An average Jane on health and nutrition

3 Squares vs. 5 Small

Note: I wrote this post a few weeks ago, it’s just been sitting in draft. But it’s necessary for the next post I’m about to make. —


Not to fly too much in the face for prevailing wisdom… except kinda, because I think prevailing wisdom is excruciatingly problematic…I’m questioning the multiple small meals and snacks thing, for my body.

I say this because of tradeshows. When I’m away for work for 4+ days, I’m usually eating a bit of a larger lunch than I would, certainly a larger dinner since it’s out with people/multiple courses, and a small/similar to normal breakfast. But no snacks, and limited sweets. Usually there just isn’t time for snacks anyway, but I also find I’m not hungry with the small breakfast, and largeish other meals.
Overall, I’m usually eating more food at tradeshows than I do at home with more plannable meal times.
And yet, pretty consistently, I almost always feel just …less aware?.. of my stomach, in terms of water retention/bloating, or whatever, and I almost always lose a pound of so by the time I get back. (Whether that’s water weight or actual who knows, but it’s pretty frequently.) It can’t be discounted, of course, that I’m very busy at tradeshows, and on my feet longer, etc. which probably accounts for being able to eat more food at two meals, but I can’t just be compensating for extra movement if I lose some weight and feel lighter.

I’m trying to look into more information for how the multiple small meals thing came about, but not finding a whole lot of solid logic for it. I could see how it seems to make sense, just thinking about it. Metabolism is the important component for healthy weight and food digestion, so if you’re eating more often, you’re keeping your metabolism going all the time and that’s good, right?

But maybe it’s not, or not for all people, more accurately. Maybe my body needs the small breakfast to get the metabolism going, then works hard with the lunch, takes a little rest, and works hard again with the dinner, as opposed to working half heartedly all day.

Exercise experts are always advising that you get more benefit from a shorter but higher intensity workout than an hour or two of phoning it in. What if that applies to metabolisms? What if 3 larger, more caloric and nutrient-rich meals are the metabolic equivalent of going for a 20 minute run that includes hills as opposed to a 2 hour treadmill walk on low speed?
Neither are the macro levels, exercise is exercise, and needed. Food is food, and needed. But within those broad categories are a host of factors involving quality, quantity, frequency, etc.. and maybe we just have it wrong, those of us that are riding the prevailing thought when it isn’t how our bodies and digestive systems and metabolisms function best. Maybe some of us need to do the metabolic hill-run.

I might play with this a bit.


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