To Graze or To Gorge?
I know many people who follow the standard 3 squares a day routine. And I’ve watched people who do this also end up eating between meals. Thus, they will tend to eat 4-5 meals a day.
I also know people who eat only 1-2 meals a day. Perhaps they tend to skip breakfast, find themselves busy throughout the day and then gorge on a big dinner in the evening.
Which method is best?
The bottom line is, it really depends on your Lifestyle. And it depends on what you want to accomplish with your energy levels. And it depends on how active you are.
What I Personally Do
After years of trying everything from 1 meal a day to 5-6 meals a day, I’ve settled on eating 5 meals a day.
Here’s how I divide my meals throughout the day:
- 1st Breakfast
- 2nd Breakfast
- Tea Time
Yes, as you may have guessed, I took the 1st Breakfast and 2nd Breakfast thing from the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings. But, it makes perfect sense. I don’t know about everyone else, but I don’t agree with the notion that Breakfast should be the most important and biggest meal of the day. I personally am trying to wake up in the mornings, and a huge breakfast would just overload my body at a point when I’m just trying to get started. So, I tend to drink fluids first. I’ll drink bottled water, decaf coffee and/or a chocolate smoothie for breakfast. And it’s during 2nd Breakfast when I’ll actually have some solids and my body is warmed up.
Most people get a coffee break anyway by mid-morning, and not only will they get a coffee, they’ll eat a pastry or something else. So, the 1st and 2nd breakfast method is just admitting that we want to eat again by mid-morning.
In the afternoon around 3pm or 4pm, I’ll have a small meal with tea or decaf coffee. Maybe during this time I’ll have another smoothie.
My Personal Experience With Grazing
From personal experience, several high-carb meals a day will keep my energy levels up. And I’ll have a very productive day. If I have a heavy meal for lunch, it’ll weigh me down for the rest of the day and I’ll even want to take a nap.
Being vegan, and trying to follow a high carb, low fat vegan diet, I’ve noticed that about 5 high carb meals will keep my energy levels up, if I don’t over eat at any given meal, and if there’s not too much protein and/or fat in these meals.
One type of food that might make me lose my energy momentum are the heavy starchy foods like potatoes and white rice. So I have to be careful not to overdo it with these foods. More fresh, raw fruits and vegetables will benefit my energy levels.
Of course, drinking plenty of fluids that include fresh purified water will always be an all-important thing.