Each and every person is unique, we already know this, same goes with how many meals should be eaten each day. Various factors such as; work and exercise commitments in particular have a big impact on timings of meals and how many meals are consumed.
Often we are advised that we should have 3 big meals each day plus 2 snacks, however this is not always effective for each person or practical. It is more important to take into consideration your lifestyle and focus on preparing meals that are macronutrient balanced (containing quality protein, carbohydrates and fats) to get the most out of each meal you consume.
I recommend always eating a good breakfast and lunch as this is when your metabolism is at its fastest and often when you are doing the most work. If you do not need a snack between breakfast and lunch that’s fine, you may find you need a snack between lunch and dinner instead.
I do recommend having a small macronutrient balanced snack before exercising to maintain blood sugar levels and to provide you with sustained energy throughout, followed by a meal after a workout to replenish and speed up your recovery.
If you have trouble with blood sugar levels you may find you need to have regular small meals throughout the day that are macronutrient balanced. If you wake up in the morning feeling nauseated or shaky, a small macronutrient snack before sleep and a small snack as soon as you awake can help alleviate this and keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
I do suggest that you do not go more than 4-5 hours without having something to eat to keep your metabolism strong and your blood sugar levels stable.
What my day looks like in terms of meals.
- 5:45am – small snack before exercising
- 8:00am – breakfast
- 12:30pm – lunch
- 3:30-4pm – snack
- 6:30pm – dinner
Interested to hear your thoughts on this topic!