How Many Meals a Day Do You Need to Build Muscle?


how many meals a day do you need to build muscle?How many meals a day do you need to build muscle?

It’s a question asked by everyone who starts strength training for the first time.

We’ve all heard or read that you need to eat 5-6 meals per day.

But who has the time or desire to do that?

Surely no one who works or has a social life.

Sounds like a real pain-in-the-ass nightmare if you ask me.

I’m a big fan simplicity and minimalism.

It’s liberating and gives you a sense of freedom. Ya know, the kind of freedom that comes from having to prepare meals every 90 minutes and eat every two hours on the button.

The kind of freedom that comes with weighing your food and counting all of your macronutrients at every meal. The freedom that carrying Tupperware containers full of steamed broccoli and chicken breasts everywhere you go brings.

Ah… that’s the life, aint it?

Sounds like…sounds like imprisonment more than freedom.

I’ll be the first one to admit, I recommended the old six-meals-per-day, eat-every-two-hours deal for years. We all did.

It was like recommending pull ups.

The squat or press aren’t universally loved, but pullups? Who doesn’t love pull ups? Everyone recommends pull ups.

Just like everyone recommended six meals a day.

It was the thing to do.

You have to keep the metabolism running at full speed ahead. If you don’t eat every two hours it’ll slow down.

You’ll get fat. You’ll lose muscle. You’ll get weak.

Your thyroid will shut down. Your wang will shrink. Your nose will grow. You’ll go broke.

It’s all bullshit.

A Step in the Opposite Direction

Eating six meals a day, every two hours is just another way of being a slave to your lifestyle and your stuff. Having to eat every two hours is just more baggage.

It’s like owning something else that you just don’t need. Something else you need to always take care of and revolve your life around.

It’s at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from a minimalist lifestyle that allows true freedom.

The reality is that every single reason you were told to eat six times per day is complete bullshit.

If you eat a heaping pile of eggs right now, the amino acids are in your blood stream for a lot longer than two hours.

You are not going to dip into an extreme catabolic state like Tom Hanks in Castaway if you don’t eat again exactly 120 minutes from now. It’s just physically impossible.

But surely your glycogen stores would be depleted right?

Not even close.

Unless you run a marathon you will have plenty of stored glycogen to get you through a strength training workout a day or so after you last carbohydrate meal.

Bodybuilders have to almost starve themselves and take extreme measures to deplete glycogen levels for 3-7 days before a show. I’m sure that going longer than 2-3 hours between meals isn’t going to deplete yours.

Years ago I literally used to get in a bad mood and could be somewhat pissy if I went more than a couple hours without eating. I thought all my hard work was for nothing and that I was in a severe catabolic state.

It’s embarrassing now to think back on it.

The Problem With Eating So Often

The very act of eating in itself, is stressful to the body. Digestive stress ages you and causes inflammation.

When you are busy stuffing your face all day you are stressing the body out to unhealthy levels. You never give the gut a chance to fully heal. Your enzyme pool doesn’t get replenished and your whole digestive system takes a beating.

When digestive health is compromised nothing functions properly.

Having fewer hours per day in the fed state is a good thing. It lets the body heal and replenish itself.

A little while back the New York Times reported on the recent study that showed no weight loss benefits of six meals per day over three meals per day. I don’t put a lot of stock in too many studies but it was worth noting nonetheless.

If you want to get bigger and stronger simply determine how many calories you need per day and divide them by three instead of six or seven. It’s just far more convenient and doesn’t alienate you from the rest of society so much.

Back to the Old School

All of the old time strongmen and bodybuilders ate three meals per day.

Vince Gironda’s diets consisted of three meals per day and all his guys were ripped and jacked. John McCallum used to recommend three meals per day.

I don’t know how the six meals a day thing came about but I suspect it was money driven.

“You need three meals plus three shakes,” some supplement company exec must have declared.

