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Old 07-17-2012, 04:02 AM   #1
Neal Broadbent
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Just started Paleo, How often to eat?

On my 4th day of being Paleo today and really enjoying it, but I was wondering how often does everyone eat? like the usual 3-4 hours, I have always been on a slight low carb diet just due to feeling slow and sluggish, but do I follow the keep your metabolism ticking over or eat like 5-6 hours or 1-2 times a day?
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:08 AM   #2
Luke Seubert
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Re: Just started Paleo, How often to eat?

Neal, are you following the Paleo diet in an effort to lose fat, maintain bodyweight, or as part of an athletic training diet? Are your insulin levels fairly stable, or does your blood sugar trend high and bounce around quite a bit? This information makes a difference in the answer.

As for the Paleo diet and meal frequency, I don't think there is anything conclusive. Some people point to hunter-gather food consumption models in which gatherers pick at and nibble on food all day long. Others point to occasional meals after a hunt, with longer fasts in-between. I don't think there is a single "Paleo model" for food consumption. In this case, other bits of nutrition science can be helpful.

If you are looking for fat loss, and your insulin and blood sugar levels are high and variable; then you should eat multiple small meals per days, as in 4 to 6 meals per day. This will reduce post-meal insulin spikes, keep your blood sugar stable, and help you lose fat. This is especially true for men, but less true for women. Insulin drives fat in men more than it does in women, who are more influenced by leptin as well as insulin.

If you are looking for fat loss, and your insulin and blood sugar levels are moderate and stable; then you should Google 'the five rules of mastering leptin'. Basically, eat three meals a day, spread them out, and eat three hours before going to bed. Keep carbs moderate, and avoid garbage carbs.

For bodyweight maintenance, eat Paleo foods as often or as infrequently as you feel comfortable.

For an athletic training diet, try to eat within a few hours before working out, and eat within an hour after the workout. If you want to max out Human Growth Hormone (important for older athletes), eat plenty of protein and fat but very little carbs for your PWO. If you want to recover as rapidly as possible after working, eat carbs and protein in a 4:1::C:P ratio. Some athletes eat 6 times a day or more, while others do fine on fewer meals.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
Neal Broadbent
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Re: Just started Paleo, How often to eat?

Thank for that Luke I'm a personal trainer so I understand the pre post workout foods, but was just curious to see what other paleos used for timings I'll stick with 4-5 hours or the old standard of until you get hungry.
I'm pretty lean but started my 5/3/1 training so I need enough for the lifts
Thanks again
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Just started Paleo, How often to eat?

The "eat more often to keep your metabolism up" thing has been proven to be complete BS. As long as you get enough calories and vitamins/minerals and a good macro balance it doesn't matter whether you get them in 1 meal or in 8 meals.

If you're doing 5/3/1 I'm assuming you want to get bigger and stronger, so you definitely want to make sure you're eating enough. A lot of people switch to Paleo and don't eat enough because they cut out all the crap calories and don't replace them with anything, so make sure you're getting some dense carbs and fats in place of the processed foods you used to eat.
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