how many meals a day?

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by bomsu, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. bomsu

    bomsu New Member

    Hi everyone !
    I am a new member on this site. I ve been in bodybuilding on and off for 7 years. I ve lived in different countries and currently is in South Korea.
    I ve been trying to figure our the number of meals bodybuilders eat. There is really no rule as to how many meals a day will make the best benifit to the body, since WE are all different. This poll is just an attempt to find out the BODYBUILDERS (or sports oriented people)  quantity of meals a day.  Sometimes, the simple rule of majority applies best.
    Please, take your time to vote ...
    Thank you,
    Bomsu from SK
  2. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I don't bother to track how many meals a day I eat. I just eat however many or however few it takes to hit my current calorie goals. I know a lot of people advocate many meals throughout the day, but I don't think it matters as long as you keep your overall calories in line with your goals.
  3. Tcup

    Tcup New Member

    I eat several times a day, usually 6-7 meals. This is for the consistency of bloodsugar and insulin levels in my body. Trying to hit more carbs to first meals of the day and cutting down towards the night except with recovery drink including 0,5g/lbs of carbs
  4. bomsu

    bomsu New Member

    Wow, great ! So it does not really matter if I eat 6 or 7 or 8 meals or even 3 meals a day, as long as I keep my calorie intake within my goal (gaining or loosing weight). Great ! That makes me a bit happier ... counting those meals ...:(

    Another question:

    It is common in SK to socialize in the bar or with a bottle of beer usually late at night (after 10 pm). Friendship is in/directly dependent on one's ability to drink alcohol. I ve been trying to reduce the amount of social life, but to disregard friendship and sort of insult people by not drinking with them is a way to be an outcast in SK. Has anyone experienced similar situation, when drinking alcohol is a necessary/primary component of friendship, business, and solving problems.

    Any suggestions on how to reduce the amount of "alcohol interaction" without offending local customs and people ?!?
    Any suggestions on how to deal with this kind of "compulsory" socialization :confused:

    Thanks a lot,

  5. Tcup

    Tcup New Member

    You got weird friends. Why should you be any less friend whether you drink or not? Maybe you coul drink non-alcoholic drinks?

    "where alcohol is necessary for solving problems"
    ..that sounds like alcoholism to me....
    not being offending here or anything...just being curious [​IMG]
  6. Rain

    Rain New Member

    Can't you just drink less? I mean, there must be a way to "mask" that what you're drinking is non-alcoholic. Buy the gang a round of drinks, and a non-alcoholic drink for yourself. That way no one will question what you're drinking.

    Or develop expensive habits, where you only drink hard-to-get-by single malt whisky that the local bars don't carry. You'll be a snob, but a more sober one. :)

    / R
  7. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Ever since I spread my kcals around many meals (5-8), my metabolism HAS gone UP. I get hungry within an hour to hour and a half of most meals, it's awesome.

  8. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    How did you measure metabolism?

    or are you assuming being hungry = increased metabolism...
  9. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Hey :)

    I usually eat anywhere from 5-7 meals a day. Usually 6. Not because I eat every 3 hours or something, but merely because that's what takes me to get to my target calories.

    In the long run, what's really important is getting your target calories. That's the primary concern.

    Of course, that's not saying other things are totally unimportant. Wanting to regulate your blood sugar / insulin levels means you generally shouldn't be on a "mini" fast and then suddenly eat like a monster - that can produce a huge spike in your blood sugar / insulin levels. Preventing that might mean you have to eat more often - so even though, for example, you can get your target 3000 calories in just two meals, two meals a day might not be the best way to go, especially if they are so far apart each other (but that should be obvious).

    Also, timing of meals plays an important role when it comes to bodybuiding, in particular during your training days. While calories at the end of the day is, I believe, still the primary factor, timing of your meals - in particular for your carb and protein consumption - should also be given much thought. This is for providing enough carb and protein for your workout, and for replacing the carbs and protein you used in your workout and to start protein synthesis - last I remember (I maybe wrong on this one, so take this with a grain of salt), without enough carbs and protein in your post workout meal, protein synthesis won't start at all, but that would probably happen only if you actually don't eat after you workout, or not even take at least a post workout shake.

