Snacking Takes More Discipline Than Fasting

February 3, 2008

Call me crazy, but I think it is really tough to eat snacks and not ingest too many calories. To me snacking is just a tease and it makes me crave junk food much more than if I only eat 1-3 meals per day. I know the 6 meal per day thing is popular, but I don’t know how people do it and successfully lose weight!
woman taking off jeans

Eating Food Makes You Crave More Food

I swear it is the case that if I eat a big meal in the morning, I crave food all day long. It is a weird thing for sure. If I skip breakfast or have a light breakfast of just a bit of fruit, it is much easier for me to stick to a clean diet. What is even crazier is that if I eat all day long on a certain day, I crave food in a big way the following day.

Training Your Body to Expect Food Every Couple of Hours?

It is my experience that your body will adapt to certain eating patterns. People who are used to eating every 2-3 hours have a tough time going longer without food. The problem with eating every few hours is it is really hard to create a calorie deficit this way. Plus your body will always be fueled up with carb energy, so there is no reason to burn body fat for fuel. That is why I tell people that eating fewer meals could actually help them lose fat again.

Snacking is the Cause of Insulin Spikes and Low Blood Sugar

This is an observation that I’ve made. I know a lot of people who use the excuse of low blood sugar as a reason to eat every few hours. They believe that snacking cures low blood sugar. I am here to tell you that I think snacking is what causes low blood sugar in many cases. Most snacks are carb based causing a rise in blood sugar, insulin is released to stabilize the blood sugar back down, but often times “over corrects” causing the blood sugar to get too low. The person then feel like their blood sugar is low again and craves more food and gets a bit shaky. This causes a never ending cycle of snacking and often leads to craving unhealthy sugary foods. Read this paragraph again…it makes a lot of sense.

Snacking Gives Your Body No Reason to Burn Fat

Your body will only burn off body fat as a last resort. If it is fueled with calories, it will burn off these food calories long before it uses the energy from your body fat. The best way to drop this body fat is to insure that you go through periods of time during the day where there isn’t food calories in your system. This is when the fat burning happens. This is a big reason I tell people to exercise in this state as well. You should take advantage of this “fat burning” window of opportunity.

I Think Snacking Takes Discipline and Is Hard Work

Reaching your fat loss goals is going to be tough if you snack all of the time. I think your results will be slow and you will reach many more sticking points than those of us who eat 1-3 meals per day. I guess I am too impatient to wait years before I lose weight. If I am going to workout hard, I want to see visible results on a regular basis. The biggest problem with snacking is that it increases your cravings for carbs. If you are stuck in the low blood sugar cycle that I spoke about earlier, that try to ease your way out of that. Losing weight will be much easier for you.

Note: There are true diabetics who do have legitimate blood sugar issues. I’m not referring to these people. I just think many people who aren’t diabetic use the whole low blood sugar thing as an excuse to eat non-stop.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Tee February 3, 2008 at 6:11 pm

You hit the nail on the head, I noticed that I can pretty much go all day without being too hungry…but it gets to the point where I feel I better eat and once I do, I’m pretty much eatting for the rest of the day.
I never thought about it that way, but there aren’t many times where I truely am hungry. I just feel like I know its time to eat, so I better or else.

I know you follow the warrior diet and eat your bigger meal at night, but I was wondering if I could instead eat my bigger meal at lunch or will it have any adverse effects? Especially when it comes to cardio.

Thanks, and once again good work!

Helder February 3, 2008 at 6:28 pm

You got a point, it’s harder for most people to lose fat (i don’t like to say weight) if they eat 5/6 meals a day, but it’s not so hard if you know what to eat. I still eat like that, i always have, the exception is that i cut off the meal before bed, 3/4 hours before going to bed i don’t eat. I was saying that it’s not hard to lose fat even if you’re eating 5/6 meals a day, you just have to do 2 things, eat low caloric food, and eat a high protein and low carb diet, if you do that you can eat more times. It works for me and i need it, if you remember i use to be a skinny hardgainer, i lose fat easy but i lose muscle easy too if i cut too much on food.

