I've been over this time and time again on different forums, and usually "6 times a day is optimal" eating seems to be espoused anecdotally, every single time.
Now I realize, and in my own experience, that bodybuilding contest prep dieting (<10%) is probably a completely different story. I say my own experience because I've never gone below 8% myself so I have no idea what to think, and I've always dirty bulked to get stronger, as opposed to doing the same while maintaining weight, as I have heard anecdotally some have done, although I'm not convinced.
Is my confusion perhaps revolve around the difference between active weight loss or gain, and simple optimization of fuel availability? It seems there is a huge crossing of lines in the general discussion about what's optimal in one's diet.
I do anyway....but ive done huge meals twice a day with no discernable change in body comp or energy levels or strength. Anecdotally lol.
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The studies confirm exactly what you have experienced.
However there is nothing wrong with eating several times a day. I eat 4-5 meals a day because I'm HUNGRY, not because I think something magical will happen to my gains.
I think for the average person not on gear it is important to keep insulin levels steady and the fire burning. The whole theory is to eat small meals so you never binge basically. Plus keeping protein and aminos in your blood will help keep your body in an anabolic state. For people on gear they are "highly anabolic" anyway and in the end I think total calories matters most as long as they are quality calories. You can actually eat more if you break down the meals into smaller meals throughout the day though I think. Instead of eating that huge meal and crashing like a sack of potatoes. I think some people focus on the timing and get ocd about it way to much. Myself included. I eat every 2-3 hours.
Good shit guys.....just making sure I'm not too far off the mark. Yea I typically eat 4-5 times, simply because I'm hungry. But certain things like eating too early in the morning honest to god just really fuck my day up.
Some days I just slam down 4k+ at the pizza buffet in about an hour, gains have been steady and consistent regardless.
Serge Nubret had some different diet habits. He would usually eat twice a day. Sometimes once a day eating 5000-6000 calories. He would challenge his "friends" in California to eating contests and never lost. He would gain 10-12 pounds sometimes in one sitting. Great genetics, steroids, and 5 hours in the gym doesn't hurt either.
- Look at the cows they eat all the day. Now look at the panthers they eat once a day, and which one look in better shape.
Alot of Intermittent Fasting sites have links to legit studies that debunk the "stoking the metabolic fire" myth, and the misleading bro-science along the lines of "Your body can only absorb so much protein at once, so only eat 40 grams every 2 hours".
The only legit reason I can see to eat that many times a day would be to avoid an enormous insulin spike followed by the blood sugar crash if you're eating a sh'load of carbs.