Eating every 2 - 3 hours a day a scam? Bodybuilders Please help.

  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 10, 2013 12:13 AM GMT
    I have had recent conversation with several weightlifters who promote intermittent fasting, where to keep cut or to loose weight you only eat for a 6-8 hour window out of the day and fast for the remaining 16 - 18 hours of the day.

    According to these weightlifter you can still gain muscle under this regime for forgoing the time tested method of eating 2- 3 hours to keep your body in an anobolic state. Eating 2-3 hours has been recommended by almost everybody builder as a tried and true method to gaining mass. Has anyone heard of the 2 - 3 hour method disproved or gaining mass by intermittent fasting?
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    Jan 10, 2013 12:59 AM GMT
    Not all diets or eating schedules will work for everyone. I suggest you try it and see if you get any results. If not, then try something else.
  • IamEvan

    Posts: 49

    Jan 10, 2013 2:34 AM GMT
    It's a myth perpetuated by one study showing that the body can only digest up to 30 grams of protein at a time - hence the need for several small meals. Several other studies have disproven this myth and there is no need to eat 6 small meals a day or anything. You can if you want, but it doesn't boost your metabolism or anything like that.
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    Jan 10, 2013 2:44 AM GMT
    Try out all the different methods you've learned about, and find out which one your body responds best to.
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    Jan 10, 2013 5:48 AM GMT
    I'm with xrichx. We're each different. Just like your basic build is set, so's your dietary needs.
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    Jan 10, 2013 7:47 AM GMT
    I don't buy the 30 grams business, but I do think that bioavailability is important. Keeping the body supplied with the right nutrients seems like a reasonable idea to me from a biological standpoint.

    Usually when you see a fasting diet, its intermittent fasting. Its not something you do everyday, especially for weight loss.

    You also fast without a choice.. its called sleeping. So really by cutting it down to 6-8 hours a day of eating you really aren't reducing the time you eat very much unless you routinely stay up for more than 12-15+ hours a day..

    Practically, If I'm going to eat 3,000 clean calories a day... I'm not going to be able to do that by fasting most of the day.
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    Jan 10, 2013 8:09 AM GMT
    The poster above me thinks IF is sleeping. No, it is where they only eat for a short period and MOST of the day they are fasting (ie the opposite of sleep/wake times, 16hours of not eating, 8 hours of eating). Someone point me out wrong because that is what I have read of this fad.

    @IamEvan, information is incorrect. You can absorb 99.99% of whatever you put in your mouth from a calorie standpoint. If you eat 70g of protein in one sitting, you will get all 70g of that to pass your intestinal brush border into your blood stream. It may take longer for it to leave your stomach and give you some nasty GI pain, but who the hell is doing this nonsense? Second, then, let's say all 70g of protein is in your blood stream (or let's say that most of it goes in at once, the rest of it gets titrated in as it makes it way to your anus), then where is the body going to put this protein? The body doesn't store protein. There is no where to put it. Protein is either put into muscle, used for enzymes, and a small amount is stored as albumin in your blood stream. Anabolism (building muscle) is the limiting factor, not absorption. So your information on this "study" you didn't link isn't holding water. Anabolism requires 1) you worked out intensely enough to build require more muscle to be laid down than previously 2) a long process that doesn't happen in 1 meal period and can last a few days to a week 3) mRNA transcription and translation, which isn't instantaneous. Your blood stream can't hold all these amino acids. The body counters hyperaminoacidemia (too much amino acids in the blood, making it acidic, which the body wouldn't like), by converting the amino acids into metabolic intermediates in the energy pathways, depending on which amino acid it is. This means some get put in the Krebs cycle as intermediates, some are converted into fatty acids, and others are converted into glucose. The hallmark trait of amino acids is the amino group, and this is converted into urea and peed out. So theory alone shows that eating all protein in 1 meal isn't wise.