    Just eat a good carb and protein meal an hour or two before you workout, eat another carb-and-protein laden meal after your workout, then for the rest of the day, just eat enough meals to get to your target calories.

    As for the alcohol, I understand that things are different for your culture as opposed to what most of the guys here are accustomed to (including myself, honestly), so we mean no offense when we can't seem to fathom why alcohol is necessary. The only thing I can advise you to do is put the alcohol you drink in your diet plan. Try limiting it as much as possible, but nonetheless put it in your diet plan - then the rest of your meals, work it around the alcohol you are sure you will consume. For example, if you are sure you absolutely have to drink at least 3 beers, see how much calories that gives you. if your targer is 3000, and the 3 beers already give you 350, then you only have 2650 calories to go. I'm not very familiar with the "nutritional information" for beer, so see if it contains other things you may want to limit, like any sugar, fats, etc. (although I'm pretty sure there is hardly any fat in beer, my point is merely check all the stuff it gives you so you can effectively plan your diet around it). If it gives additional "nutrition" that you want to limit (like added sugars, if any at all; I guess that might depend on what you are drinking), take that into account also when you create your diet plan.

    That way, you don't have to remove the alcohol drinking if it is really a part of the culture there. You wouldn't want to be an outcast, that's for sure, but you also wouldn't want to sacrifice so much of bodybuilding.

    Hope that helps.

    Regards and good luck! :)
  10. bomsu

    bomsu New Member

    Thanks guys for the replies...

    Now it is time of action ... basically alcoholizm is not a problem in SK (as local men see it), but the way they consume alcohol is unbelievable. Actually, they do not drink to get drunk, they just drink it with almost every evening meal. And if there are problems within a company, then the boss invites everyone to a company party (it's compulsory to be there), where people drink alcohol, relax, talk about life, company issues and solve problems.

    I ve been trying to avoid these get-together-compulsory parties, but it's a sure way to become an outcast or loose one's job. [​IMG]
    Another thing about alcohol is that variety is very limited: only beer (4 kinds taste the same - no difference whatsoever), soju (23% alcohol beverage-tastes like light vodka), and local rice wine (5-12 % alcohol beverage - tastes like ... god knows what). That's it ... anything fancy, like wine, whiskey is not served in ordinary restaurants (only in high class ones, where the boss will never take his employees :) ) .

    In anycase, I guess, the best way is to include the alcohol calories into my daily consumption, keep on exercising and trying to limit the amount of beer I drink compulsory.


    The good news it that health club is very cheap here. I pay only 20 us dollars per month (the price may go up to 100 us dollars in a luxury super-dooper center with swimming pool, dancing class, etc) and get an access (sometimes free)to a super BODY ANALYSIS MACHINE (body fat %age, liquid, height, etc ). So far my bf is under 20 %, but the beer isn't doing any good... gootta include early mornings running sessions or HIT trainings or something to kill beer calories. :)

    Another question:

    Should I drink a whey protein shake before morning workout (at 7.30 am) ? Will it not decrease my body's ability to burn fat? Any ideas ... suggestions :confused:

    Bomsu in SK
  11. jvroig

    jvroig Super Moderator

    Yes, good idea to take protein before the workout.

    It will not decrease your body's ability to burn fat. As I remember it, if you want more fat to be mobilized in your workout, don't take in carbs in your pre workout meal or drink.

  12. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    You should definitely take in protein before a morning workout. Exercising on an empty stomach is a bad idea.
  13. Scooper182

    Scooper182 New Member


    This is a very "unscientific" observation but I don't think mild alcohol consumption is going to hurt your gains all that much. I'd like to see some research on this issue--all I have to do is look around my college gym and social scene. The biggest, strongest most muscular guys tend to be the ones who party the most and binge drink 10+ drinks for at least three nights a week. I'm in a fairly "jockey" fraternity and needless to say many of us are quite built and yet we drink.
    I'm sure that all things being equal, alcohol consumption is detrimental to weightlifting...the question is how much does it really hurt your gains? And secondly, if the extra gains are minimal, is it worth hampering your social/economic situation?
    Peace and good luck
  14. Chthonian

    Chthonian New Member

    Not drinking hampering your economic situation? Do tell. Do people pay you to drink?

