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  1. #1
    Relentless azurejer's Avatar
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    Why Perpetuate The Frequent, Small Meal 'Myth'?

    Hello all, just wondering something in regards to the commonly heard myth/fact (depending on the source) regarding meal size/frequency. Please indulge me.

    Personally, I've found pretty great success up to this point in a intermittent fasting approach; my desire for a huge meal trumps everything else, so I tend to not eat at all until late afternoon at which point I can have 1-2 huge meals and a snack in between while hitting all of my macros. I know it is believed as fact here on Nutrition that meal timing and size doesn't matter, as long as you hit your proper macros; my personal experience says the same. However, I have always wondered why the bodybuilding industry perpetuates such a myth?

    I understand that the focus on fistfuls of supplemental pills/vitamins makes them money; I also get that they push hard on protein requirements via powders/shakes/bars for that same reason. I just can't figure out how it at all benefits them to insist on small meals over time. Unless the BB mechas have stake in Tupperware companies whose products are used to tote 100g of grilled chicken to the workplace, I can't make the connection. Rob Riches recent tweet "Nothing like eating clean to stay lean! Eating frequently, small balanced meals is a sure fire way to ensure progress" made me finally post this, but I've wondered about this for a while. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Relationship Guru p_gomez's Avatar
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    Satiation.
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  3. #3
    Registered User mrivera11's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by azurejer View Post
    I understand that the focus on fistfuls of supplemental pills/vitamins makes them money.
    You answered your own question.

    Congrats OP.
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  4. #4
    Registered User mrivera11's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by p_gomez View Post
    Satiation.
    Huh???
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  5. #5
    Relentless azurejer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mrivera11 View Post
    You answered your own question.

    Congrats OP.
    I don't understand - frequent meals or one big meal, macros are macros - are you saying that their angle is that macros are more difficult to obtain (thus requiring $supplementation$) when it's spread into 6-8 small meals?
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  6. #6
    Registered User mrivera11's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by azurejer View Post
    I don't understand - frequent meals or one big meal, macros are macros - are you saying that their angle is that macros are more difficult to obtain (thus requiring $supplementation$) when it's spread into 6-8 small meals?
    Frequent meals = more snacks = snacks companies and supplement companies riding shotgun.
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  7. #7
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    The advocates are the supplement companies, websites/magazines that are supported by supplement company marketing dollars/sales and fitness personalities/bodybuilders that are sponsored by supplement companies.

    Now does it make sense?
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  8. #8
    out to lunch THElabCHIMP's Avatar
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    I lost a LOT of fat using the 6 meals mechanism. but it isn't the be all- end all.

    I think the focal point of that method for me, was that when I first started restricting calories. I was tempted to snack a lot.

    having meals planned to fit my macros, at the times I'd normally snack (coffe break ect) helped prevent me from going over my macros.

    basically, i was just acounting for snacks in between meals.
    Every time I walk past a building site, I get the urge to do a few pull ups on the scaffolding.
    I live in a city with a lot of development going on.
    Now my lats are too big, and I can't put my arms straight down by my side

    #bodybuilder problems
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  9. #9
    Registered User jgravatt's Avatar
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    For me it is simply, I love to eat.
    So eating every few hours works.
    I am glad that intermittent fasting works for you. I tried it and did not like it.
    To each his own and what works for on person does not work for everyone.
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  10. #10
    Custom User MikeK46's Avatar
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    Sells more supplements. Do you want to cook a meal every 3 hours? Or pack a week's worth of food into tupperware? I think you'd rather grab that convenient protein bar, wouldn't you...
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  11. #11
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by THElabCHIMP View Post
    I lost a LOT of fat using the 6 meals mechanism.
    No, you did not.

    You lost a lot of fat because you were consuming fewer calories than you were expending.
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  12. #12
    out to lunch THElabCHIMP's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    No, you did not.

    You lost a lot of fat because you were consuming fewer calories than you were expending.
    and eating more frequently assisted me with that.