    Secondly, small meals keep blood sugar steady. If you don't eat every few hours, your body releases glucagon and epinphrine, which tell your body to break down muscle tissue (glycogenolysis), break down liver glycogen, and increase gluconeogenesis, or the production of glucose from amino acids, and increase lipolysis, the break down of trigylcerides into glycerol and fatty acids, the former of which can be inefficiently converted into glucose (but not at a rate that will prevent you from going into ketoacidosis eventually). How is this helping your gains? Let's say your body can totally upregulate your hormones in the opposite after you binge-eat your 1 meal a day on IF. This means you'll have hyperinsulinemia (a hallmark of diabetes, but probably not in a lifting person, but it's probably not good for your cardiovascular system), hyperglycemia, hyperaminoacidemia, increase in glycogen synthesis and a decrease in gluconeogenesis until your body corrects the hyperglycemia, which if you aren't a diabetic, it will do quickly.

    Third, if you're eating all your calories in 1 meal, that's telling your body it needs to store more fat cells. It wants to hold onto all the calories it can in that one meal, but unfortunately, liver glycogen and muscle glycogen,your body's 1st fuel source. Glycogen stores will be depleted first, meaning the rest of your calories will have to be from lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat tissue, as you're waiting until your next meal. The adaptation to not eating small frequent meals (ie maintaining blood sugar, topping off glycogen stores) is to store more fat calories.

    Last, you are right that it won't make you lose weight or gain weight over time if you are eating the same amount of calories each day with small frequent meals as you would if you were doing it all at once. Unfortunately, let's say you need 2600 calories per day, GOOD LUCK getting in 2600 calories in your small window period. Like I said, the adaptations aren't favorable. People trying to eat like cavemen, well unless you lived back then, I don't think they had a body composition you want.

    @MadeinMich, Bodybuilders are weight lifters aren't a good source of information that's real. If you want anecotal info, do whatever the fuck you want.

    --Dietetic Intern and Exercise Physiologist, M.Ed.
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    Jan 10, 2013 8:23 AM GMT
    Well first of all, I was making a joke and failing to see a difference between "fasting" and sleeping in the context of this diet.

    The poster above me should also remember that his field is a science, and he should not speak in absolutist terms.

    Nothing is set in stone in science, everything is open to debate and is a matter of weighing the evidence of your position against evidence that may oppose it.

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    Jan 10, 2013 8:26 AM GMT
    Dietetics is the clinical art of applying science to real people's lives. I think I know my profession.
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    Jan 10, 2013 8:31 AM GMT
    No doubt you're well educated in nutrition.

    I am just not certain anyone took the time to explain the philosophy of science to you.

    Making the argument you're all wrong because I have my Masters is a terrible position to take that accomplishes almost as little as attacking my first person post on a forum.

    Time for bed, I mean fasting.

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    Jan 10, 2013 8:38 AM GMT
    I've been on intermittent fasting since July of last year. Two thing that i noticed: 1.) It helps me avoid eating unhealthily, and 2.) It freed up me some time since I now skip breakfast. As an added bonus, I don't have to think about the next meal every 2 hours.

    In my opinion, it's not necessary. A lot of people have successfully gained mass and built muscles without IF. Though, it's a method I choose to follow because it suits my wants/needs.

    Checkout leangains.com for more info.
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    Jan 10, 2013 8:44 AM GMT
    Adam228 saidNo doubt you're well educated in nutrition.

    I am just not certain anyone took the time to explain the philosophy of science to you.

    Making the argument you're all wrong because I have my Masters is a terrible position to take that accomplishes almost as little as attacking my first person post on a forum.

    Time for bed, I mean fasting.

    icon_razz.gif


    I did not make the argument that people are wrong because I have my master's degree. I explained with reasoning. Go back and read the passage before retorting that. How insulting. I know what science is, thanks. I've taken more of it than you have.

    Another leangains poster...that's a trendy place to be. Why would you believe new theories instead of tried and true evidence in the science. How are your lifts doing? Don't you notice you lack energy because you are relying on fatty acids more than glucose for energy?
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    Jan 10, 2013 9:35 AM GMT
    IamEvan saidIt's a myth perpetuated by one study showing that the body can only digest up to 30 grams of protein at a time - hence the need for several small meals. Several other studies have disproven this myth and there is no need to eat 6 small meals a day or anything. You can if you want, but it doesn't boost your metabolism or anything like that.


    Eating frequently causes your blood sugar levels to be much more stable, but, on average higher, but not spiking as high, and you don't go too low, or too high. Higher blood sugar levels allow you to perform more work, longer, stay hydrated and have better cognitive function. I'm not talking over the top blood sugar (which causes insulin tolerance and type 2 diabetes).

