I'm looking for opinions on eating less frequently. I have some theories as to why it may prove to be a greater advantage than eating more often. 1st off, I'm unable to use protein powders. I have allergies to whey, casein, and egg protein (and don't wish to use soy/rice, etc). My only option is real foods so the ability to ingest protein frequently is more difficult w/ my school/work schedule. 1st reasoning is based on an evolutionary base. I've talked to Lyle about this a few times and even Dr. Cordain (author of the paleo diet) and they agree that through most of our existance we evolved to hunt, kill an animal, and eat a huge amount of protein at one time. As a general rule, our ancestors were much leaner and more muscular than modern humans. Of course there is the activity factor, but regardless they were active and ate meat in this type of fashion, and still had muscle mass and leaner physiques. Protein absorption from meat is always going to be 90+% effecient, so there isn't going to be more of a waste or passing of aminos and Berardi even mentioned that protein is more efficiently absorbed in large amounts (although I found no sources). My understanding is if you gorge on a large amount of meat, the amino acids are just released slowly into the bloodstream. So it would stand to reason that say over a 12 hour period, if one were to eat 50g protein every 12 hours (8AM, 12PM, 4PM, 8PM), this would equal 200g protein, the same nitrogen balance should be achieved with one meal of 200g protein at 8AM. Although we are not carnivores examples in nature show that most meat eating animals hunt their prey, gorge on it and are generally large, muscualr and lean. Humans are the only animals that now graze on meat, where most grazing animals live off of greens. I'm not talking about the warrior diet because this allows too much time in a fasting state (18 hours), but perhaps 2 meals spaced 12 hours or 3 meals evey 8 hours could work just as well as the 6 meals a day. There was a study looking at the same protein eaten in 10 hourly feedings or 3 distinct meals, the 3 distinct meals group had a higher nitrogen balance. Based on this study and a few others, ingesting protein too frequently seems to cause the body to stop responding. This is also the case w/ infusion studies w/ amino acids, where the body stops response somewhere after the 2hr mark. Regarding the protein pulse research, it worked on the older women but not younger (80% protein in 1 meal). It also worked on stimulating muscle protein synthesis in older rats. I understand the problems w/ extrapolating this data to bodybuilders, but sometimes these type of studies are all we have. Perhaps 2 pulses (spread 12 hours) could provide superior to frequenct small meals. Also, perhaps w/ the protein pulse studies, the research w/ the older women would be more applicable b/c the older women were in more of a negative nitrogen balance than the younger women. Wouldnt bodybuilders be in a similar situation after a workout, so ingesting a larger than normal amt. of protein (protein pulse) perhaps would be advantageous at this time. This is the way our ancestor prob. ate, hunting, anaerobic like lifting, then gorging on meat. 250g protein from chicken, turkey, lean beef provides about 15g leucine, an important stimalator of muscle protein synthesis. Another theory that I talked about w/ Dr. Cordain, is similar to carbohydrate depletion and loading. Similar to what bodybuilders do in a CKD, w/ carb depletion and low carb intake, there is an upregulation of (I believe GLUT-4 transporters) that basically makes the body more sensitive to uptaking more carbohydrates than normal into glycogen storage (supercompensation). Perheps there is a similar ability w/ a short (less than 12 hr) fast from protein followed by an increase in absorption, utilization. One study showed that the effects of fasting are altered after the ingestion of a high protein meal. "The HP diet but not the control diet caused a significant retention of nitrogen. Postabsorptive leucine kinetics as assessed with [1,2-13C]leucine were similar in the two groups. In the control subjects, the rate of nitrogen excretion did not change in response to fasting, but leucine oxidation increased. In contrast, nitrogen excretion progressively decreased with fasting after the HP diet. Leucine rate of appearance was increased after fasting after the HP diet but oxidation was not increased, meaning that the calculated rate of whole-body protein synthesis was higher than in the control group. The response to a short period of food deprivation is dependent on prior protein intake." After having read as much research as possible on pubmed, it seems meal freq. isn't overly important in terms of weight loss and even fat loss. An summary of the meal freq. research even states there are no significant differences. Lyle had an article stating that 3 meals at 600 cals vs 6 meals at 300cals show basically no difference, metabolic rate is either raised more freq. but less, or less freq. but more. End of the day results are the same. And no the body does not go into starvation mode if you dont get food for a say 12 hours, its more related to too low a calorie intake and days w/out food. I also found a study (have to look it up) that showed that leptin levels didnt even drop until at least 12 hours of no food intake. One other case regarding this subject relates to the overnight fast. Generally there is an 8-12hr period w/ no food when sleeping. So you eat 4-6 small meals during waking hours, then go a long time w/ no food. Well what if you wake up, eat a large protein meal, say 8 AM. And potentially, this will keep a positive nitrogen balance for at least a 12hr period, then another large meal at 8PM, this will keep a positive nitrogen balance over night. Perhaps this is even better than eating freq. during the day where only a small meal is eaten at night, b/c this large meal will keep aminos steadily flowing into the body at night. Yes, theres the nightime proteins and the Biore study looking at fast vs slow proteins (whey vs casein) Which supports this idea even more. If a 30g serving of casein protein keeps nitrogen balance for 7+ hours, how would it not be possible for the ultimate slow protein (real food), ingested in a large amount (say 100-150g protein at once), to not maintain a balance even higher and longer than the 7 hr period experienced w/ the casein group. It seems like the idea of small frequent meals was started to sell supplements like MRP's and protein drinks, since eating 6 meals a day is next to impossible make people think its necessary and the only way they would be able to do it is to get some meals w/ the MRP being sold. The original freq. feeding recommendations were for diabetics fed a high carb diet, as eating every 3 hours was necessary to maintain blood sugar levels. But on people on a lower carb diet, this is less an issue. And according to Dr. Cordain, during a short fast, after a protein based meal, blood sugar is maintained by a small amt. of dietary amino acids, and insulin levels are dropped significantly (good for fat loss, avoidance of degenerative disease, and perhaps expanding lifespan as insulin is being recognized as on of the regulators, along/ w calorie restriction). In addition, some new research on mice found fasting every other day, even if calories were compensated for on the following day of eating, provided the same benefits as calorie restriction. Sorry for the long post, I have more points to make but will cut it short here for now. Next i'd like to talk about the potential psychological benefits and convenience issue as well.