Meal Frequency: It’s Not One Of The 10 Commandments.
Q: When cutting, could I use a strategy of 1-2 big meals a day and get results? Eating 4-6 small meals leaves me hungry and I have better things to do with my time than spend it prepping meals.
Does ONE BIG One=2 MEDIUM ones=several small ones?
Most meal strategies can be made to work, the trick is to find something that will fit your personality and lifestyle. Meal frequency may have bearing on gaining muscle and losing fat, but I don’t believe that it is one of the fundamentals of dieting. We were designed for a certain amount of food uncertainty. This is pretty evident in the fact that obesity has become pandemic in most first world countries where food is readily accessible and easily available 24/7.
Discipline is a double-sided sword that can wielded to make use of either edge. You can use it to cut yourself into the shape of the box that you want to fit into, or use it to cut the box into a shape that might fit you. In my case, the latter direction suits me. I find meal prepping sort of therapeutic and do it whenever I have the time, as a kind of meditation or focusing exercise. But time, it does take. Either way, one tries his best not to get hung up on stuff that is not fundamental, at least not yet.
Twice a day feeding can be looked at as a variety of modified fasting strategy that just needs the double-mealer (you) to sort out the right mix of nutrients & macros to make it feasible.
Will 2 Feeds Per Day Be An Optimal Eating Strategy?
Most likely. Back in the 90’s, when I was still in serious competitive training mode for competition, eating only twice a day was how I dieted. Reducing meal frequency can be a good & simple strategy for dieting and cutting. Although not an exceedingly popular or technical way to diet, it works. Undoubtably, this method won’t be favoured by very many bodybuilders and other athletes. But so what, the original question asked was not “How do I win a trophy for Most Popular Dieter?”
If you take a quick look at the animal world, the trend appears to be that the larger animals will, in general, eat less often than smaller creatures (as they usually have a slower metabolic rate). And just as long as we aren’t going around trying to publish as practicing scientists, we might be able to draw some significant parallels here. Most athletes will become emotional about meal frequency because they feel it in just this way: All sorts of havoc will be played with my muscles and performance levels unless I’m eating the mandatory 4 to 6-a-day.
Like most other forms of knowledge that relatively little is known about but everyone seems to have an opinion on, this subject deserves a generous helping ofbe served with it.
Always be a little cautious about “what everybody knows” and what the “commonly known facts” are. Because everyone believes a current trend, doesn’t make it true (remember the old?) So, the answer to your question may not be entirely as self-evident as it seems to the semi-informed at first blush.
Although, not all about calories in vs. calories out, a good proportion of getting cut certainly is:
Not too many studies look at increased meal frequency and body weight gain, but the limited evidence at this moment indicate that weight gain is due to caloric intake rather than frequency.
You might well do some experimenting and see what actually works for you. A little tacit knowledge is always helpful and will certainly come in handy here.
A small suggestion though, if you do plan to experiment, then go about it logically. Start with one or two 1200–2000 kcal meals with a 30–40% PROTEIN 30–40% FAT 20–30% CHO proportion ratio and play around on that. Perhaps you will find this to be (bad pun intended) too much (or too little) to bite off in your first chew. You will be able to acclimatise yourself to your chosen feeding pattern, slowly & gradually tweaking the macro and caloric value of your meal(s) from a baseline established through your own experience and experimentation. This individual and personal process is the thing that will ensure a successful outcome and result in securing the desired goal.