Jennifer February 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm

I have been feeling kind of rotten for the past few days, and I have been on a liquid-only diet (because there was no way I could stomach any solid food). I know this is totally unhealthy, but even though I am at a healthy weight, those last few pounds have come off because my “tight” jeans were not quite as tight today. It may just be fluids that I lost, but my body looks fit…not such a healthy strategy though! I am going to try to snack less because although my body looks good, sometimes I get these huge cravings and if I eat less frequent meals, these may go away…I hope!

Jeff February 3, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Sexy looking women like the one in the photo give me all the reason I need to be disciplined! Helps me focus on the why not the how!!!

Kimberly February 3, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Hey Rusty,
I’ve been checking out your blog for a few weeks now. I love it! I agree with everything that you said. I started the Warrior Diet about a week ago and it is so much easier than I imagined. I actually love not having to worry about what I can and can’t eat all day long. I really don’t crave any junk food and my stomach is shrinking. Sometimes I even have to force myself to eat dinner. I feel really great! Thanks for all of your wonderful info.!

Graeme February 4, 2008 at 12:21 am

I completely agree!

I kind of learned this the hard way. I used to believe that I had to eat constantly, especially since I’m a fairly young guy who is moderately active. So I ate often, but I never found I got the results in my body that I wanted.

Since stumbling across this site, I’ve generally been eating less and lost about 10 lbs. However, on the days that I do eat more, it’s like I’m ALWAYS hungry, and I need to eat more. It turns into a vicious cycle that’s really hard to get out of.

The less you eat, the less hungry you are. (within reason, of course)

Peter February 4, 2008 at 12:46 am

Yeah, Rusty I have always been leanest when I eat less frequently instead of munching on something throughout the day, after awhile I forget about food and can go hours and hours without eating. All of a sudden when I have a sugary or salty snack it makes me incredibly hungry and I can’t stop eating, I think is it both a psychological and physiological reaction. Today though, I had nachos, beer and guacamole at the Super Bowl party.

PS. what did you think about the game? I thought surely the Pats would win, LOL serves Belichick right, he is a poor sport and a cheat IMO, look at how he walked out with time still on the clock. I do feel pretty bad for Randy Moss and Junior Seau though. Not too bad for Tom Brady, he still gets to have sex with Gisele Bundchen!

Kprice February 4, 2008 at 1:11 am

Rusty you are so right – again!
I came across this website about clearing acne. Anyway, the guy talked about how your body goes through cycles everyday and that it is good to eat accordingly. He said in the morning the body is going through a cleansing phase and that eating cleasing food is good like fruits and vegies and in the evening the body is going through a building phase and that you should eat building foods like meat and potatoes. He mentioned, I think that the body does not crave heavy things in the morning. It made sense to me because I was never a breakfast person. And now that I found this website it confirms this theory.
For me I know that if I eat breakfast I will want to continue eating all day. It is easier for me not to eat at all than eat. My husband eats fruit during the day and I don’t trust myself to even do that. I just stick to my green tea. I still take little bites of my son’s food, just to ‘test’ it :). But I don’t even do this until after about 2pm.
When I was skinny this is the way I ate, although I didn’t know that it was the Warrior Diet. Back then I was skinny (100lbs), but always felt guilty for eating so late at night. Now I don’t feel bad anymore.
I really enjoy this site and all of the info you give. Keep it up! I do admire you for not trying to make a profit. Really shows that you are a genuine person.
Kavitha

Teresa February 4, 2008 at 1:37 am

We’re having THE BIGGEST LOSER contest in our house right now. I’ve lost 6 pounds the month of January. Not that I’m going all out and doing strenuous exercise daily, but 3-4 times a week, 2 mile walks and/or strength training exercise. I have cut down on meals, quite a bit. I snack, but it’s all just fruits and veggies, and trail mix. So far, so good. My goal is 20 lbs by Spring. I’m going to try your Warrior strategy and see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted until then. One month at a time.

admin February 4, 2008 at 2:29 am

Tee,

It really depends on when you do cardio. If you want lunch to be your biggest meal, then morning cardio will work the best.

