Let’s put this thing to bed once and for all.
Still, to this day, I see posts on blogs and social media by people who claim to be “experts” declaring that you have to eat 6 or more times per day to build muscle because the body can only absorb about 30g in one sitting.
It’s just nonsense. Absurd. Wrong. And if you’re doing it, you’re making your life a burden for no good reason whatsoever.
It would be a great idea if you watched the video below in conjunction with 2 of my previous articles that will further your understanding on this:
(1) How Much Protein Can The Body Absorb In 1 Sitting
(2) Study Shows Eating Less Often But Higher Doses Protein (70g) Produces Better Results Than ‘Small & Often’
Now to the video, which comes from PictureFit on YouTube. Then I’ll give you my own eating schedule below…
HOW MANY TIMES I EAT PER DAY
So just to make this personal, let me tell you how I eat. Basically, I eat 4 times per day. It could have been 3. It could have been 5. But after experimentation, I find I just like 4. It works with my lifestyle and is easy for me to maintain.
So it goes like this:
- 8am – Protein-only meal (Why protein only? It’s been shown to boost growth hormone, IGF-1 and reduce cortisol – see this post)
- 1pm – Solid food meal (protein, carbs, fat)
- 5-6pm – Solid food meal (protein, carbs, fat)
- 10pm – Solid food meal (protein, carbs, fat). I need at least 40g protein from food in this last meal to make sure I’ve got protein trickling into my bloodstream to optimally repair and grow muscle tissue while I sleep. Don’t have a low-protein supper!
My recent coaching clients will know this sounds familiar as it has been my recommendation to most of them when I’m designing their diets and meals plans for getting shredded or making big-time gains. If you’d like me to take care of you in the same way and take you to the next level, see my coaching page here.
NOTE: I also have a short free guide on how to eat at bedtime to fuel maximum gains. This is a must, since we do a lot of our growing during sleeping hours. If you don’t supply the right fuel in the correct quantities, you’ll make no gains during this crucial time. Pop in your details below to get it free (absolutely zero spam policy).
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So, please stop making your life such a burden with unnecessarily high meal frequencies.
Bottom Line: The important thing is to hit your calories and macros (including protein target) for the day…and that’s it.
And also make sure that you are actually maximally stimulating gains in the gym so that this protein has a job to do. All the protein in the world won’t build muscle if you didn’t even train correctly.
So download my totally free 3-day and 5-day/wk THT training routines; just enter your details below for immediate download. Don’t worry, there’s no spam, no BS. You’re about to get the best gains of your life…
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I highly recommend MyProtein for all your supplement needs.
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- I also recommend to US readers this Optimum Nutrition whey (and here's a low-carb whey)
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Agreed. I was doing 7-8 small meals a day a few years ago. Carrying containers with me everywhere I go. Then after educating myself I went to 3 big meals a day and of course gains were the same as always, maybe better and my life is easier!
Of all the fitness enthusiasts I’ve subscribed to, you are the most beneficial: always timely articles and information. I’ve progressed a lot using your THT guide. Thank you very much!
@Karissa. Awesome! I’m very pleased to hear that. Thanks!
Hey Mark just wanted to ask what do your protein only meals consist of..
@Gabe. Good question. Usually whey. But it can also be Quark, low-fat cottage cheese or occasionally egg whites.
Hope that helps.
Very Interesting. With a desk job I find it easy to have a morning and afternoon snack (nuts, egg broccoli etc). I will try change it up a bit but the concern I have is I go to the Gym at lunch due to work. I then come back and have my shake and lunch. I have morning tea about 1.5-2hrs before to fuel me for the gym workout.
I couldn’t imagine only having a shake first thing in the morning and attempting a THT workout with just that in the belly 5+ hours later?
I’d imagine lifestyle may come into play. E.g workout days are work days for me so I’m up at 6:30am, and go to the gym at 12pm with lunch after 1pm. Just a shake in 6.5hours with a workout in there to wouldn’t work for me.