In the Golden Era of Physical Culture men ate three meals per day. They didn’t show up carrying coolers and sneaking protein shakes in at the bar at night.

Now I may not be that manly. But if it was good enough for Arthur Saxon it’s good enough for me.

So join me in taking another step toward freedom and minimalism. Take off the Zubaz pants and the boat neck sweatshirts (they only looked cool when worn by the Road Warriors, pictured above).

Put away the Tupperware and the countdown timer that notifies you of your next meal.

At the end of the day this whole process of immersing yourself in Physical Culture, is really about having fun, being healthy and enhancing the enjoyment of your life.

There’s no way that eating every two hours does any of those things.

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64 Responses to How Many Meals a Day Do You Need to Build Muscle?

  1. Max Amsterdam November 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    That is one fine ass!! And uh, great post!!
    ;-)

  2. Luke Wold November 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Great post, Jason!

    I used to be UNBEARABLE if I missed a meal – not because I was hungry, but because I thought I would be weaker at my next workout.

    I was the stereotypical powerlifter eating cold hamburger out of a cooler in the middle of the exercise science lab, because it was 2pm and “time to eat.”

    Getting out of some hottie’s bed at 10pm for a casein and peanut butter shake to help me make it through the night without becoming Pee-Wee Herman.

    Now I eat REAL foods (not just shakes and protein bars) when I’m hungry, I don’t bother measuring things, and I even – *gasp* – will have a piece of fruit as a snack.

    As a result I’m leaner, lighter (but with no change in indicator lifts), healthier, and most importantly, I’m not a complete pain in the ass to be around.

    Thanks bro!

    ~ Luke

  3. Marius November 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Thanks Jason for dispelling all the myths about exercise and nutrition. Keep it simple!

  4. Gary Deagle November 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Awesome post Jason. I have always thought about how soldiers and warriors of yester-year had to have been jacked and ripped without getting to eat 6 meals a day. Same thing with prisoners, yet everyone now sweats it hard like its the key to their results.

    Awesome way to wrap up the minimalism series. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. volquartsen November 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Jay – what is your take on eating later at night? It sounds as if reading this that we might be better off getting calories in earlier in the evening than trying to plan that last meal of the day right before I doze off.

  6. Russell November 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Amen to all that, Jay. I decided a couple months ago that the whole “eat every 3 hours” deal just wasn’t cutting it for me. So I’m more fluid in my eating. I actually follow a sort of 16-ish hour fasting time with an 8-ish hour feeding time (similar to protocol of Leangains.com) and it works fine in my schedule right now. I’ll eat two large meals during this period along with the potential for a snack and/or small meal in addition. But as long as my caloric intake is met, in the long run that’s what your body uses.

  7. shaun mcdonald November 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    your blog post can be backed up majorly by a little thing called JAIL.. lol.

  8. shaun mcdonald November 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    was just reading about that walker dude. the guy is nuts. completely insane. 3-4 hours of sleep a night, 1 meal a day…at night. doesnt care about calories, protein, carbs, fat. dudes like 225lb lol…how

  9. Tracy Langford November 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Totally agree! Used to the same thing. Now 3-4 meals and I only have a tablespoon of peanut butter or handful of almonds before bed. Don’t really eat a lot of carbs after 5 or 6 in the evening. Feel a whole lot better. Still building muscle. Keep the good articles coming Jay!

  10. Michael November 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Jason… Jason.. Jason! This is the reason I keep coming back for more. I have been a fan of yours for years because of articles like these. I too fell for the old 6 meals a day, protein powder in a shaker where ever I went, tuna salad in tupperware carrying bullshit. It’s nonesense. I’m stronger, faster, and leaner (at a higher body weight) than ever before. My recovery ability is far better than it ever was back in those wasteful days. I haven’t touched whey protein, or *gag* cottage cheese, in months and you know what? I feel better than I ever did force feeding myself like a brainless meat head. The key too real physical greatness is just like you say: a minimalist approach. Putting in hard work training foundamental movements, real food and rest. It doesn’t have to be so complicated people!

