Eating 6 times a day; ALWAYS hungry
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I had a discussion about this on a Spark thread with another Spark member. We were discussing the Pros & Cons of snacking. The other member was against it, and I was all for it.
I've been following the CLEAN EATING principles which ONE of the rules is to eat 5-6 small meals a day. I defended this theory, but now I am not so sure that I am right.
After some thought I realized a few things...
A) I have NOT always been overweight, and have had THREE squares a day, plus a midday snack my entire life. My overweight problem only began about three years ago, after my house burned down, and some other unfortunate events took place in my life. I was depressed and living in a one room motel, making batches of chocolate chip cookies everynight, unable to workout (as I have been doing since I was 20 years old)
B) When I joined Spark, I was easily able to lose 50 pounds, by eating healthy (and I have ALWAYS eaten fairly clean food) by following the THREE squares a day, plus a midday snack. It has only been since I have adopted this 5-6 small meals a day "thing" that I have had this ENORMOUS and CONSTANT hunger! Everytime I eat a SMALL, 300 calorie meal, I leave the table STILL hungry, and deprived feeling.
C) Since I am ALWAYS hungry, I have been craving foods and doing a LOT of baking! YIKES! I need say no more!
So, this is not working. It may work for some. And, in fact, I am sure eating all these small meals DOES stoke your metabolism. I'm almost sure it does, as I am ALWAYS hungry.
But, what works for one does not always work for another. So, today is DAY 1 of eating THREE squares and a midday snack. No more breakfast, then an AM snack, then Lunch, then a PM snack, dinner, then another PM snack..... NO MORE!
Also, WHO actually EATS 1/2 cup of oatmeal and 3 egg whites for breakfast? TELL ME! WHO does this?
Sorry! I like a little honey or raisins on my oatmeal, and a little milk (thank-you very much), and PLAIN egg whites? No tomatoes, spinach or onion? Maybe a TEENT, TINY bit of grated cheddar?
Aw, come on! If you tell me you ENJOY PLAIN OATMEAL and EGG WHITES I would be tempted to cal you a LIAR. Maybe you do it for your health, but don't you feel just a little like you are missing out?
No matter what anyone says, I believe that food is MORE than JUST FUEL. IT is the centre of SOOOO many celebrations,holidays, social events and activities. I am done with denying myself what I really enjoy. A good, healthy MEAL. AT LEAST 500 calories!
Had to come back and comment. Like I said... I'm glad the MINI meals are working for all of you. They are not for me. It is like eating APPYs all day, and there is NEVER a main course. I find it very dissatisfying. I am quite sure it is good for you. But, it is not good for me. It makes me want more. I lost 50 pounds NOT eating mini meals!
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I eat three main meals and two to three small snacks, that is my 5-6 meals per day. They aren't ALL meals, per say.
And my oatmeal is a celebration: bananas, blueberries, brown sugar Splenda (not clean, I know), chopped walnuts, ground flax seeds, wheat germ, lecithin granules and it is just plain yummy! I might eat a hard boiled egg along side it, yolk and all. I love my breakfast and would never strip it down.
You gotta do what works for you.
2786 days ago
What a coincidence! I got this in an email a couple days ago and Blogged the same thing.
It wasn't working for me, either. Seems like I was eating ALL THE TIME! I went back to 3 meals and just 1 snack in the afternoon and have been losing weight again.
What works for some doesn't work for all. Find your 'happy place' and stay there.
2795 days ago
It seems to me like I eat ALL the time since I'm trying to eat clean. I am still finding it quite time consuming to figure this all out. Funny you mentioned the oatmeal and eggwhites. I kid you not when I say that I mixed some of this up for a pancake recipe for tomorrow morning to try. I just put it in the fridge about an hour ago. I did however add blueberries. I also started adding peanut butter (natural which I just started eating this week and I really like) to my oatmeal. I'm going to keep trying the small meals but I am going back to tracking my food because I feel like I'm eating too much. I have gain a pound or two but I was sick and not exercising like normal. It's good you know what works for you.
2799 days ago
I agree. Small meals are not for me either. I would much prefer to do like you said with 3 meals and a snack. Although my snack is a bedtime snack. Not a mid day snack.
2802 days ago
I have found that I can do either one and not be hungry. When I do get hungry is at night. One of my goals is to not eat after 6pm, but that has not been working out too good because I usually go to bed very hungry and drinking water to make it go away. I am going to finish this week with 6pm and start next week at 7pm instead, but I really don't want to do that. I really would like to stick to not eating past 6pm. Any suggestions on this? Right now I am doing the 5-6 small meals a day. And like I said I don't get hungry until the night. Should I try the 3 meals a day and see if that works better. So far I have been loosing weight at a steady pase and I really don't want to mess that up though. Great blog! Thanks!
2803 days ago
UMMMM....I like plain oatmeal! It took a while to really be able to say that, but now I can honestly say I like plain oatmeal. It has a nice, nutty taste to it. It's the half cup I would have a problem with, lol.
Now plain egg whites??? What a waste of cooking time, think I'll just have more oatmeal instead!
Seriously, it's whatever works for you, when it comes to how much, how often. In fact I find that I eat the 6 mini meals during the work week, but never eat more than 4 during the weekend. I just don't "remember" to snack on weekends, where my whole work day seems to revolve around my "eating/snacking" schedule.
The only time I really struggle with hunger lately are the extremely cold days...Seems when those temps go sub-zero I'm always hungry, even as I've finished eating. But the minute the temps start heading up to above freezing, the appetitie stabilizes.
