Confusion in the frequency of meals
Q: Some nutrition experts say that six small meals a day are outdated. Many recommend three (or fewer) meals instead. But what if I feel uncomfortable trying to cram all my calories into three meals? Can it hurt to continue eating smaller, more frequent meals if I do not get fat?
A: I understand your frustration. This industry seems to be constantly caught in an endless cycle of black and white advices. In a minute something is in fashion and not in the next one. I will definitely tell you without hesitation that eating small, frequent meals is NOT outdated and is a fantastic strategy for many people.
One reason you receive the message of avoiding small, frequent meals is a newly discovered recognition for less frequent eating. We now have a lot of extensive research showing that there are many different diets that work and have benefits.
A quick look at the last years of research will show that one meal a day (OMAD) can work great for some. Different time-limited feeding plans, such as the 1
A recent study has shown that skipping dinner may be superior to skipping breakfast. Varied fasting plans such as the 5: 2 plan, where you eat normally on weekdays and take little or nothing on the weekend, can be an advantage.
All these studies have caused a stir. New information usually creates a novelty distortion for a bit. It is common to overvalue the new and underestimate the old, but it does not make much sense, as new things have not been tested over time. Usually the proven is better than the freshness and new.
I address all this, hopefully to dispel your concerns and eliminate confusion. The current consensus in nutrition research is still that calories matter most. Sure, we now know that hormonal influences work with calories to affect things like hunger, mood, desire and energy, but in the end we have to take care of the calorie values of each diet we choose.
Two things are needed for sustained fat loss:
- A calorie deficit
- Metabolism hormone balance
The calories drive weight loss and the hormones drive this weight loss towards fat loss and sustainability. You need both. Quality and quantity are equally important. It is impossible to separate the two.
The question of the frequency of eating depends on the individual. We are all different. We are unique in genetics, psychology and personal preferences. We should honor that. What all the research says above is, there is more than one way to skin the calorie and hormone cat. Ultimately, it's about finding out what works for you.
Try to tell the bodybuilding world from 1960 to 2000 that small, frequent meals are not ideal. They would be laughed at and mocked. The approach to small, frequent meals works great, but it's not the only way. Some people do it better with different eating frequencies.
My advice? Do exactly what you do as long as this regime keeps these things in check: sleep, hunger, mood, energy, cravings (SHMEC) and as long as you achieve or maintain the desired body composition. Why would you change?
One last hint here. Metabolism is an adaptive system. They want to keep it flexible and healthy. You can do this by guessing it and changing your eating frequency occasionally.
So you can benefit even more by experimenting with less frequent food from time to time. This also applies to the less frequent eaters. It is far better if they occasionally deviate from a more frequent eating behavior.
In the end, you should always return to what works best for you. Remember, research is a tool for averages, not for individuals. The research can bring you into the ballpark, but you need to tweak and adjust to make it just right for you.
Clomid for the Boosting Test?
Q: Steroid-Using Bodybuilders Use the drug Clomid, an anti-estrogen, to restore testicular function after a cycle, but I have heard of doctors who have prescribed it as a form of TRT – to the increase natural T levels. Does it work?
A: It works absolutely and works incredibly well. There are more than a few studies showing the benefits. I now consider it my first therapy for low testosterone levels after trying to correct with diet and exercise.
I suggested HCG for that, but Clomid is cheaper and more effective – it increases T and has a nice effect on the estrogen to testosterone ratio, where HCG can worsen that ratio in some. It also has a very good safety record with virtually no adverse reactions reported in studies and no adverse effects on PSA and hematocrit levels.
Clomid is cheaper than HCG or testosterone. The typical dose is 12.5 to 50 mg per day. I usually start my patients with 25 mg a day and re-test all blood values after 6 weeks, adjusting the dosage as needed.
One caveat: Clomiphene (Clomid) does not have a good track record for sexual symptoms (ie erectile function). Little known fact, even testosterone has no automatic benefit in this area. Some of my patients have experienced a worsening of erections with increasing testosterone. While we are not sure why some react positively and others do not, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone may play a role. Finally, it is to be known that clomiphene acts by interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and the recruitment of the signal hormones FSH and LH. Because of this, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland need to work well for the drug to work. If it does not work, it's an indication that the site of dysfunction is not the testes, but the brain.
Do I have to count calories?
Q: Let's say you're in a season where you do more exercise and recharge your batteries to improve performance and increase growth. Is there a way to avoid overeating without having to count calories? Or is it just a matter of behaving "as you feel" and "adapting to your taste"?
A: The intuitive approach to food can work great if you have enough experience with weighing. Measuring and adjusting your food. Intuition is not magic; It is a natural consequence of experience and practice. If you do not have the experience and practice, you may not be able to develop intuition.
On this basis, you can definitely use the "walk the way you feel" approach. I like to use a combination of subjective and objective measures. The subjective measure I use is HEC (hunger, energy, cravings) or SHMEC (sleep, hunger, mood, energy, cravings).
These are shortcuts I invented to help my clients gain insight into their hormonal functioning / balance. If your HEC or SHMEC is in check, your hormone system is probably balanced and your approach will be far more sustainable. The objective feedback results from the results of body composition.
The following should be noted: Those who are low in calories and burn a lot of calories (diet) and who consume a ton of calories and burn none of them (sofa potatoes) suffers from HEC / SHMEC being out of control. This is because these two metabolic states are a burden on the system in extreme cases.
What does metabolism do when it encounters significant stress? It tries to get back into balance. To do this you move less (less energy, less motivation) and eat more (more hunger and cravings). Remember, the most stressful things the body encounters will turn on our age-old survival software – the starvation reaction. Also note that the EMEM system (eating more exercise) can easily turn into an EMEL system (eating less exercise) if you're not careful.
There are several things we know about and that can hold the lid on the metabolic balance mechanisms. First of all, make sure that you balance your training with a lot of rest and relaxation. Athletes train hard, eat a lot and spend a lot of time resting and recovering. Do should do that too. Control these stress hormones. They strongly correlate with increased foraging behavior.
Another trick is to increase calories in an intelligent way. What many people do is burgers, pizzas, nut butters and guacamole. With these foods, you can more easily increase your calorie intake, but you can also eat more with your current meals and ask for the same foods in future meals.
For that reason I am not a fan of fraudulent meals and desserts with very tasty hedonistic foods. Keep your food choices on the tighter side. The combination of salt, sugar, starch, fat and alcohol illuminates the reward centers in your brain like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Use These Three Tips:
- Read the hormone signals (HEC and SHMEC).
- Pay attention to rest, relaxation and recreation.
- Watch for a milder diet.
Hunger – The Final Guide
Question of Nutrition 9