Eating 5x vs. 3x daily

By kaiya2465 Latest Reply 2012-03-05 08:38:24 -0600
Started 2012-03-01 06:25:53 -0600

I have been told by the dr. to eat 5 small meals daily, which to me is a pain. I have been snacking on fresh fruits & vegies, but to be honest "I hate to eat" another problem but: Does anyone know which is better 5x or 3x daily? Also has anyone else ever been told to do the same. I'm afraid to gain weight.

Thank you.

17 replies

Dan360 2012-03-03 09:32:03 -0600 Report

While I think it is important to listen to your doctor, I don't think you have to be mindless about it. The important thing is controlling your glucose and if you are doing that by eating three meals than why change. I have learned to listen to my body and act accordingly. When I first found that I had diabetes I tried to control glucose by pretty much eliminating carbs. That does not work well. The goal should be to get the carbs you need on a controlled basis so you do not spike your blood glucose. When you take your meds such as metformin also figures into the equation. You can stand more carbs if you eat them when you take your metformin.

TsalagiLenape 2012-03-02 11:16:37 -0600 Report

Well first two of those eating times is for snacks i.e. veggies and fruits. And if you eat off a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, it will fill you up. At first you are bloated but that does wear off. This is how I lost weight prior to becoming a diabetic.

kaiya2465 2012-03-02 11:22:26 -0600 Report

Temi: I actually put my dinner plates away along time ago, you are right on that. It helps to trick the mind to thinking your eating more. Hope things are going well for you.

Best Wishes

cavie2 2012-03-02 08:42:19 -0600 Report

eating 5 small meals a day is what I do recommended by my doctor, it does not have to be meals you are eating, healthy snacks are fine. It keeps your blood glucose on an even keel and helps it to stop spiking, so long as you watch what you eat. That does not mean you cannot have a treat now and then and I did say NOW AND THEN.

Anonymous 2012-03-02 06:08:34 -0600 Report

i do eat 3 500 cal 45grams of carbs meals and 3 snacks that contain 265 cals 30 grams of carbs. my blood sugar numbers stay stable this way able mange my weight this way too.i never have lows or high for blood sugars ac1 manage to stay the same for 2 1/2 yrs at 5.6 and my last reading was 5.1 i started out with ac1 of 8.2 after 5months it came down to 5.6. was taking 2 metforin for a yr and then tooken off of 1. it will be 2yrs i been off of one of them in june this yr.pays to count calories and carbs.

MAYS 2012-03-01 14:32:49 -0600 Report

Here is an answer to your question, we have been progamed to eat 2-3 times a day which is bad for us, it allows our body to store food as fat because it is anticipating a famine period (6+ hours or more) that we have imposed.

The human body's adaptability is simply amazing isn't it!

One of the best healthy eating tips that is very beneficial to your health is to eat 6 small meals a day. Here are 6 reasons why:

1. Eating 6 meals spread out over every 2-3 hours prevents overeating

2. Studies show that eating smaller meals more frequently lowers "bad" cholesterol

3. Eating more meals with smaller portions has also been shown to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease

4. Eating more frequently has been shown to boost your metabolism, thereby burning more calories

5. Eating smaller portions has been shown to better control blood sugar levels, helping you to maintain energy levels

6. Eating more frequently allows you to build more muscle because amino acids and nutrients are being constantly fed to your muscles, especially when combined with exercise

Now, some of your meals will be smaller than others. Sometimes, a handful of raw nuts, a protein shake, or a cup of mixed vegetables will count as a "meal." Be sure to check out the healthy snack ideas section for some great healthy snack options.

Be sure that you are eating smaller portions and that your total calorie intake per day is matching up with what your goals are…read all about counting calories and learn how many you should be eating.


berrykins0 2012-03-05 08:38:24 -0600 Report

well said mays this is how i do my meal plan and works great for me.i'm glad i'm not the only one that thinks a good idea,cool you have said it how it should be done.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-03-01 14:31:39 -0600 Report

Instead of eating three big meals, and then snacking on junk whenever, you are eating smaller portions. By doing this, you will feel full and your metabolism will keep working to help burn fat and not store it. If you are not a big eater anyway, then it should be no problem to follow. Hypoglycemics follow this eating plan all the time as well as some of us type 1's. It isn't bad at all:)

Caroltoo 2012-03-01 13:35:54 -0600 Report

I first heard the 5 small meals/day suggestion as a weight loss suggestion where the emphasis was on small meals. I do three meals that are a little lighter than before and add 2 snacks which are nuts or a small piece of lean meat with a piece of fruit or raw veggie. I don't eat major carbs unless they are in the context of a full and balanced meal. I don't want to cook all day, so my snacks are always part of an earlier meal (couple bites of last night's chicken breast) or something like nuts or fruit that are already prepared.

Wayne seems hungriest mid-day, so I frequently adapt to that by doing the heavier meal at noon and snacking off the remains for dinner and snack.

Armourer 2012-03-01 12:56:00 -0600 Report

I was told the same. I too hate to eat. I'm better just eating one meal a day, but do know that it isn't good. But small meal is really more like a snack. Portion control is the thing with any meal or snack.

Young1s 2012-03-01 12:26:46 -0600 Report

When I first heard about this new eating recommendation years ago, it was 6x a day. And I'm thinking to myself, do they really expect people to eat 2 breakfasts, lunches and dinners? Really? But that's not it at all. What I've now come to understand is that they mean your regular 3 square meals a day but in smaller portions sizes (more or less around 1/2 the regular size). Then 2-3 snacks but of the same portion size, or less, as the 3 small meals. This way, even though you're eating more times in the day, you're really still only eating about 3 meals a day.

On a side not Kaiya, I really do hope you change your mind and stay on with us. Things are going to get better. We just have to bear with the site techs a little longer. But our voices and concerns are being heard.

kaiya2465 2012-03-01 12:31:55 -0600 Report

Confusing, I already eat that way…
Thank you for the kind words, I am waiting to find out a few things before I make my final decision.

Best Wishes.

Nick1962 2012-03-01 09:41:21 -0600 Report

Ditto, but I always got hung up on the word “meal”. I usually do the 5x/day routine but it sure isn’t small “meals”. I was never really big on breakfast (don’t like the heavy gut in the morning) so my breakfast is a piece of fruit around 9:30. Around noon I do a serving or two of nuts or beef jerky. 1:30 is lunch and that’s usually raw veggies and a nut/snack mix. 4:30,nuts or jerky again. 6:30 slice of ham w/ cheez before exercise. Around 8:00 is technically my real “meal” of the day - a salad with protein or some other source of protein with veggy, and a small snack before bed. Basically I eat every 3 hours. Weekends are a little different because my activity is different, but again I try to get something in every 3 hours or so. May not work for your lifestyle, but has helped me lose weight and I no longer get dawn effect.

icefog 2012-03-01 06:35:04 -0600 Report

i have been told to eat 5 times a day. snacking on fruits and veggies is a good thing. almost all of the diets out there, medifast, wt watchers, etc, have foods for inbetween meal snacks. it is a good thing.

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