2805 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/18/2010 1:36:30 PM
i couldn't eat plain eggs or oatmeal, EWWW. I can bearly get them down with all the stuff you put on them so there you go.
2805 days ago
Well I'm a six meal a day person - well combination meals and snacks. I do believe it does fire up your metabolism and I find I'm not all that hungry compared to when I used to eat big meals and sometimes skip meals and then binge eat. So it has worked very well for me. I particularly like the idea of being able to snack and ... its really a mini-meal not some sort of cheat in-between meals. Of course snacks never were that, that was just the image I always had for some reason that snacks were basically inherently bad, like snacks "ruining" your supper. I have a much healthier attitude and habit when it comes to meals and snacks.
I have come to love oatmeal. Before I could not eat oatmeal without brown sugar and milk - plus the faster the cooking time the better. Now I buy the slowest cooking oatmeal or steel cut and love it. I can eat it very nicely with just lots of cinnamon (I always use lots in the morning for it's antioxidants) but why stop there. I add in a couple of tablespoons of flax meal, a scoop of unflavoured whey protein and then a bit of applesauce or blueberries/blackberries. That is an awesome breakfast!!! Not sure who has been touting plain oatmeal, why make a forced march out of such a wonderful food if it can be made vibrant with just a bit of some other foods that are great for you as well.
I do eat eat egg whites just basically plain - well plain inside but I have cherry tomatoes on the side and I splash some hot sauce on them. That picks them up. But why the heck not put that stuff in them when cooking. Boy you've had some pretty strict advice if you are supposed only have egg whites alone and nothing else. But seems to me you have been doing just great using your own common sense. So you keep following that and eating healthy and you will continue to be be a great role model for those of us you follow your example and do what works for us.
2805 days ago
L ~ what works for one is so much different for each. When I posted a blog about doing what worked for me vs. what Spark recommended I ended up getting blasted by two casual drop bys! So I will not do that to you!
For example, I know some Sparkers who have admitted they did years of yo-yo dieting and now trying to get back to a normal diet, their body is not working. Oprah blew out her thyroid with yo-yoing.
I haven't yo-yoed but I do know coming back this time the weight was very slow to drop at the beginning and I am in a more comfortable place now with what I'm eating (less then Spark recommends on a daily basis) and my exercise.
For me personally, the three traditional meals are where I put the majority of my calories but I still try to stay below 500 per meal. The two snacks are 300 or less calories. I also try to let my body dictate if I feel I need the snack or more of a snack, or less etc...
You do so much exercise, I'm not surprised you are so hungry. I don't know all the ends and outs of the weight training diet (which I know you do) so I guess the question is are you getting enough? Or do you think (which it seems from your blog) that re-apportioning the calorie distribution may be the key...?
2805 days ago
Definitely what works for one does not work for another.
I have never been able to eat oatmeal. It has to be heavily masked by other flavors and then at that point it's no longer healthy. So I figure why eat it? :)
2805 days ago
Body builders do the oatmeal and eggs thing, that's who. And they all say the same thing: that it is BORING!
I eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. My snacks are usually fruit in the morning and afternoon and I might have toast and hummus or rice cakes with home-made guacamole and sliced ham for supper. I have porridge with sultanas and sunflower seeds for breakfast during the week and soup and a sandwich at lunchtime. Dinner is usually a chicken or fish dish with rice, pasta or potatoes and veggies. On the weekends I'll have a veggie omelette with bacon for breakfast (I don't eat "clean" like you and do enjoy processed meat).
You have to listen to your body, though. If you're constantly hungry, then you're clearly not eating enough and I know it's not because you're filling up on junk. You are very active, so you might need to eat more calories that you're allowing yourself. Try a bit of experimentation and see how you get on.
Best of luck with the new eating regime. I hope it works for you.
2805 days ago
Thanks for the GOOD LUCK wishes! But, I'm am just going back to what I KNOW works... no LUCK required. Thanks, anyways...
2805 days ago
Okay,.... I hear you. I could never eat plain oatmeal with 3 egg whites and be satisfied. I love oatmeal. When they say 1/2 a cup, I get out my measuring cup and get 1/2 c. dry and then I cook it with 1/2 cup skim milk and yes, peanut butter!
I will eat 3 egg whites but they include onions and peppers and 1/4c of cheese.
Maybe, I'm eating all wrong but I think that that some veggies shouldn't count toward your end cals; some should be veggies unlimited and I treat them as such: spinach, broccoli, onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cabbage. Most of these are non starchy and loaded with vitamins and mineral. I also do the same for some fruits: all berries blue, straw, rasb and black. That being said, I add these things to my meal for bulk. Do what works for you... I like to eat every 3-4 hours but at least 400 cals for 3 meals and 2 200 cal meals. Happy health and balancing!
2805 days ago
I am so sick of oatmeal... YUCK... I drink shakes at breakfast too... Good LUCK!!!
2806 days ago
I liked your blog!!
2806 days ago
Hhhmmmm. I always heard that the 6 small meals per day is better for your boosting metabolism. Maybe your metabolism is spinning, burning calories faster and making you hungrier? I don't know. Everyone's body is different. But maybe it just takes some time to get used to. I eat 3 meals and have 3 small snacks (50-100 calorie snacks depending on how many calories the previous meal was). I am only on day 14 but it seems to be working for me. Well, good luck!
2806 days ago
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