    I'm pretty sure I've said that once
    Every time I walk past a building site, I get the urge to do a few pull ups on the scaffolding.
    I live in a city with a lot of development going on.
    Now my lats are too big, and I can't put my arms straight down by my side

    #bodybuilder problems
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  13. #13
    Chasing cats since 1967 WonderPug's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by THElabCHIMP View Post
    and eating more frequently assisted me with that.
    It assisted you in the same way that eating 1 meal per day, 2 meals per day, 3 meals per day, 4 meals per day, 5 meals per day, 7 meals per day, 8 meals per day and 9 meals per day assisted other people in losing fat.

    In other words, a sustained caloric deficit was the causative factor.
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  14. #14
    Village Idiot miacanesfan25's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by THElabCHIMP View Post
    and eating more frequently assisted me with that.

    I'm pretty sure I've said that once
    I think pug is trying to say the amount of meals you assisted you psychologically, not physically.
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  15. #15
    out to lunch THElabCHIMP's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WonderPug View Post
    It assisted you in the same way that eating 1 meal per day, 2 meals per day, 3 meals per day, 4 meals per day, 5 meals per day, 7 meals per day, 8 meals per day and 9 meals per day assisted other people in losing fat.

    In other words, a sustained caloric deficit was the causative factor.
    and eating 6 meals assisted me in sustaining a caloric deficit.

    just so happens that's how I roll
    Every time I walk past a building site, I get the urge to do a few pull ups on the scaffolding.
    I live in a city with a lot of development going on.
    Now my lats are too big, and I can't put my arms straight down by my side

    #bodybuilder problems
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  16. #16
    out to lunch THElabCHIMP's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by miacanesfan25 View Post
    I think pug is trying to say the amount of meals you assisted you psychologically, not physically.

    and that's what I said in the first place
    Every time I walk past a building site, I get the urge to do a few pull ups on the scaffolding.
    I live in a city with a lot of development going on.
    Now my lats are too big, and I can't put my arms straight down by my side

    #bodybuilder problems
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  17. #17
    Relationship Guru p_gomez's Avatar
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    You seriously have to ask what that means?

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/satiation


    I perpetuate this "myth" (if you like to call it that) because of what I have seen and experienced on a daily basis. For instance, When building a fire, that one would like to last throughout the whole day, would you dump all the logs on the fire at once? or do you space the logs out so that the fire can always have a source of energy to continually burn?

    This is how I look at my body and metabolisim.
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  18. #18
    Moisture farmer desslok's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by azurejer View Post
    I just can't figure out how it at all benefits them to insist on small meals over time. Unless the BB mechas have stake in Tupperware companies whose products are used to tote 100g of grilled chicken to the workplace, I can't make the connection.
    There are a couple things, and in some cases may be combined.

    1. Convenience: The average person thinks they can t cook, so the thought of having to prepare 6 meals a day scares the crap out of them. 3 meals and 3 shakes is less daunting. Also the convenience of bringing powder vs having to refrigerate chicken and portion it and bring tupperware, worry about how to heat it, etc.

    2. Previously, incorrect assumptions were made based on studies about the thermic effect of food. Thinking if each time you ate it "stoked your metabolic furnace" that it would make sense to keep it "stoked" all day with multiple smaller meals. Only this was incorrect, as the "stoketitude" was split evenly vs just having one big "stoke" from one larger meal.

    So originally, I think it was based on the incorrect assumptions in 2. Now some people/companies might just still actually believe this. However, I am sure there are plenty of unscrupulous people/coompanies who recognized that they could capitalize on this and perpetuate it for these reasons.
    Superbus est, qui loquitur in prouerbiis Latinis.
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  19. #19
    Boomer Sooner PhiSig2298's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by p_gomez View Post
    You seriously have to ask what that means?

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/satiation


    I perpetuate this "myth" (if you like to call it that) because of what I have seen and experienced on a daily basis. For instance, When building a fire, that one would like to last throughout the whole day, would you dump all the logs on the fire at once? or do you space the logs out so that the fire can always have a source of energy to continually burn?