  11. Matt November 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Love your views on fitness and how you expose all the bullshit out there. Respect and thanks!

  12. Raymond - ZenMyFitness November 12, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Excellent I can finally come out ..haha I was too embarrassed to admit to anyone I wasn’t eating 6 times a day and I do fast.
    But I couldn’t tell anyone at the gym in case they laughed at me …well they’d probably laugh regardless but that’s not the point here.
    I just couldn’t eat that many times in a day I tried and the meal size actually got smaller, I just couldn’t fit them all in. I do believe to grow of course you need a surplus but doesn’t have to be 6 times a day.
    But really thanks Jason if you say it on here I take for all its worth and now more than happy to run with it NOT eating like I’m on a continuous production line.
    Raymond

  13. Matt November 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Great post….great idea!
    However, just wondering, wouldn’t the stress on the body be quite high when it’s trying to digest a large feeding as opposed to smaller feedings more frequently?

    • Nick Efthimiou November 13, 2010 at 12:23 am #

      @Matt:

      The point with less frequent eating is that digestion takes a long time, up to 5 hours or so if you have a decent sized steak for example.

      So eating again 3 hours later is actually stressing your body more, because it has to digest even more food, when it hasn’t even finished the previous meal.

  14. Novan November 12, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    holy crap this is gospel.

  15. Cate November 12, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Love this…very liberating and makes so much sense!!!!!!!!

  16. Christopher November 12, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Love it!
    great article!

    It change my panorama about eating. I thought eating 6 meals was very important.

  17. Greg November 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    I also feel like the amount of calories we have been told to eat has long been over estimated. I have begun to wonder to feel that as long as we are eating nutrient dense foods than that is the most important step. Eat more good stuff, not just more stuff. I think we are being told to eat more calories than we need. What’s your take Jay? Am I off base?

  18. Kevin Valluzzi November 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Great stuff Jay. It’s funny, being a personal trainer and keeping up with all of the latest with fitness, nutrition, etc. I always questioned the eating 6 meals a day thing, especially for weight loss. I’ve met so many people who don’t eat 6 times a day, more like 3, and are in great shape. It makes a lot of sense, like you say, that it doesn’t necessarily matter when you are consuming your calories, but how many total calories you are consuming is the key.

    Really like this minimalism series. I love how “not minimal” it really is!!

    Thanks for the info brutha!

    Kevin

  19. Jonny November 12, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Hey Jason, this series on minimalism is really brilliant. Essential reading.
    Got a question on not eating every 2-3 hours though. What about bodyfat levels, metabolism and your body burning muscle instead of fat when your body has to go longer than 3 hours without food? The whole thing of when you eat a meal, what your body doesn’t need it will store for later, then when you eat again it will use the new fuel/food rather than the stored?

  20. Grant November 13, 2010 at 12:50 am #

    Finally someone agrees with me. Thanks Jason, I’ve been preaching this for a while now

  21. Andy November 13, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    “At the end of the day this whole process of immersing yourself in physical culture, is really about having fun, being healthy and enhancing the enjoyment of your life.”

    Never truer words written, that should be what it is all about!!!

    Although i have always naturally preferred eating 5 or 6 times a day, even before i started in the gym. It was a pain in the ass then and is a pain in the ass now. But at least im healthy and can go to the gym and do all the things i love doing.

