Hello all! Sorry for the lack of blog posts lately. If you haven’t heard, I am now writing blog posts for @Gymshark which is a dream come true for me! You can find the posts I’ve written for them here
A question I commonly get asked by my coaching clients is: how many meals should I eat a day?
There is never a simple answer to questions about diet, because every single person is different. We’ve all got different genes, different appetites, different activity levels and different metabolisms.
To work out the number most suitable for you. I recommend asking yourself a few questions:
Do you have time to prepare yourself meals/snacks for the day?
If you’re good at meal prepping, I personally quite like eating 5 times a day, although sometimes this doesn’t fit in with my work schedule. That sounds a lot but I tend to have breakfast, lunch and dinner plus 2 snacks throughout the day. I usually have something like greek yoghurt with The Good Guru protein mixed in blueberries and almond butter, or if I’m going to workout, ill have protein porridge. However, these ‘snacks’ take a few minutes to prepare so if you don’t have that time, I think its better to have a larger lunch than grabbing a sugar-laden convenience snack as an afternoon pick-me-up
Do you get really hungry?
Some people just get hungrier than others and can’t wait 4 hours between meals. If this is you, it could be worth splitting one of your larger meals into 2 smaller ones to spread over a longer time period. This might help curb that appetite! I actually don’t get that hungry between breakfast and lunch because I’m busy on the ward, so sometimes I prefer a bigger lunch.
What’s your goal?
If you’re trying to gain weight/muscle, it can be difficult to get enough calories in and you might find this easier by eating in between meals. For example, a great way to get in some extra calories is through liquid nutrition. A high-calorie smoothie with some added peanut butter can really help you boost your protein and your calories up if a big plate of food is a challenge for you.
Is it hunger or is it boredom?
This is something you need to address. If you’re sat at work all day or studying in a library, it can be easy to snack to pass the time. If this is you, but you’re not appreciating the extra calories, then try and re-train yourself to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
There are lots of different studies about this topic but I think its irrelevant. Trial out 3 meals a day for a few weeks, trial out 5 meals a day for a few weeks and see which one best fits in with your lifestyle and goal!
Sorry I can’t give you a definitive answer, but unfortunately this is how nutrition is!
Hope you found this useful,