Helder,

Yeah…it does work for some people. They just need to be a bit careful about eating healthy foods only. If people eat extremely clean foods and keep their portions under control then eating a bit more frequently can work (I just think most people are like me in this regards and end up eating too big of portions or simple carbs).

Jeff,

You know I deliver the best photos on the net! I actually believe visuals do help with goal setting as well as motivation. Thanks for recognizing that.

Kimberly,

Thanks for the compliments. There is no way you can agree with everything I say. For instance…I think this song is really, really bad…but a small part of me thinks it is cool. It is from Dirty Dancing, which is a movie I should hate (since it is a major chick flick)…but a small part of me likes this movie as well.

Graeme,

Our bodies are actually efficient in that when you are in a slightly fasted state the nutrients you do eat get absorbed better. People don’t need as much calories as they think…but like you said, you certainly don’t want to starve yourself either.

Peter,

At the Super Bowl party I went to, I had a few Belgium White beers (Hoegaarden…my favorite beer)…three pieces of pizza, a bunch of chicken wings, 5 sushi rolls, 2 brownies, and some chips! I believe in “going for it” on days of celebration! The game was outstanding by the way…absolutely nuts at the end! Tom Brady has a great life, I can’t feel sorry for that guy at all.

Kavitha,

Yeah…there are tons of people who don’t want to eat huge breakfasts, but want to eat big dinners. That is me for sure! It is probably the way we were meant to eat. As far as gaining a profit from the website. I do plan on writing a few paid e-books, but will continue to offer free content here as well. The difference between this site and an e-book…is that the e-book will just “drill down” deeply into subjects on a level that would be impractical in a blog post. My goal with this blog is to make it as valuable as any e-book you can currently buy online regarding fitness. I have a ways to go, but I’m getting there. Thanks for the compliments!

Teresa,

Friendly competitions are a great way to hit goals. I love it!

Thanks for contributing everyone!

Rusty

Hulbs February 4, 2008 at 4:47 am

Hey Rusty,

Glad to hear you had a good time at your SB party!

You really nailed it with this post.

Before i discovered your site I used to eat a healthy but reasonably substantial b’fast of around 500-600 calories (e.g. museli with milk and banana plus toast etc) and I would be starving by 10am and would need a fruit snack or similar to struggle to lunch. Lunch at 12pm would be another 750 calaries or so and another fruit snack or sim would be needed around 3pm. I’d get home at 5pm and have toast etc and then have a big dinner and just keep eating pretty much till bed. Most of the food was healthy but I was eating 3000-3500 cal a day easily and was always hungry. I was probably eating 6-8 slices of bread a day and constantly craved it.

BUT now, B’fast is a bannana at 6am. workout at 10.30am or so with only one small black coffee around 8.30am. Lunch at 12.30pm is around 400-450 cal now and then i’m full. Then dinner around 6.30pm or around 700-800 cal, and a dessert of around 200-300 cal. So total of around 1700 cal per day (half of previous) and I don’t get hungry all day only once i’ve eaten my dinner! which is fine cause day is almost over and I have calories in reserve.

I now love this way of eating and it is so easy to loss weight. I’m down to right on 174 pounds now as of this morning.

And importantly i don’t feel like i’m missing out of life. i still get to have a glass of wine with dinner. i beer now and again, and dessert every night its great.

Thanks again rusty

Hulbs

katie February 4, 2008 at 10:04 am

This is post is so true!! Especially, I think, for women. If youre a woman and youre around average height, and you eat six meals a day to get 1200 calories, thats six 200 calorie meals on average!! That’s nothing! I’d much rather eat 2-3 normal meals than six tiny ones..!
Anyway, I’ve been reading your blog for a while Rusty and its really great. I’m starting the Warrior diet you recommended today, so I’ll let you know in about a month how its working. Thanks for all the valuable information and mentorship!

PS: There is no need to be ashamed for loving dirty dancing haha

admin February 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Hulbs,

Yep…what is nice is that you aren’t wasting so much time and money eating all the time as well.