  22. David Walker November 13, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    the minimalism articles are great. we all need less stuff in our lives. glad to hear you debunk the constant eating myth. I’ve been following Ori Hofmekler’s Warrior Diet for well over a year now (and previously Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat). No worrying about meal planning during the day, feel much more focused and energetic during the day, i get the benefit of fasted training, and i always look forward to enjoying a big healthy meal at night. As you say, it’s all about total intake – my experience has proven to me that it matters little or none at all whether meals are 6, 3 or once a day – i’m still building muscle while keeping the body fat off. btw: awesome writing – all the time. always look forward to your new posts

  23. Louis November 13, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    I agree 100% from the eating six meals is BS to that minimalism in asses is a very bad thing! I believe in was a media thing pushed by a supplement or meat company to say that 6 meals is what you need. i mean after all the more you eat the more money they make. It is not like they actually give a damn about any of us as long as we hand them our money they don’t care what results we are getting. I have never been a 6 meal a day fan it was to much work. I recently had knee surgery and am not able to do much training so I started IF and I am not gaining weight. I also agree with Shaun look at guys in jail who have 3 meals a day if that these meals are more than likely not the greatest in nutritional value yet prisoners steal build solid muscle. To quote Ice Cube ” Still gettin swoll off bread and water!”

    Louis

  24. Eskow November 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Fuck, I’m a slave. One of the best articles in a while.

  25. Aaron November 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Jason, I like the idea of eating less frequently during the day, but I feel legitimately hungry (I think) every 2-3 hours and my stomach actually begins to hurt. Am I really feeling hungry or is this more of a psychological thing? I don’t usually eat small meals, so I don’t think it’s the amount of intake that is the problem. Anyone else feel this way? Love the minimalism series!

    • Nick Efthimiou November 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

      @Aaron:

      If you are hungry, you are hungry, Jason can’t tell what you feel.

      However if you get hungry soon after meals, try upping the protein and fiber content.

      Otherwise just go by what your body says.

  26. Brant November 14, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    Like most things, this is a trend. There are studies to support eating more frequently, there are studies to support fasting, and there are studies to support any other crazy diet you want. In the end it is about what works for your body, cause we are all genetically different and all have a different set of factors in our llives that affect how our body and minds function best. What it comes down to is you have to find out what approach works for you and go with it.

  27. Dean Leach November 14, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    AWESOME. I was going broke thinking I needed to eat every 2-3 hrs, consuming MANY supplements. What’s a bunch of BS.

  28. Vaclav Gregor November 14, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Finally somebody who has same opinion as I do.
    I especially like this quotte “90’s bodybuilding advice = somewhat lame”, but sadly this is exactly what you will find in today’s fitness magazines, on the suplement covers, in tv comercials etc.
    Truth is that many people still believe in the myths like eating 6 meals a day. But at least we talk about it on blogs and social media, so hopefully as the time will go on, people will understand better to how their bodies really work.
    Vaclav Gregor

  29. ale November 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    It’s true but in your book you say exactly the opposite… :
    NEVER GO LONGER THAN THREE HOURS WITHOUT EATING
    Divide up your daily total caloric intake into five to six meals and eat that amount of calories every two and half to three hours. When you go longer than three hours without eating, your body will start to go into a catabolic state and eat away your lean muscle tissue. Eating frequently keeps your body in an anabolic state and ready to grow. Eating frequently also allows you to stay leaner than eating two or three big meals does.

  30. Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips November 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    All eating 6 times per day seemed to do was make me fat and make me waist money on protein shakes…which I suppose is the point. I incorporate fasting a couple days a week and it’s helped me lean out. Plus, no more wasted dollars on protein. Of course it took a while to cycle off the 6 meals per day thing. My body had grown addicted to eating so often. Now I can go hours without eating and not have it affect my personality.

  31. Jason Ferruggia November 15, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    @Luke- Great post. Thanks, man!

    @Gary- Great points, which I always refer to myself, actually.

    @volquarsten- I don’t like eating anything in the two hours before bed and don’t recommend it.

    @Shaun- True.

    @Tracy- Good deal.

    @Michael- Very well said. Glad to hear about the great results you’re getting.

    @Matt- Thank you.

    @Matt- No. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. Through evolution we have become accustomed to eating big meals less frequently. It is the constant, never ending digestion of the frequent feedings that leads to stress.

    @Cate- Liberating is the key word.

    @Greg- You are right on point. It’s all about eating more nutrient dense food; not just more food.

