I eat every 2 – 3 hours; I always eat breakfast and usually end my day with my last meal around 5:00 pm. This schedule of eating has taken place for the past 15 years and it is important for me to continue this routine.
The webmd.com site describes the benefits of eating frequently –
The opposite of those extreme plans that call for fasting, The 3-Hour Diet by fitness expert Jorge Cruise, requires you to eat five times a day, including a tiny dessert. All your favorite foods, including carbs and sweets, are allowed, as long as you eat them on a strict timetable.
Eating small, balanced meals every 3 hours boosts your body’s fat-burning potential, Cruise says.
If you don’t eat often enough, he explains, your body goes into “starvation protection” mode, conserving calories, storing fat, and burning muscle (not fat) for energy. Cruise says that if you eat every 3 hours, you repeatedly reset your metabolism so it stays in high gear, and you burn fat all day long.
His rules around meal timing are:
- Eat breakfast within 1 hour of rising.
- Eat every 3 hours after that.
- Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime.
The fourth rule: Stick to the recommended portion sizes. Meals should average 400 calories; snacks, 100 calories; and dessert, 50 calories (like a Reese’s Mini), for a total of about 1,450 calories a day.
At age 40 I started my eating schedule by carefully watching what I ate and I also started working out at the gym with weights and included cardio along with stretching and calisthenics. Within the first 2 years of this regiment I gained 6 lbs. in body weight due to increasing muscle (muscle weighs more than fat) and lost 10% body fat. I felt healthier and looked darn good!
Since those early days some routines have changed, but I still watch what I eat – just not as strict as I once was. I continue to exercise but the weight training is not as intense due to injuries and I focus more on cardio, stretching and calisthenics. The one constant behavior is the eating habit – every 2 – 3 hours. This I believe is the one reason I continue to maintain the same weight since graduating high school – 36 years ago.
webmd.com continues with the following –
You’ll also curb your levels of cortisol — the “stress hormone” — and flatten your belly in the process, Cruise says. And you’ll have more energy and less hunger, because eating every 3 hours keeps your blood sugar levels steady.
That’s not proven, though some research suggests that eating smaller, more frequent meals can help manage hunger.
Eating every 2 -3 hours, works for me with regards to managing my weight. I ensure I have food with me on long trips or if I will be away somewhere where I do not have access to food.