    Research how insulin works. Insulin is the shuttle hormone. The cellular pump.

    Losing weight is about eating fewer calories than you consume. If you drive yourself into ketosis, and your blood sugar goes low, you go catabolic, and end up with low blood sugar. Your metabolism slows in what's called the famine syndrome (from years of living in caves) and you catabolize muscle. carb deplete, first from your muscle, and then from your liver, and then you convert protein as opposed to fat (the famine protection) back to blood sugar (glucose). Nice, stable, blood sugar levels, moderate appetite, keep you anabolic, and preserve your cognitive function.

    Now, that being said, if you're very lean....and active, and getting plenty of calories, you get much better nutrition partitioning.

    Fasting is a bad idea, for a lot of reasons, some mentioned above. Eating smaller meals, and less carbs, frequently to lean out, preserves your metabolism. To gain, you add in more carbs, and a bit of fat, and maybe back the protein down just a bit.

    If you don't eat carbs, water doesn't have anything to bind too in your muscles, and you'll look dry and flat, but, feel "tighter."

    All this depends upon your activity level and diet composition, as well as your body composition and your insulin sensitivity.

    I don't get most of my own info from some other muscle head (some are clueless). I read my ass off on sites that bring quantifiable science to the table, and, I think things through, every which way.
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    Jan 10, 2013 9:42 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidThe poster above me thinks IF is sleeping. No, it is where they only eat for a short period and MOST of the day they are fasting (ie the opposite of sleep/wake times, 16hours of not eating, 8 hours of eating). Someone point me out wrong because that is what I have read of this fad.

    @IamEvan, information is incorrect. You can absorb 99.99% of whatever you put in your mouth from a calorie standpoint. If you eat 70g of protein in one sitting, you will get all 70g of that to pass your intestinal brush border into your blood stream. It may take longer for it to leave your stomach and give you some nasty GI pain, but who the hell is doing this nonsense? Second, then, let's say all 70g of protein is in your blood stream (or let's say that most of it goes in at once, the rest of it gets titrated in as it makes it way to your anus), then where is the body going to put this protein? The body doesn't store protein. There is no where to put it. Protein is either put into muscle, used for enzymes, and a small amount is stored as albumin in your blood stream. Anabolism (building muscle) is the limiting factor, not absorption. So your information on this "study" you didn't link isn't holding water. Anabolism requires 1) you worked out intensely enough to build require more muscle to be laid down than previously 2) a long process that doesn't happen in 1 meal period and can last a few days to a week 3) mRNA transcription and translation, which isn't instantaneous. Your blood stream can't hold all these amino acids. The body counters hyperaminoacidemia (too much amino acids in the blood, making it acidic, which the body wouldn't like), by converting the amino acids into metabolic intermediates in the energy pathways, depending on which amino acid it is. This means some get put in the Krebs cycle as intermediates, some are converted into fatty acids, and others are converted into glucose. The hallmark trait of amino acids is the amino group, and this is converted into urea and peed out. So theory alone shows that eating all protein in 1 meal isn't wise.

    Secondly, small meals keep blood sugar steady. If you don't eat every few hours, your body releases glucagon and epinphrine, which tell your body to break down muscle tissue (glycogenolysis), break down liver glycogen, and increase gluconeogenesis, or the production of glucose from amino acids, and increase lipolysis, the break down of trigylcerides into glycerol and fatty acids, the former of which can be inefficiently converted into glucose (but not at a rate that will prevent you from going into ketoacidosis eventually). How is this helping your gains? Let's say your body can totally upregulate your hormones in the opposite after you binge-eat your 1 meal a day on IF. This means you'll have hyperinsulinemia (a hallmark of diabetes, but probably not in a lifting person, but it's probably not good for your cardiovascular system), hyperglycemia, hyperaminoacidemia, increase in glycogen synthesis and a decrease in gluconeogenesis until your body corrects the hyperglycemia, which if you aren't a diabetic, it will do quickly.