    This is how I look at my body and metabolisim.

    Stupid analogy. If you run out of wood, the fire burns out for the day. If you run out of food for the day, do you die?

    Also, if you never start the fire, it wont burn. If you don't eat, your body still "burns" energy.
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    Originally Posted by PhiSig2298 View Post
    If you run out of food for the day, do you die?
    .
    Worse!

    Superbus est, qui loquitur in prouerbiis Latinis.
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    Originally Posted by PhiSig2298 View Post
    Stupid analogy. If you run out of wood, the fire burns out for the day. If you run out of food for the day, do you die?

    Also, if you never start the fire, it wont burn. If you don't eat, your body still "burns" energy.

    The stupidest...

    your analogy also implies that you can't collect a large amount of fire-wood and keep it ready for use later.

    Not only do you seem to know very little about the metabolism, but you also probably wouldn't fair well camping in the woods.
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    Originally Posted by Jen0va View Post
    The stupidest...

    your analogy also implies that you can't collect a large amount of fire-wood and keep it ready for use later.

    Not only do you seem to know very little about the metabolism, but you also probably wouldn't fair well camping in the woods.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Jen0va again.
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    Originally Posted by PhiSig2298 View Post
    Stupid analogy. If you run out of wood, the fire burns out for the day. If you run out of food for the day, do you die?

    Also, if you never start the fire, it wont burn. If you don't eat, your body still "burns" energy.
    Not really... you say that if you run out of wood the fire dies, and then go on too say if you run out of food "for the day" do you die? Your implying a supposed timeline that was previously not addressed. And yes, you would die. If you stop eating EVENTUALLY you die. Now the life expectancy for the fire, versus the human is the only thing that will chage. Where it could take 3 hours for a fire to burn out, it will take 3 weeks before your fire (life) burns out.
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    Originally Posted by p_gomez View Post
    I perpetuate this "myth" (if you like to call it that) because of what I have seen and experienced on a daily basis. For instance, When building a fire, that one would like to last throughout the whole day, would you dump all the logs on the fire at once? or do you space the logs out so that the fire can always have a source of energy to continually burn?
    That's perhaps the worst non-car analogy I've heard.

    Perhaps this will be good food for though, log man:

    Originally Posted by MakeABanana View Post
    A lot of people take for granted what the human body is capable. One can consume more than 30 g of protein in one sitting because of the intestinal braking system, the most significant of which is the ileal brake:



    So the ileal brake controls the rate of how much food enters the small intestine so that absorption is maximized and food doesn't go to waste. In other words, it will slow down digestion essentially so that the small intestine can take its sweet time and absorb nutrients without being rushed into absorbing everything all at once. One study, showed maximum absorption rates to be as high as 10 g/hour for protein (for pure whey), although only a few proteins were measured. When you factor in a mixed diet and other sources of protein, you can expect lower rates of absorption such that it seems that a lot of protein may indeed go to waste. However, that study does not take into account the fact that the gastrointestinal system can adapt to diet, meaning that amino acid absorption can improve when the GI tract exposed to higher protein loads. To sum it all up, your intestines take care of the possible issues and make it all work in the end.

    If protein was not actually broken down, then it would not even be absorbed by the intestine. If large peptides did make it into systemic circulation, your immune system would react to it and you could possibly get a food allergy from that (and this can happen with a diseased gut). A healthy small intestine makes sure that only broken down protein (amino acids, dipeptides, and tripeptides) get absorbed. Any protein that is not broken down (certain proteins and chains that are not bioavailable, that is) is not absorbed either goes to the large intestine where bacteria will use it for its own consumption or gets pooped out. It will not be turned into fat for storage because it does not enter systemic circulation in the first place.