    EDIT: Aaron, if one starts feeling more hungry due to increased meal frequency or increased work load, this isn't due to an elevated metabolism? I always "knew" more frequent eating to lead to a higher metabolism. Is this not true? If so, what causes it, then?
  15. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Chthonian, seems like we have the same conversation brewing in Bob Evan's Zen post.

    Wouldn't it help your economic situation if you cut back on the drinking? I know it would definitely help me out! Too bad I am just like and binge drink 3x/week. Drinking does slow your metabolism down, and that's a fact - but more or less on an hourly scale.

    JV, isn't it almost a necessity to eat carbs before workout, so you'll have energy to workout... and also when doing cardio, so you don't cramp?

    Also, JV, the alcohol content in beer or whatever the drink may be should not be counted towards the calories needed to cut, maintain, or bulk. I am pretty sure on this one, from a few posts and other articles that I read, but it's not a nutrient. It should of course be counted as part of caloric intake.

    Hmm, good thread [​IMG]
  16. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Increased meal frequency does not increase metabolism.

    and hunger is a combination of metabolic, sensory and cognitive facets that combine to form the end 'feeling'.

    Metabolism is involved in the system somewhat, but if increasing meal frequency isnt increasing metabolism, then its effect on hunger isnt because of metabolism, more than likely dur to the sensory and cognitive/psychological pieces of the puzzle
  17. Scooper182

    Scooper182 New Member

    Please read bomsu's post:
    I correlate "losing one's job" to hampering one's economic situation.  I don't see how one is better economically without a job.
  18. then how can one increase one's metabolism?

    for my girl :), my metabolism is working great
  19. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Exercise, taking supplements such as caffeine, ephedra, etc.
  20. bomsu

    bomsu New Member

    Hi Guys !
    Thank you alot for your input and feedback. :D
    The discussion is very fruitful and more truths/opinions appear.   Some people say "Increased meal frequency does not increase metabolism" , while others contend that IT DOES INCREASE METABOLISM AND ALLOW A PERSON TO LOOSE MORE WEIGHT/FAT.  Which one is  CORRECT or CLOSER  to the truth :confused:
    Some say "hunger is a combination of metabolic, sensory and cognitive facets that combine to form the end 'feeling'", while others argue that "hunger is a protective reaction of the body to the lack of food".  Again, which statement is closer to the truth :confused:
    Assuming that all of the above is more or less true, then the best way to increase metabolism and/or loose weight/fat would be to drink caffeine, XENADRINE, or  green tea before a workout in order to stimulate the Central Nervous System and get the heart pump faster and increase metabolism.
    I ve been thinking about drinking  green tea (lots of this stuff in SKorea) or coffee  1-2 cups before a workout (especially morning running session).  Is it a  helpful or harmful  way to get the heart pump faster and thus increase my metabolic rate to burn these extra pounds of fat ?  Any insights from a practical / medical point of view ?
    ------------------------------------------- --- ---
    As for drinking alcohol as a compulsory social procedure, I luckily found a simple solution -- to limit the number of shot glasses of soju (Korean traditional vodka-like 23 % alc liquid) or beer glasses to the magical number 3.  Each culture recognizes certain numbers as magical (eg 1, 3, 7, 9 ...) so  1 shot glass is not enough for the socialization but 3 glasses are just fine not to offend the boss and keep him happy (and my job steady :) .  Btw, the boss usually (but not always) pays for these parties, so the economical matter is of little concern, rather  health and muscle gain.
    HypetrophyST is a miracle !  [​IMG]  Wow, I can feel it now. My height is 180 cm.  My body weight is going down more or less (from 91 to 89 kgs, 198-195 lbs) and the percentage of fat is slowly going down (from 20 to 18, which means I grow muscle mass.   That's good !!!
    As soon as I get creatine and glutamine (it takes a few weeks to get here from the US), I can even increase the muscle mass.  
    The pleasant/dreadful thing is that I can feel incredible pain in the whole body and sitting and sleeping on the floor becomes more painful.

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