    Third, if you're eating all your calories in 1 meal, that's telling your body it needs to store more fat cells. It wants to hold onto all the calories it can in that one meal, but unfortunately, liver glycogen and muscle glycogen,your body's 1st fuel source. Glycogen stores will be depleted first, meaning the rest of your calories will have to be from lipolysis, or the breakdown of fat tissue, as you're waiting until your next meal. The adaptation to not eating small frequent meals (ie maintaining blood sugar, topping off glycogen stores) is to store more fat calories.

    Last, you are right that it won't make you lose weight or gain weight over time if you are eating the same amount of calories each day with small frequent meals as you would if you were doing it all at once. Unfortunately, let's say you need 2600 calories per day, GOOD LUCK getting in 2600 calories in your small window period. Like I said, the adaptations aren't favorable. People trying to eat like cavemen, well unless you lived back then, I don't think they had a body composition you want.

    @MadeinMich, Bodybuilders are weight lifters aren't a good source of information that's real. If you want anecotal info, do whatever the fuck you want.

    --Dietetic Intern and Exercise Physiologist, M.Ed.


    +1

    It's nice some other folks actually agree with me.

    In simple terms, :-), when you don't eat your body goes into fight mode / famine mode...a bad thing. Better to eat. However, not all weightlifters are clueless, but, many don't view the thing as science, as they should, instead, relying on what is sometimes completely wrong. You really have to become a student of The Human Machine to come to understand it.
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    Jan 10, 2013 2:39 PM GMT
    Would diabetics find IF a health-hazard?

    As a Type 2, what I was told was just to keep my glucose tablets handy in case I went into a low sugar state and then just eat enough to keep my levels up until the 6-8 hour window occured.

    Any reactions from those who know about IF?
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 10, 2013 2:53 PM GMT
    aidenMaximus saidI've been on intermittent fasting since July of last year. Two thing that i noticed: 1.) It helps me avoid eating unhealthily, and 2.) It freed up me some time since I now skip breakfast. As an added bonus, I don't have to think about the next meal every 2 hours.

    In my opinion, it's not necessary. A lot of people have successfully gained mass and built muscles without IF. Though, it's a method I choose to follow because it suits my wants/needs.

    Checkout leangains.com for more info.


    Yes. But do you think it helps for cutting? Did you notice a faster weight loss with intermittent fasting?
  • MadeinMich

    Posts: 1624

    Jan 10, 2013 3:25 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI can't eat every two to three hours. It's not practical for most people. Especially for those who work demanding schedules. The max I can do is four times a day.


    I can barely do it too MuchMoreThanMuscle. Its very difficult to maintain that schedule with a full time job.
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    Jan 11, 2013 7:43 AM GMT
    MadeinMich said
    aidenMaximus saidI've been on intermittent fasting since July of last year. Two thing that i noticed: 1.) It helps me avoid eating unhealthily, and 2.) It freed up me some time since I now skip breakfast. As an added bonus, I don't have to think about the next meal every 2 hours.

    In my opinion, it's not necessary. A lot of people have successfully gained mass and built muscles without IF. Though, it's a method I choose to follow because it suits my wants/needs.

    Checkout leangains.com for more info.


    Yes. But do you think it helps for cutting? Did you notice a faster weight loss with intermittent fasting?


    No. For all the reasons discussed above (please scroll up). Intermittent fasting invokes the famine response, ketosis, and slows the metabolism...all...counter productive.

    It's like the idiot notion of wearing a cap, a plastic suit in the gym, etc. It has no sound basis in science and IMPAIRS your performance (your over heat your core), invoke the famine response, etc.
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    Jan 11, 2013 7:48 AM GMT
    mileshelvetica saidWould diabetics find IF a health-hazard?

    As a Type 2, what I was told was just to keep my glucose tablets handy in case I went into a low sugar state and then just eat enough to keep my levels up until the 6-8 hour window occured.

    Any reactions from those who know about IF?


    For you, fasting, especially if you are ob a long acting insulin formulation, is VERY DANGEROUS. I've seen folks go hypo, and not know they were. One night, my roommate walked 18 miles in a low blood sugar state, and was a mess. DO NOT FAST if you are taking a long acting insulin. Low blood sugar can manifest itself in a number of ways, some not always immediately apparent. You have to test your blood sugar.

    Understand, also, that if you do a minimum of 3 weight bearing sessions a week, you will increase your insulin sensitivity, and probably reverse your type 2 diabetes. Lifting will drop your blood sugar, and you A1-C, like a lead weight.

