THE FITNESS BLOG

My online fitness journal, sharing my thoughts and experience


the fitness journal

Gym Myth - Eat little and often for better fitness gains


How many times a day do you think you need to eat to reach your goals?

When I first qualified as a trainer we were educated that eating little and often was best for achieving your goals.

For fat loss it helped "speed up" the metabolism

For muscle gain it helped to keep protein synthesis high and fuel the gains...

Whilst the" little and often" movement has decreased somewhat, I still hear people talking about meal about meal frequency as a factor for improved health and fitness.

It's incredibly common for people to promote eating 5-6 times per day.

This way of eating can be effective but the logistics of it can be a challenge.

I remember working on a film that hired a nutritionist for one of the cast, they created a meal plan with 6 meals a day, each with a different carb source.

Q- Who has time to cook quinoa, brown rice, oats and sweet potato all for one day of meals?
A- Not me

So, let's look at the facts...

The fact is, not many studies have been carried out to investigate exactly when and how often you should eat. A recent study published in a nutrition journal in 2015[1] looked at all the studies they could find that investigated the effect of regular meals compared to grazing. They found 25 in total, and analyzed all the results.

They concluded that eating frequency alone has no effect at all on weight, health and fitness.

What matters is how much you eat in total, and what you eat.

Now let's look at the reality

To achieve your goals you likely need to train, your training should be designed for you and your goals

BUT, you will likely only achieve your goals if your nutrition is correct.

This means calories correct for your level of activity and goals as well as an appropriate macro split.

To be successful you need to hit your daily calories consistently and the easiest way of doing this is by making your way of eating

· Simple
· Enjoyable
· Repeatable
· Not horribly time consuming

When people enquire about coaching with me I often get asked about the logistics of meals, and how this could be a real problem for them. For a lot of people, the thought of eating 6+ times a day can make starting a no go.

I completely understand this.

If I thought I had to prep and eat this many meals a day I would know it couldn't be sustainable for me.

That's why for the majority of people I work with (and myself) we go with 3 meals a day and a snack.

Simple, easy to stay on top of and with the correct calories, highly effective.

If you like eating throughout the day, go for it. If you like eating a few big meals, that's fine too. Just do what works for you (but get your calories right).

David Kingsbury

I’m David Kingsbury, a personal trainer with over 12 years experience. After opening my own personal training studio at Pinewood Film Studios, I began training actors for film roles. I have since trained over 50 actors for various roles, from Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal to Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence.

I offer custom online personal training and nutrition and use my expertise to help people reach their goals. My plans are custom made and built to fit in with your lifestyle, equipment and experience. Whether you are looking to get lean, lose fat or add muscle my custom meals plans and training plans can get you there.

If you would like to know more why not take a look at Training & Nutrition Packages.