How often do you eat?

By haoleboy Latest Reply 2014-05-19 21:19:47 -0500
Started 2014-05-15 12:10:40 -0500

I have been listening to The 2014 Diabetes Summit ( and it seems that there is no consensus among the nutrition specialists as to whether it is better for diabetics to eat multiple small meals throughout the day or stay with the more traditional 3 meals a day. I must say the presenters make compelling arguments regardless of which side of the issue they are on.
Wondering where you all come down on this?
My current nutrition regime is 3 a day with some intermittent fasting.


22 replies

jmontalvo 2014-05-19 20:39:21 -0500 Report

I am currently on three small-medium meals, and two small snacks. I do 45 minutes of cardio and weights 4x week, and walk for an hour the other three days. However, I am going to my first appointment since diagnosis this week, so I'm not sure what my Internist will recommend. Hopefully I am doing well on my own, because I have gotten used to this routine.

haoleboy 2014-05-19 21:19:47 -0500 Report

Good luck Jessica … hope you get positive feedback at yout appointment. I had labs done this morning and Dr visit next week … I always get a little "antsy" waiting to see how things turn out.

(sounds like an excellent work out program, btw)


tabby9146 2014-05-19 11:15:44 -0500 Report

When I was diagnosed I wanted to start with this grazing thing and I did that for a long time, and I ate small meals about 4 maybe per day worked for me. Then later on, I found myself eating 3 meals a day, and a snack between b'fast and lunch and another between lunch and supper, a light snack and that works great too for me. I just make sure the snacks also have fiber and protein and lower carbs. There are some days I don't want that snack in later morning so I have one later in afternoon.

lanykins 2014-05-18 15:17:00 -0500 Report

I have been extremely bad about my diet. For the past 6 yrs. I basically don't eat until I go to the supper that is served where I live. I drink A LOT of water or low-sugar beverages and I guess that keeps my stomach full. However, now that I have an ulcer on my toe that will not heal after months, my doctor assigned Visiting Nurses to come and help me with my toe. They brought in a dietician who went nuts over my diet! I now have signs all over my apartment that say Lani Eat. I am now eating a piece of fruit for breakfast, something like crackers with peanut butter or cheese, my dinner (which I try to keep low carb) and some yogurt at bedtime. My BS have been running a little higher and I don't like this at all. I always had lower blood sugars and was comfortable with that. When my numbers get into the 200's I freak. The last time I had an A1C it was 6 but that was before the ulcer started and my diet was changed. I bet it has gone up quite a bit. I'll have to wait and see. I'll try to stay on this diet but start cutting down on the sugars and carbs. Fruit has a lot of sugar and the number of crackers I eat also count up. Then there's dinner, which I have no control of except to cut out all they serve that is "bad". I need to get more vigorous. It's hard, the food is in front of me and I'm hungry. I need to remember I've got yogurt to eat in a few hours. So, this is a long explanation of my dietary problems. Does anyone have any suggestions that I can do?

Type1Lou 2014-05-16 13:37:53 -0500 Report

I basically eat 3 meals a day with a low-carb snack some evenings when I can't resist the munchies; the snack is usually almonds or a spoonful of all-natural peanut butter. My daily carbs total 120 grams. (I'm a 5'3" tall moderately active 64 year old female.) My last A1c was 6.8 and I've had diabetes since 1976. My breakfast (2 Wasa crisp bread with Fage plain yogurt and fruit, coffee)and lunch (apple and peanut butter) are pretty routine while I do vary my evening meal. I made a Bouillabaisse for dinner last night and that was yummy and low-carb too.

Glucerna 2014-05-16 17:25:58 -0500 Report

It's interesting that you mention eating Wasa bread for breakfast. I know a Swedish woman with T2D who uses Wasa as her only bread choice. She also told me that Swedish babies use Wasa for teething. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Type1Lou 2014-05-16 18:46:34 -0500 Report

I think I got the idea of using Wasa Rye Crispbread from reading Dr. Richard Bernstein's book "Diabetes Solution" some 10 or more years ago. Reading it was a turning point for me in better handling my diabetes and alerted me to the role played by carbs. I lightly toast my 2 slices of Rye crisp, then slather them with about 1/3 cup of Fage brand plain Greek yogurt and top with fresh strawberries (or other in-season fruit). It's almost like a small pastry and with the milk in my coffee, my breakfast comes to 30 grams of carb. I love the crunch of the crispread, the smooth creaminess of the yogurt and the tart sweetness of the fruit! Yummmmmmm!

haoleboy 2014-05-16 21:38:06 -0500 Report

I'm with you on the Wasa and RyKrisp … pretty much the only "bread" I eat these days but still rarely … sometimes you just need some crunch with your cheese ;)

Glucerna 2014-05-17 19:03:35 -0500 Report

I'm glad you both found a breakfast you enjoy and that helps you manage your bood sugar levels. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Nick1962 2014-05-16 08:59:05 -0500 Report

Weekdays I basically snack all day with a small evening “meal”. Weekends it’s a medium breakfast and evening meal with snacks in between. I found this is basically what my needs are and am able to metabolize effectively given my lifestyle patterns. Keeps my numbers fairly consistent.