Katie,

“No buddy puts baby in a corner!”…quote from Dirty Dancing

I agree that eating 6 small meals would be even tougher if someone weighed 100-120 pounds. Good point!

Rusty

Stacy February 4, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Ok, Rusty, I am officially in love with you now!!! You are the only man I know who has admitted to even semi liking Dirty Dancing. I love that movie. I was at a party one time and some guy was giving me crap for liking dirty dancing and I threw my beer on him. He shut up after that.
Anyway, regarding your post, you are so right. I have been trying this new way of eating that I heard about that suggests fasting for 24 hrs, 2 non-consecutive days a week, so I tried it, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. By around the 20th hour, it got a little tough, but that hungry feeling kind of felt good also, like a high and I feel better on the days that I fast than on the days that I eat. And also, on days that I eat, it’s such a hassle to be counting calories and making sure I eat this, and don’t eat that.

I also wanted to tell you that I have seen a major difference in my weight training results since I started doing lower volume/reps, and really concentrating on lifting/lowering the weights slowly as you suggest in one of your earlier post. My arms are lookin great. As for legs, I haven’t done any leg work in awhile, take care of it with HIIT (more advice from you) and I swear it works if you do HIIT hard enough, and HITT works your bottom too. I swear since I’ve been doing HIIT me bum actually looks like it has been lifted a couple inches!!!
HOORAY FOR ARSES NOT DRAGGING THE FLOOR IN 2008!!

Thanks Rusty for all your help.

Kimberly February 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm

You’re right I don’t agree with everything you say. 🙂 Dirty Dancing is a chick flick and I love it, but that song is just…bad! Not cool, just bad. 🙂

Mark McCullagh February 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Good article Rusty. I’ve been thinking about fasting a lot lately. You know, people tend to think of fasting as “not eating” but it really means controlling your senses (desire to satisfy the cravings of the tongue).

This usually involves giving up certain foods or limiting the amount you eat. However, the important point is the discipline involved.

I was reading between the lines of some of the comments made by readers who have followed your dietary advice and they seem to have experienced the benefits not only physically but mentally and spiritually.

It is no surprise that fasting is a big part of EVERY spiritual practice. The benefits of “controlling your tongue” really transcend the physical.

On a lighter note, glad to see you “pigged out” for the Super Bowl. For me, it was potato chips and dark chocolate.

Cory February 4, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Great Post again Rusty. This was my problem too, once I started snacking I couldnt stop and the old way of eating I was hungry constantly. Now I actually force myself to eat a whole grain bar, (soon to be protein bar) and a banana for breakfast, only because I usually need to boost my calories for the day not reduce them. Gives me an extra 200 or so calories so Im not to low on my really clean days. And if I have anything else during the day its an apple and maybe a handfull of walnuts but thats only on rare occasions. Then I eat healthy or fairly healthy dinner and eat just as much as I want, or can. The only real time I start to get hungry is late in the afternoon, but this is shortly before my workout and that usually curbs my hunger right there. I rest for a couple hours after my workout, then eat my large dinner.
Eating less often, is definitly the way to go, and way easier, at least for me. And is it working? Well, Ive now lost over 30 pounds Rusty!! And thats in a very short amount of time! Im goal oriented and Im after results and seeing them.

CaRtz February 5, 2008 at 2:07 am

Hi Rusty,

Is it okay to eat an hour or 2 before sleeping? I usually have 2-3 pcs of cookies or a banana plus non fat milk 1-2 hours before sleeping.

Thanks,

CaRtz
Manila, Philippines

admin February 5, 2008 at 3:09 am

Stacy,

Sprinting on a treadmill is an amazing butt workout. I wish more women gave it a shot. It works extremely well. As far as Dirty Dancing goes…don’t tell my friends. Damn it! This post is already indexed in Google…now everyone is going to find out.

Kimberly,

I know it is bad, and I have no idea why I like it. I’m so ashamed!

Mark,

I ate like a pig big time during the Super Bowl. Isn’t that a requirement?