    Type 2 diabetes is 100% preventable.

    Note also, that, last week, the American Diabetic Association said that diabetics should have a managed systolic pressure of 130 (not 120 as per the latest drug guidelines) over 80 diastolic to preserve circulation. ADA says type 2's are over medicated for BP.

    If you lift weights and exercise, chances are very good you can regain your insulin sensitivity and be well again.
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    Jan 11, 2013 7:55 AM GMT
    MadeinMich said
    aidenMaximus saidI've been on intermittent fasting since July of last year. Two thing that i noticed: 1.) It helps me avoid eating unhealthily, and 2.) It freed up me some time since I now skip breakfast. As an added bonus, I don't have to think about the next meal every 2 hours.

    In my opinion, it's not necessary. A lot of people have successfully gained mass and built muscles without IF. Though, it's a method I choose to follow because it suits my wants/needs.

    Checkout leangains.com for more info.


    Yes. But do you think it helps for cutting? Did you notice a faster weight loss with intermittent fasting?


    Fasting causes a carb deplete. When that deplete happens you drop all the water that is bound with the carbs (you deload), and then carbs from the liver ). The result is immediate, but, not lasting. Once you are deloaded, you stop losing that water, and, either go into ketosis (fat from the liver as it tries to keep your glucose up), or metabolize protein (muscle). Your brain needs sugar to function, and your body will do whatever it needs to make that sugar. No food and no activity tells your body to slow its function...the famine response...all critical systems slow down and your body nibbles on your muscles and covert that to sugar. (That's what you see happens with anorexics.) Your body will try to preserve fat, for the impending famine, and because the fat surrounds the organs and so on.

    The best fat loss occurs just above ketosis. You can buy Ketostix to test where you are. Intermittent large meals, tell the body not to worry about famine, and will preserve your metabolic rate, and burn more fat (not less). That, coupled, with HIIT, will turn your body into a fat burning machine. Low calories and fasting, tell it to lower expenditure for the famine ahead.

    Understand, each pound of muscle burns calories at rest (15 to 25...generally considered around 20). So, if I have 180 pounds of muscle I need 20 * 180 calories just to maintain my muscle mass.
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    Jan 11, 2013 9:32 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI can't eat every two to three hours. It's not practical for most people. Especially for those who work demanding schedules. The max I can do is four times a day.


    A peice of string cheerse, an organic fruit roll up, and some trail mix. There's a meal. Takes 2 minutes. If you can take a break from work to take a dump or piss ever 2-3 hours, you can take a break to eat. First hand experience. Of course I only need 150g of protein and 2800 calories a day, so your results may vary. Throw in a protein bar.
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    Jan 11, 2013 11:56 AM GMT
    I am certainly no expert on nutrition but I have done quite a bit of reading and quite a bit of experimentation, so this is coming from my personal experience -

    ... eating several small meals a day works best for me in terms of maintaining good energy levels, mental focus and reaching my goals. Lately I am trying to target macros on a daily basis, and the several small meals approach also helps with making this manageable.

    As to the pseudo catfight in this thread, which pops up from time to time on RJ, I would like to say ... and this is only my opinion ... it's easy to conflate the way someone's body shot appears online with physical health, and lend weight to their opinion based on their appearance.

    However - outside appearance does not necessarily equal inner health. It's a photo taken at a specific point in time - nothing more, nothing less.

    Judging a body shot as "healthy" with no other information is kind of like looking at a used car online with no context for its history and how it actually performs.

    You only see and judge the exterior based on the photo ... but whether the car is or has been properly maintained may be quite another matter.

    Take what is said on RJ (even by me - hell, especially by me icon_cool.gif) with a grain of salt, and look to nutritional experts for guidance on eating for heath.
  • Niro25

    Posts: 29

    Jan 11, 2013 12:12 PM GMT
    I recommend eating 5-6 meals a day whether you are trying to gain, maintain, or lose weight. Now with that being said, your type of meals will be different, depending on which one you are wanting. No details on food, but i think u should cut out chips, cheese, and ranch(which sucks) if u are wanting to lean up. Which works for me... Like everyone says, its what your body reacts to. We are all different... Experiment!