2 meals a day or 3?

Right now, I feel like it's easier to stay under my caloric budget if I eat 2 big meals a day than if I eat 3 smaller ones. However, I wonder if this is only temporary. Bigger meals stretch your stomach over time (I think), causing you to eat even more to feel satiated. So I'm not sure if 2 big meals a day is a good long-term strategy.

Anyone got personal experiences with this, or better yet, links to relevant studies?

Comments

  • It's called TRE (time restricted eating) or intermittent fasting. It's a pretty popular and successful weightloss technique. There is a meta analysis here - you have to create an account, but it's free. Also, google Jason Fung - or search for him on YouTube.

    Personal experience: I read Fast800 in December 2019, for the first month I ate one or sometimes two meals a day, eating to satiety at least once a day, sticking to nutrient dense, low carb foods. I ate between 500-1300kcal a day, averaging probably around 800.After that I moved to a more standard low carb/ketogenic diet, naturally fasting - and I did a few extended fasts. I still usually only eat once or twice a day, whenever I get hungry.



  • @maxb

    If eating 2 meals per day works for you (and you're not binge eating and meeting your nutrient needs) then feel free to continue this dietary pattern. Your stomach is designed to stretch... As long as you aren't eating to the point of discomfort, it's unlikely that you will forcibly increase your stomach size.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • @jefmcg
    @Susan_RD_101

    ... Never mind. It turns out I miscalculated my calories and was actually way over budget during those 2MAD days. So I'll be sticking with 3MAD.

    I don't know how 1MAD people do it. Going hungry all day until dinner. Seems rough.

  • You aren't hungry all the time. If you aren't sugar fuelled, you aren't on an blood sugar roller-coaster. I eat when I am hungry and it's convenient.

    But hunger is in waves. You get hungry, but if you can ignore it for a few minutes, it goes away again, for hours. I am hungry about as many times a day when I fast (multiday) as I was when I ate 3 meals and 2 snacks. Back then, I would eat and the hunger would go away. Now I wait, and it does.

    If you are mainly carbohydrate fuelled, fasting is much harder.

  • @maxb

    I encourage people to ask the following question:

    "Does the way you eat enhance your lifestyle or has it become the focus of your life?"

    At the end of the day, the goal of eating well is to feel awesome and do awesome things. As long as your diet supports this (and you're meeting your nutrient needs) you're good to go!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

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