    Hope that helps. My fingers are tired.
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    Boomer Sooner PhiSig2298's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by p_gomez View Post
    Not really... you say that if you run out of wood the fire dies, and then go on too say if you run out of food "for the day" do you die? Your implying a supposed timeline that was previously not addressed. And yes, you would die. If you stop eating EVENTUALLY you die. Now the life expectancy for the fire, versus the human is the only thing that will chage. Where it could take 3 hours for a fire to burn out, it will take 3 weeks before your fire (life) burns out.

    Its still a stupid analogy. If you don't light the fire, it wont burn. If you don't eat, do you not burn energy?

    I don't know why I'm even arguing with you... the meal frequency has been debunked over and over, making your analogy even more ignorant
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    Originally Posted by p_gomez View Post
    You seriously have to ask what that means?

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/satiation


    I perpetuate this "myth" (if you like to call it that) because of what I have seen and experienced on a daily basis. For instance, When building a fire, that one would like to last throughout the whole day, would you dump all the logs on the fire at once? or do you space the logs out so that the fire can always have a source of energy to continually burn?

    This is how I look at my body and metabolisim.
    If the wood on the fire took way over 24hours (more like 48 or 72 hours) to completely burn then this would be a more accurate analogy, as foods eaten take this length of time at least to completely be absorbed within an average individuals diet. In this situation then it would not matter if I put it all on at the start of spaced the logs out.

    As it is however this is a false analogy fallacy.
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    It's a secret scam by the tupperware industry to get you to buy more tupperware

    Seriously it's pretty simple, many people don't feel good eating large meals. Personally I feel bloated, sluggish, tired, gassy, etc. when I eat one big meal. Bodybuilders are eating copious amounts of food and it's easier to digest in smaller meals. Plus many feel more energy through the day eating more frequently.
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    Relationship Guru p_gomez's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhiSig2298 View Post
    Its still a stupid analogy. If you don't light the fire, it wont burn. If you don't eat, do you not burn energy?

    I don't know why I'm even arguing with you... the meal frequency has been debunked over and over, making your analogy even more ignorant
    Settle down... No one is arguing here. I presented my answer to the question; satiation. However, someone didnt understand the word (go figure, considering what thread were in) so I used the wood and fire analogy to explain what it meant.

    I am well aware that theese concepts have been "debunked" as it was ridiculed here with your "stupid analogy" comment, but I know what has been working for me, and so im gonna stick with it. OH NOES THE GO TO RESPONSE FOR SOMEONE SEEING RESPONSE FROM ANY PROGRAM.


    Inb4 its not the program but the simple fact your ingesting calories while working out.
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    Originally Posted by p_gomez View Post
    Not really... you say that if you run out of wood the fire dies, and then go on too say if you run out of food "for the day" do you die? Your implying a supposed timeline that was previously not addressed. And yes, you would die. If you stop eating EVENTUALLY you die. Now the life expectancy for the fire, versus the human is the only thing that will chage. Where it could take 3 hours for a fire to burn out, it will take 3 weeks before your fire (life) burns out.
    i have often thought of the metabolism as a burning fire as well, but your text here got me thinking. we all know that most fires would burn out after a few hours without wood, which is where the whole 'eating every few hours to keep the fire burning' thing comes in. But as you have written just now the human body wont die for at least a few weeks without fuel (food)...showing the timeline for the body is alot longer then a 'fire'. Perhaps a couple large meals a day are enough to fuel the bodies fire, since we know the 'timeline' is longer?
    excuse the possibly incoherant ramblings of my mind haha!... it makes sence to me, but perhaps sounds like nonsence to you guys:L
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    I remember only a few years ago here on BB how just about everyone here advocated 5 - 6 meals a day like a cult scripture (lost the pass to my old account.). Fast forward a few years and now everyone believes otherwise, lol. I don't disagree with either method as it really does come down to personal preference.

    Usually, if you're not the breakfast type, you'd do better on the intermittent fasting routine and vise versa. Its all the same, really - as long as you stay on a deficit. Anyway, I thought I'd point that out.
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