Glucerna 2014-05-15 21:02:46 -0500 Report

I think that the number of times to eat per day is similar to the grams of carbohydrate each person eats at meals/snacks: there isn't one right answer and each person needs to figure out the plan that best fits their situation. ~Lynn @Glucerna

haoleboy 2014-05-15 21:08:10 -0500 Report

I agree Lynn … that's one of the reasons found it interesting that the nutritionists that were presenting were adamant that 3 meals and no snacks / 3 meals and 2-3 snacks is the way healthy diabetics should eat.
I've done both with relative success … although I found for weight loss 3 a day worked best for me.

typeIImom 2014-05-15 19:45:40 -0500 Report

I'm super new to this. I've found that I do much better with 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 larger ones. I'm struggling with the amount of carbs the dr wants me to eat. He said 150g per day. I've noticed much higher bs with that many carbs. I get my carbs from fruit, mostly berries, and whole grains. When I go back to about 50 grams a day, my sugar is in the 80-100 range.

haoleboy 2014-05-15 20:10:51 -0500 Report

There's a conversation that you need to be having with your doctor. If you can get your numbers down to the 80-100 (aka normal) range by eating fewer carbs and are not having an issue with going hypo, were I you I would be there already … but check with your doctor … and never mistake anything I say for actual medical advice


GabbyPA 2014-05-15 18:02:06 -0500 Report

I do much better when I eat maybe twice a day with some grazing. When I was trying to eat the 3 plus 2, I was eating all day and it made me feel sluggish. So I try not to do that.

jigsaw 2014-05-15 15:10:33 -0500 Report

I do snack to some extent, but I have three meals per day. The only reason I have three meals is out of habit, and because it would be difficult for me to have 4 or 5 per day. Of course it works for me. I think there are two very important factors that come into play. Number one is how many calories one consumes, relative to activity level. Number two is which ever works successfully, regardless of whether it's 3 or 5 meals. I know that I can consume more calories than a typical couch potato, and maintain a good weight and bg level. On the other hand, my neighbor who jogs 5 miles per day, consumes many more calories than I do, and he remains thin and in great shape. I bet if I jogged that much, I could comfortably eat more carbs, retain health, eat larger meals more frequently, and lose weight. Of course the weight loss would be much less substantial for me then it would have been 20 or 30 years ago.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-15 15:36:26 -0500 Report

Jigsaw; You took the words right out of my mouth. That is exactly the same way with me. I have watched my neighbor slim down jogging twice a day all the way to the highway and back, my day is to hectic to jog as much as she does, and my body complains when I over do it (fibromyalgia), and I'm not as young as she is. I also eat three meals and watch what I eat. I walk, hike and exercise. Somewhere around 20 to 30 years ago I only weighed 90 lbs. As I get older and have major medical problems, ( broken bones "leg", bad car wreck etc), and slower metabolism, the weight adds up fast, even though I eat less.

jigsaw 2014-05-15 15:49:04 -0500 Report

And so, we have figured out a way to control weight gain in spite of the ageing process. Now, if we can also figure out a way to eliminate the ageing process! With all the good food I've been eating over the years, I do believe I've become healthier as of recently!

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2014-05-15 15:57:56 -0500 Report

Alas!!! So very true. I am an ex farm girl and I love fruits and veggies. I'm not vegetarian but I do come close. I hope to live a long and healthy life as my parents did in spite of diabetes, and ageing.

neverlowbg 2014-05-15 13:32:16 -0500 Report

I eat through out the day I stay feeling full can have a wider variety of food bg does not spike and insulin seems to work better you don't get a food coma and get lazy feeling helped me loose weight as I usually did something while eating and in between so sctually burned more calories than intake also my grandson snacks all day and I watch him during the day so we are fishing or at zoo (season pass) at the pArk he keeps me moving and I get to nap when he does he loves the zoo and fishing swimming in the lake my snacking is healthy we carry nuts and fruit peanut butter and some veggies that don't really need refrigerated and snack every hour and half or so meals are small we encourage eating slowly and only water with meals as water fills you up and eating slowly you eat less it takes 20 mom for your brain to say its full so by the time 20 min is up most people are over eaten and get what I like to call food coma I they lay around and them your body stores the energy due to not being needed at moment and gain weight then there is my brother stuffs himself at every meal sits all day and doesn't gain a pound must be nice lol