Is it OK to go longer than 3-4 hours between meals?
Posted by Levi Hensley, Last modified by Levi Hensley on 19 December 2015 08:32 PM
Is it ok to go longer than 3-4 hours between meals?
It is completely “ok” to go longer than 4 hours between meals. We have found that having the goal of eating every 3-4 hours gives most people the best results. It also allows you to schedule 4-5 meals a day as suggested in most meal plans.
While meal timing is important, you have to be balanced and remember that things come up in our daily lives that you cannot control. So you want to have a plan but be flexible enough to make adjustments when necessary.
Here are some guidelines that will help you with your meal schedule each week.
You want to try and avoid the extremes in eating meals too far apart or too close together. If you eat meals too close together you blood sugar levels will stay elevated throughout the day, which creates a fat storing environment in your body. It also has the side effect of feeling too full and sluggish during the day.
If you eat meals too far apart, you could possibly end up entering into a catabolic state which has the unwanted result of losing lean muscle.
One more thing we will mention is how to plan your pre and post workout meals for the best outcome.
Post workout: You can actually get away with having multiple post workout meals closer together because your body is ready and able to use up the extra nutrients for the 2 to 3 hours following any high intensity exercise.
Pre workout: Using a 2-3 hour timeframe for meals before your workout will do a number of things. It will give your body enough time to partially digest your food. It will also provide extra energy for your workout and give you muscles a steady stream of amino acids. The final benefit of this slightly fasted state is that your body will release more hormones that aid in burning fat during your workout.
The final tip is to make sure that your water intake is increased in between meals if you decide to stretch your timeframe past the 3-4 hour mark.
Even when on a nutrition plan you want to remember that meals should be enjoyable and relaxing. If you do a little pre planning and prep work, you will have great meals every day and can feel good to know that you are taking care of your body and will see the rewards of your efforts soon.
- Customer Support Team