Wilderness Sports Conditioning

Online Store
Contact Us
About Us
Site Map


Train Today for
Tomorrow's Challenges

More Training Info > Feeding Frequency

Increasing Feeding Frequency Without Gain

Q. On your recommendation I've been trying to eat more often during the day, but it feels like all I do is eat. Any suggestions for how to deal with this without gaining weight from eating too much?

A. Interesting question. Whenever you start changing your eating strategies, whether to gain, lose, or maintain your current weight, the very first thing you want to do is try to assess your maintenance caloric intake value. How often, how long, and how intensely are you working out? Are you currently gaining or losing weight, or are you staying about the same? Are you male or female? To estimate roughly how many calories you need just to exist (to sleep, rest on the couch, or sit around doing little more than breathing) -- what's referred to as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) -- multiply your body weight by 10 (for women) or 11 (for men.) That gives you a minimum daily requirement if you do no exercise.

Then you'd want to factor in how much exercise you get on a daily basis. Each mile you walk or run will burn roughly 100 calories. 30 minutes of mildly intense strength training will burn approximately 250 calories (performing sets of 8-10 repetitions at your 10 RM, or 10 rep maximum). Even manual labor such as yard work, house cleaning, and chasing after a dog or toddler can add significantly to your daily caloric expenditure. Add the exercise requirements to your BMR to get your total expenditure.

Next, we'd want to take a look at the sizes of each one of your "meals" and "snacks." Remember, it's much easier on the body to have 4-5 smaller-sized meals than to have two huge ones, and will actually help speed up your metabolic rate and leave you feeling more satisfied and less hungry for each meal. However, if your 6 "mini-meals" become the same size of your regular "meals" then you're going to experience weight gain.

Eating three meals a day is as arbitrary as eating six--or one, if you think about it--but if you're serious about increasing to more "meals" a day, then I'd suggest instead of jumping from 2 meals right to 6, try to add one small snack (combining some protein, complex carbohydrates and a little bit of fat) each day for a week and get used to that first. If you currently eat twice a day because you're simply too busy to think about meal preparation, try simply adding small portable snacks to your bag that you can munch on midway between your two meals, so that the last meal of the day will end up being a little smaller -- because you won't be famished by the time you eat it! Then, once you have mastered 3 meals, add another snack, get used to that, and so on untilyou've decreased the size of each meal and increased the frequency of your snacking. With smaller meals, you'll find initially that you get hungrier a little bit faster and want to eat more often. However, you'll find that eating until you're stuffed becomes a thing of the past because you'll feel more uncomfortable when you get really full.

Finally, one more question to think about is what, precisely, is your relationship to food? Do you eat when you are hungry, or for emotional reasons such as boredom, fear, anxiety or depression, or for social reasons, particularly around the holidays? It may be that talking with someone qualified to help with eating disorders or dieting strategies would help you. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer programs that seem to help a lot of people. Enlist the help of a registered dietitian or qualified nutritionist in your area to help with meal planning. Try teaming up with a few friends or support group of people who have the same goals you do so that you can work through issues together. Remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! And you CAN change what you are currently doing!


Rate this page       Bookmark and Share

Hiking   Mountaineering   Climbing   Snow Sports   Paddling   Family   More Training Info   Contact   About Us   Home  
� 2020 Body Results   Legal Disclaimer   Privacy Policy   Updated 8/2020