fed it would store most of the calories (as fat on your body) so that it had fuel for the next period of starvation
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#9 Old 08-17-2006, 09:57 AM
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fasting like that isn't healthy, and binging is certainly not healthy. and weighing 90 lbs? let's not even go there.

1000 calories isn't enough for the average person to begin with.

anyway i can see how smaller meals more often could be easier on your digestive tract. i find most people don't eat enough calories in a day so when they do eat they're so hungry they overeat which causes all sorts of problems. if they ate more steadily through the day they could get enough calories without having to stuff themselves to bursting.

i know one athlete who can go so short a time without eating that he literally packs a lunch to go grocery shopping. if he gets hungry while shopping he'll ask a clerk to watch his cart, go eat in his car, and go back in to finish shopping.

as far as brushing your teeth too often, could you just rinse? i don't like bringing my toothbrush to work so after lunch i'll just rinse really well. my hygenist suggested it so it must do some good. she also recommended rinsing after drinking coke cause apparantly the stuff is wreckin my teeth so i keep a bottle of water handy at work and just give a swish now and then if i've had anything sweet

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#10 Old 08-18-2006, 11:02 PM
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If you were to eat six small meals a day what would you consider to be a small meal?

I find it easier for my stomach to digest smaller meals but it's difficult to eat so frequently with my scheduale...any suggestions of easy things to pack to snack on?

I'm trying to gain weight as well and have lots of tummy troubles
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#11 Old 08-20-2006, 06:17 PM
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sugarblue i know how you feel!! nuts are really good. especially almonds!!
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#12 Old 08-20-2006, 09:14 PM
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different things work for different people.

those with sensitivities to low blood sugar or blood sugar issues such as hypoglycemia and diabetes tend to do best on the 5-6 small meals a day. some others find this beneficial as well.

and yet others do well with three big meals (often with two small snacks), and still others with only three meals.

it really depends upon the individual.
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#13 Old 08-23-2006, 09:17 AM
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jeez i know it's not healthy...its not like i do it.

my point was that different things work for different people. everyone's body is different so if the point of this thread was to find an answer, you won't.
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#14 Old 08-23-2006, 10:55 AM
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I always eat at least 6 times a day. Your energy level stays up better, you're not getting really hungry, then stuffing yourself, which makes you lethargic, then getting really hungry 5 hours later. It's more of a rollercoaster for your system if you eat only 3 times a day.

I've got Clif bars, nuts, seeds, fruits to snack on during the day. Then some soup or a sandwich for Lunch. but then I'm snacking again 2 hours later on smaller stuff.
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#15 Old 08-30-2006, 11:54 AM
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Yeah...I have to eat 5 meals a day.

I don't have much choice in the matter.

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