    @Jonny- It’s all BS. Not true at all.

    @David Walker- Thank you very much. And I’m glad to hear about your great results. Just validates what I’m saying.

    @Louis- Anyone who quotes old school Ice Cube is a friend of mine.

    @Ale- As I mentioned at the beginning of the post: “Look, I’ll be the first one to admit, I recommended the old six-meals-per-day, eat-every-two-hours deal for years.”

    If I’m still recommending the exact same thing today that I was a few years ago I have failed as a fitness professional. I’m always learning, experimenting, researching and evolving.

    Truth be told, however…. I would still make the “eat every three hours” recommendation to skinny hardgainer teenagers with lightning fast metabolisms. You just need to stress and overemphasize the importance of eating to those guys.

    @Dave- It certainly is a waste of money.

  32. Kirpal November 15, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    @ale

    That’s true that he did but he also suggested doing calf raises and he’s against it now. Jason’s prime message has always been to stick to basics. So he’s going back to it. Sometimes you get caught up in hype (which he said he did) and sometimes you have to do something to entertain people.

  33. Kirpal November 15, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    Didn’t post to restate what Jason’s response was I didn’t refresh my browser and see his post.

  34. Joe November 15, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Jay,
    I have been struggling to get lean for a while and at the age of 39 it is much more difficult than when I was in my 20′s. Over the past 3 months I have eliminated all starchy carbs from my diet and have been eating anywhere from 4-6 times a day. For the first time ever, I am getting leaner and maintaining strength. I have dropped about 14 lbs and most of it has been fat. I guess I am following the caveman type of diet although I haven’t read the book. I don’t count calories, I just eat enough to feel full. I eat when I am hungry and don’t obsess about an eating schedule. As we all know, all body types are different and what works for one person doesn’t work for another but this seems to be working for me. Thanks for the great post.

  35. Will November 15, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Just in case anyone is doubting Jason on this one, here’s an interesting study:

    The Effect of Meal Frequency on Body Composition during 12-Weeks of Strength Training

    http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:MhUHJ63asxgJ:https://ecss2007.cc.jyu.fi/schedule/proceedings/pdf/1796.pdf+the+effect+of+meal+frequency+on+body+comp osition+during+12+weeks&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1

    Essentially:

    “After multiple regression analysis the 3 meal group had
    a significant greater gain in lean body mass (LBM) than
    the 6 meal group when adjusted for gender and energy in-
    take (p=0.04), when adjusted for gender and protein intake
    (p=0.03), and when adjusted for gender, protein intake,
    carbohydrate intake and fat intake.”

    Overall:

    “In this study, three meals per day resulted in larger mus-
    cle gain from strength training than six meals per day over
    a period of twelve weeks.”

    Don’t confuse the diet it takes to get big with the diet it takes to get ripped. The 6 meals a day thing is for bodybuilders. Bigger meals work better for mass gain, probably due to hormonal response at several levels (e.g., insulin). Sumos carry the most muscle of all athletes, and they don’t graze; they gorge.

    But huge infrequent meals won’t work as well for getting lean. Eating several small meals throughout the day blunts the hormonal responses to food. In particular, the lower levels of insulin translate into increased utilization of body fat for energy, so you can still maintain a decent daily caloric intake and still burn fat.

    I think 3-4 meals day is great for mass gain and is manageable even with 6000 calories per day (1500 calories per meal with 4 meals a day – that’s not too hard if you’re consuming lots of fat), but 6 meals a day is still optimum for getting ripped.

  36. Lame-R November 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    The only difference I noticed with 6 meals a day was more blubber around my midsection.

    Frequent eating appears to also be a great way to increase your risk of cavities.

    The lightning metabolism dudes may still require it b/c it is dificult for them to get enough calories in 3 meals without eating so much at each meal that they would puke it all back out.

  37. K. Kim November 16, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Great post Jason. It made so much sense as I read it and it made my life better when I tried it yesterday.

