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LisaLulu

4 meals a day

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No matter what, I seem to feel best on 4 meals a day and always have. I am moderately active (I don't do insane work outs but fitbit says I take 15-20k steps a day just because I do so much walking). I am wondering if my hormones still need adjusting or it's normal to be on this pattern. If I try to just eat 3 meals I end up starving by the end of the day and wanting to eat everything. If I try to eat more than I'm comfortable with at an earlier meal I end up nauseated and with digestion distress. Should I just chill and accept that I'm a 4 meal a day person even if I'm not an intense athlete?

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Hi @LisaLulu - can you give a bit of detail surrounding what you are eating at each meal and the timing? It could be that you simply need the four meals or you have a longer than normal day and need the fourth meal and that's fine. Or it could be that you would benefit from eating larger meals 3 times a day spaced 4-5 hours apart. It could be that you aren't including enough fat with your meals in order to get the duration from them. You may not be hydrated enough and that is showing up as hunger?

If you want more directed feedback, give us as much detail as possible. :) 

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My typical day looks like this:

Wake up at 5 or 6 am and usually eat a bowl of paleo chili or something similar from my freezer within 20-30 minutes of waking so I can get a meal in before the kids wake up. The next few hours I'm busy getting the children dressed, fed, packed and off to school. Once they are at school I run my errands, clean up from the morning, and get some things done. I usually eat again around 10-11 am (today it was chicken, roasted butternut squash and green and yellow beans). I tend to need to eat again around 2-3 pm before picking up the kids today it will likely be chicken on salad with avocado oil, olives, carrot, raisins with more squash and green beans and a piece of fruit. It's usually more dinner leftovers and a smaller amount than my 'first lunch'. I then am busy with cooking dinner, feeding the kids, unpacking backpacks, helping with homework, cleaning up, getting the kids bathed, reading stories, brushing their teeth and trying to get them to bed. I try to eat again around 6-7 pm (tonight it will be salmon cakes from the book and asparagus, probably some fruit too) in the midst of that and then I'm done eating for the day. My youngest is asleep by 730 or 8 but my oldest is often up for hours after that so we are constantly putting her back to bed. I am usually asleep by 9 or 10 pm. I drink one coffee with breakfast and tea after lunches or dinner sometimes. 

Larger meals make me nauseous. I feel good eating this way. I am on my feet for most of the day running around on errands or cleaning. A lot of my errands are on foot. I work about 1 day a work teaching where I am also on my feet walking all day. Hope that helped. 

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Ya, so it sounds almost like you're doing three meals and a mini-meal which is totally fine based on what you are reporting here. My concern overall is that you don't seem to be adding fat to your meals. Top the paleo chili with some avocado or guacamole, throw some olives in with your mid morning meal, dip your salmon cakes in homemade mayo, etc. You may notice an improvement if you are consistently adding fat. 

Personal experience: I eat at 5:45am, noon and 6pm and do just fine but it definitely took some practice and tweaking to get here. On the odd occasion I'll have a couple bites of chicken or a tin of sardines between lunch and dinner if I'm hungry but usually stick to just enough to make it through until the meal.

I'd say that your volume probably doesn't really need to increase but you need that fat....which is energy dense and will keep you going.

The other thing that stands out tremendously is your lack of hydration. Our recommendation is half an ounce of water per pound of body weight. Coffee and tea alone isn't enough. Drink up!

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