Importance of Meal Frequency
When looking at meal frequency, you’ve probably heard a little bit of both. One side says that you need to eat more meals, and the other says you don’t. Through this conflicting information, you just want to know what works the best.
Meal frequency will be most effective when consuming more meals throughout the day. These meals can range in size, but the importance is that you break them up. When you consume only 2-3 large meals a day, you’re limiting the flow of nutrients to the body. Whereas when eating frequently, you get them at a constant rate.
How Many Meals is Enough?
So, how many meals is enough? Some say 6, while others may say 4. In reality, it comes down to what works best for you and your goals. If you need to be consuming a ton of calories for bulking, then you’ll more than likely have room for more meals. Your lifestyle may work best around 4 to 5 meals depending on your schedule. Whatever it is, you want to keep it around at least 4-6 meals a day.
Hitting this higher meal count will help you to keep things running smooth.
Why More Meals?
Okay, so why is more beneficial? Well, think of your body like a furnace. If that furnace only receives fuel a few times a day, the chances of it slowing down are high. If that furnace is constantly fed and fueled, it’ll burn bright all day and night. Eating frequent meals has the same effect on your body. Not only are you providing energy, but you also keep your nitrogen levels high and your body anabolic. High nitrogen helps your body to recover and build new tissue while being anabolic is the perfect storm for massive gains.
As if growing and getting stronger isn’t enough, frequent meals also help to fuel a steady metabolism. High meal frequency leads to a constantly working state within the body. Just like a fire burns the more it’s given wood, your body will continue to burn through food. This is also happening due to the thermic effect that food has. Consuming whole foods burns calories while the body breaks them down, and this can lead to a boost in metabolism.
You have to keep that furnace rolling if you hope to see the best results. While it may take a little extra work, it’s worth it in the end!
Meal Frequency Best Practices
The best way to go about this is to meal prep. More frequent food to eat means that you’ll need more small meals prepped, versus just a couple of big ones. If you like simple, then keep it simple. Prep similar meals that get the job done for your needs. Now, if you’re someone who needs to keep things interesting, you’ll just have a little more work involved.
With that meal prep, all of your “meals” won’t have to be true meals. If anything, you can keep it at three main meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; then follow those with snacks in between. Snacks should be kept high in protein and fill any other gaps that you may have. For example, you could make one of your snacks a pre-workout, that includes protein and some source of carbohydrate. Again, this is all going to revolve around what your goals are, and it can be adapted around a higher meal frequency.
Meal frequency is best suited for more meals. This way you can fuel your body consistently throughout the day without any delay. You’ll receive a constant flow of nutrients that can provide high nitrogen levels and keep you anabolic. In addition, it can help to boost your metabolism for that lean and muscular look. Don’t waste time with a few large meals, these just leave you hungry in the middle of the day. Keep it frequent and consistent for the best gains!