A few weeks ago I ditched the multiple mini meals throughout the day. I was sick of never ever feeling satisfied! Has anyone else done this? I have had some pretty decent results, I am not starving all day anymore and I am able to manage on fewer calories (helped me bust trough a plateau.
Were you eating the exact same amount of food in your 6 meals total as you are in your 3 total? There is good reason for 6 meals. If you weren't feeling satisfied, it was one of two things.
1. You weren't eating enough and need to adjust your intake.
2. You are physologically used to eating more in a sitting and told yourself you weren't satisfied because you associate being full with being satisfied.
Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!
I spent several weeks eating the same amounts, following a rough BFL ratio carb:protein. I also did a few weeks increasing the protein and lowering carbs. I did a few eating higher carbs in the AM and higher protein in the PM and I was pretty much never, ever happy with meals and had horrible cravings. I completed my first 12 week challenge following 6 a day and I truly hated it, and could never maintain it permanently. Since moving to a schedule that feels more natural to me (the way I ate in high school when I was fit without trying, first meal around 10-11:00 am, dinner at 7 ish and a couple of balanced snacks) I don't have the cravings and I actually feel satiated. I was also able to ditch my free day in favor of a treat or two throughout the week. I broke my plateau, stopped my morning stomach cramps, and I could maintain this long term. I think I've rather lost faith in the many-small-meal setup at least for my body.
Pretty much every "rule" has someone it doesn't apply well to, and for most people there's a "rule" that doesn't work for them. Now, some people try to claim that they're an exception without having any basis for it except their own preferences, but that doesn't sound like where you're at since you've done a whole challenge "by the book;" sounds like you're in a good place for tweaking things to find what works best for you. If I tried to do it your way, I'd be raiding the cupboards within a week or two (I used to eat that way, and did raid the cupboards or drop by the snack shop regularly - doing six smaller meals has stopped most of my cravings), but if it works for you and lets you make it "Body for LIFE" instead of "Body for twelve weeks" then more power to you.
You are having several meals with your snacking. Your body is just in a different place where it doesn't have to be so strict. :)
I was also at my fittest in HS, where my one good meal was the dinner Mom made and everything else was junk and excessive processed carbs. HS is different. There was nothing balanced about my eating then and I was 12.1% bodyfat. Correlation does not mean causation.
Correlation not being equal to causation is definitely a principle I am familiar with, having taken many a statistics course :). The point I meant to make regarding HS was just that what is natural for me is basically fasting for a 10-14 hour stretch, and eating later in the day when I start to feel truly hungry. With snacks, my meals are around 3-4, so its more like the three squares that most people espouse rather than the every 3-4 hour miniature meals.
If you're happy with your current situation, then go with what is feeling right to you. Just be mindful of your bodyfat. Your scale might be what you want, but you could be eating away at muscle, but these things happen over time so just do what feels good. We all need our individual rhythms.
© Abbott Laboratories,2013