  38. Mac November 16, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Thank God! I’ve been obsessed with eating every 2.5 hours for years now and most of the time I feel like I’m stuffing too much food down my throat…albeit healthy food. My friends think I’m a psychopath….I need a break and it starts now….I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

    thanks bro,
    mac.

  39. Louis November 16, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Cube is the shit! In my opinion most rap today sucks. I shouldn’t even say rap I should say most main stream music today sucks. Old school is 100 times better but that is just how I feel.

  40. Matt November 16, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Great post man! Ive been eating 3 to 4 meals per day for months now. It feels way better than the normal 6. Im leaner, stronger and have to train less with better results. Thanks for letting the world know that there is more than one way.

  41. Naveen November 17, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Great post! And I have to admit, it comes as a big relief!

  42. Claudia Hall Christian November 17, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    I love your growing community of excellent wisdom, Jay. It’s so fun to come back and see all the additional links, etc.

    And thanks for writing this. My personal experience living in my body matches what you’re saying – I’ve just never seen it articulated. I’ve been on the down low, hiding out, not telling anyone I’m not eating every 2-3 hours and that I can survive a day of fasting. I’ve also recently found that my body likes to be a little hungry. Go figure.

    Cheers! :)

  43. Jason Ferruggia November 18, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    @Joe- That’s great to hear.

    @Will- Thanks for posting that. I have people getting ripped on 1-4 meals per day. But both options work. Just depends if you are interested in the health benefits of fasting/detoxing/replenishing your enzyme pool, boosting the immune system, decreasing digestive stress etc.

    @K.Kim- That’s awesome

    @Louis- I hear ya.

    @Claudia- Thank you. Glad you like the whole scene we got goin here.

  44. Will November 18, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    @Jason:

    You mention ‘the health benefits of fasting/detoxing/replenishing your enzyme pool, boosting the immune system, decreasing digestive stress etc.’

    Obviously waiting longer between meals is one way to achive those benefits. 4 meals a day – for example, 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm – means your body gets more time to recover.

    How would one implement intermittent water fasting? 24 hours every 7 days of consuming nothing but filtered water? Presumably you wouldn’t recommend a water fast either side of a heavy workout?

    • Jason Ferruggia November 22, 2010 at 5:23 am #

      @Will: Yup. That’s good too. Although I would rather compress that time frame down from 12 hours to 10 or less.

      Once a week, stop eating at 7pm and then don’t eat anything until 7pm the next day. Just drink water.

  45. David S. November 21, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    @Jason:

    Great article, this site has always helped me in the right direction with training advice.

    What are your views on the Warrior Diet style of eating? I’m making fairly good progress and to be honest I find it a very easy regime to stick to…It just suits me personally. I guess that’s all that matters…and in fact, by the time you’ve spent the day eating some raw veg/fruit and the odd serving of nuts, the evening meal doesn’t have to be as ridiculously big as people think….

    anyhow, just wondered what your thoughts were? Keep up the great site.

    • Jason Ferruggia November 22, 2010 at 5:24 am #

      @David S.: I absolutely love it and think it’s one of the best approaches to eating there is.

  46. Lori November 21, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Amen and true. I have been doing Intermittent Fasting for a few months now, fasting (roughly) for 12 hrs, then “feeding” for 8-10- or just eating when I am hungry, but allowing my body and digestive system to rest. I feel much better, things are moving more efficiently, and I’m not a slave to carrying food everywhere I go.
    It really is about calories in, calories out. Great post!

  47. Ollie November 24, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Love it, I was brain washed with the 6 meals a day for ages, it’s only since reading about fasting and some other stuff you realise it’s total bullshit!

  48. steve November 30, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    How bout eating when you are hungry??

