Are You A ‘Nibbler/Grazer’ Or A ‘Gorger’?
Nibblers eat with a higher frequency compared to gorgers. Gorgers are more likely to stick to the 3 meals a day tradition.
The average American eats 3.14 meals a day. The current overweight and obesity rate is above 70%. There is a lot of discussion out there if there is a relationship between meal frequency and body fat %. It seems like there is.
Why Should Athletes Be Grazers?
Eating more frequent, smaller meals, throughout the day is more likely a metabolic advantage.
Does It Help With Weight Management?
Scientist are debating that you are more likely to store fat after a larger meal. There is an inverse relationship between meal frequency and body weight. The more frequently you eat smaller portions, the less your body tries to hang on to the extra energy provided in a larger meal.
Will I Get Hungry?
We need to be aware of the huge impact of meal sizes/ frequency on hunger. Eating more frequently decreases hunger, and/or food intake at subsequent meals.
Are There Any Other Health Benefits?
When comparing groups of low vs. high frequency eaters, the participants eating more frequently would lower their cholesterol and improve their glucose control over the course of the studies.
When Should Athletes Eat?
An athlete’s goal is to optimally fuel his/ her training. Eating adequate amounts of healthy carbohydrates and lean protein before/ during/ after a workout does not only ensure proper fueling of the sessions itself, but also makes sure optimized recovery can happen.
Athletes need more energy earlier in the day, especially if they have early training sessions, or need to recovery from an evening training session from the previous day.
When Should They Eat The Most?
They discovered that it not only matters how frequently you eat, but those who ate the largest meal earlier in the day, and consume breakfast, were losing more body fat long-term compared to those skipping breakfast.
Sounds like a win-win situation! You are allowed to eat more often, and you will be less hungry, more healthy and better fueled for your training!
Just make sure your overall caloric intake does not go up while adding the extra snacks or meals.