Chances are that you have heard the argument in favour of smaller meals been more beneficial to your fitness goal and health. When we speak about meal frequency, the biggest factor has to be your appetite (a natural desire to satisfy). If you have a big appetite then it makes more sense to have bigger meals in each sitting which will equate to less frequency during the day and vice versa for small appetite. Have you ever tried to go against nature? It is always a difficult journey right? Trying to go against your natural eating pattern will make it less likely to stick to your nutritional plan and can potentially derail your goal.
The other factor that plays a role is your lifestyle. Imagine working in an environment where you go from one meeting to another, 100 miles an hour. Feeding in your natural pattern can become difficult, therefore your lifestyle often in some cases will help determine which option.
The two biggest considerations outside of appetite and lifestyle should be your calories (a unit of energy, often used as a measurement of the amount of energy that food provides) and macro-nutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate). Does the approach you take allow you to get in all your Calories and Macro-Nutrients needed for the day based on your goal? If the answer is “Yes” then you are on the right track, if “No” adjust accordingly.
The word that is often thrown around is usually metabolic rate (the rate at which metabolism occurs). The higher the better, we usually strive to increase this but meal frequency doesn’t play a major factor like we are led to believe. The bigger factors are body size, composition, age, gender, type and intensity of training, calories and macro – nutrients to name a few.