  49. Randy December 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Yea baby. Good stuff Jason. Like your writing. Heck at my best I only ate 150 grams of protein a day and competed at the Nationals at 231. Now at 52 I eat 1-2 times a day and maintain a hard 235-239. Still out lift the young bucks as they walk around with their coolers and grab their drinks after each body part. Give me a flipping break–your body going catabolic in less than 3 hours with out food. More like 3-4 days.

  50. steve December 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Hell I was eating 300 grs of protein a day along with over 400 grams of carbs a day and I got alot bigger..in my waist.
    And I am now a prediabetic..no one ever mentions the deleterious effects of a daily high carb intake on your insulin sensitivty. Remember o Robert Haas and his eat to win diet? John Parrillo?
    I was eating boatloads of rice, bagels,yams, potatoes,dried fruit, black eye peas, granola because I had to have all those energy producing carbs. And they were balanced out with a low fat protein and a fibrous carb.
    I was bloated and listless all the time, but I kept on slamming the carbs.
    So now at 47… after the abuse my body took in my youth, I am a hair away from diabetes. Sure there are other factors, but I am totally convinced that my diet played a huge role in where I am
    today

  51. Christian January 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Powerful and refreshing stuff, Jason. We have to stop being slaves to our lifestyle and enjoy it instead. If I eat more than 3 times a day, it’s because this way it’s easier to get all the calories I need. Anyway, no obsessions about getting catabolic, just enjoying my training.

  52. Oliver April 30, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    So true. I’m over being a slave to eating. I just eat when I want.

    Thanks for the ass picture by the way. You have just reignited my ass fetish! :P

  53. Marc June 6, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Good info, retired military special ops background. I can attest to many missions where you may have one M.R.E. (Meals Ready to Eat)for the day and nothing else. On a week long mission I would often have greater focus and energy. I think much of our addiction to food is a mind thing versus what the body actually needs to perform. Keep up the great job getting the truth out.

    Marc

    • Jason Ferruggia April 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      @Marc- Thanks for sharing that. Good stuff.

  54. Nico August 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    For years I thought I knew better than doctors and nutritionists about eating. How stupid I was. Everybody told me I shouldn’t eat that much and that much protein.
    I feel so much better now that I switched to eating less meals and less protein. I’ve lost weight but actually not that much and the most important is that I feel free!
    Your article just translates my own feelings. Thank you for it!

  55. juan May 14, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I think maybe the advantage of more meals is the possibility to add more calories. I`m an ectomorph with fast metabolism and I have not a big appetite, it`s difficult for me to eat a lot of calories each day without doing several smaller meals.

  56. Nick January 19, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    This is totally true as I have experienced. I used to eat 6 meals a day, and it was a huge pain. I’ve been eating 2 large meals a day for over a year. One large protein and fat meal at mid-morning, and 1 large protein and carb meal at night. As long as I get 100 grams of protein each meal (1 pound or a little more of meat per meal), and my workout is in check, I can make just as good of gains as when I was a slave to meal timing. I also do only 2 full body workouts a week, lifts are still going up, feel great, and have plenty of time for my business and family. Minimalism at its best. I’ve experimented with 1 meal a day and 1 workout a week and although with enough planning I think it could be done, it wasn’t optimal for me. I don’t think people realize how long it takes for a pound of meat to go through the digestive tract, dropping a aminos into the blood stream for at least six hours, possibly more.

  57. carne March 20, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    There is no way 6 meal a day. I had 3egg white and oatmeal for breakfast. at 9 am I had yogurt with walnut for snack. Lunch chicken brown rice black beens. And a shake protein I feel like am going to explode now. and is already 1pm. Am thinking about going to workout around 4Pm. Is too much for me to eat 6 meal probably another shake and post meal after my workout today that mean I can only handle 3 meal and two shake and 3 snack a day

  58. Matt Treadwsy December 14, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    The science and numbers are there and they contradict what you have to say, your anabolic gateways naturally open up every 2 hours, if you’re not eating 6 times a day you’re bottlenecking the hell out of your success rate, nothing worth having is easy to obtain