Cory,

Your results fire me up. Seriously…way to go! I’m glad it isn’t that tough for you. It is easier than a lot of people think.

Cartz,

You will get slightly better results if you don’t eat anything 2 hours before going to sleep as far as fat loss goes. That being said, there are times when I get home late from work and eat a cup of yogurt right before bed. It is fine ever now and then for sure. I never knew you lived in the Philippines! That is cool buddy.

Rusty

K February 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Hey Rusty,

I was wondering if I can get your take on my exercise/diet routine. It took a while (7 grueling months of a disciplined diet and hard workouts), but I’ve finally reached my maintenance phase (I’m a male 5’3 at 135 lbs at around 8% bodyfat); I still like to workout first thing in the morning 6 days a week combining my cardio and resistance training; followed by a light breakfast of a protein shake, cottage cheese, and a green apple; between morning and late afternoon (10am – 4pm) I’ll carry my bottle of water and stay hydrated through class (no snacking); then I have my one large meal at around 4pm that most often consists of a lot of white meat, eggs, some veges (I’ll change it up a bit every now and then). I still stay away from carbs such as rice, pasta, potatoes etc as well as red meat as a general rule to stay lean. Recently though, instead of having a mixed fruit bowl for desert after dinner, I switched it to having a couple of large cookies with fat-free milk lol (they’re soo good!). I guess my question is, will this jeopardize (to any extent) what I’ve worked so hard to achieve (even though I still exercise hard consistently?) Other than these cookies, I do a pretty good job of staying away from candy, soda, and other snacks including protein bars. If I do snack while a movie or something I’ll grab baked pita chips over popcorn (I guess that’s how obsessive I’ve become). I’d appreciate any advice you have. By the way, do you mind if I ask how tall you are and how much you weigh?

Thanks again man,

K

Tesa February 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

I love this post! It’s so true. A lot of my friends think it’s so strange that I only eat two or three meals during the day without snacks in between but I find that if I snack i’ll just keep eating and eating. I feel much more satisfied with a regular breakfast, fruit or granola bar at lunch, and a small dinner.

And for an update i’ve lost five more pounds, putting me a total of 35 pounds lost! Only five more pounds and i’ll be at 130. I would never have thought this was possible but somehow i’m doing it. Your advice has helped so much; I can’t thank you enough. Not only do I feel incredible but I look pretty incredible too(not to boast or anything haha) sometimes I feel like i’m not getting drastic enough results but then someone will comment on how slender I look and it makes it all worth while.

I do have a question though for all the guys out there. While I am actually pretty slender I have broad shoulders and big hips, they’re not fat by any means just very curvy. My wide dimensions make me really self conscious because usually women have smaller rib cages and hips. I don’t know if that turns guys off because while I actually am starting to actually see a six pack *wahoo* I still feel too big. Unfortunately, I cannot fix these things by workout or surgery, etc; my body type is more like a Jessica Biel than a Jessica Alba…guess I just have to learn to live with it

Bobby February 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Hey Tesa,

Congratulations on your progress!!! Regarding the shape of your body…..i think your natural curves make you who you are. If you cant do anything about it then dont worry about it. Dont get to conscious about something that may actually be a good asset. Cuz when you worry, you start to lose confidence and confidence is sexy in a woman. I bet when you reach 130 you will be amazing looking

admin February 6, 2008 at 1:22 am

K,

If you really like fat free milk and cookies, why don’t you eat that right after your morning workout with your cottage cheese? It will be less likely to be converted to body fat at that time. Drink that protein shake an hour or two after dinner. I think this will work better than eating those cookies so late in the day. My current size? 6’3″ 190 pounds. In my swimsuit picture I was closer to 185 pounds. I’m slightly bigger now, but just as lean.

Tesa,

I guess you are just going to have to live with having a body like Jessica Biel! I suppose we can put up with it. I bet 90% of guys would say that Jessica Biel has the sexiest body in Hollywood. We LOVE those types of proportions! Keep it up!

Rusty

Ron February 6, 2008 at 11:35 am

Totally unrelated, but…

Hey, Rusty…I found a shirt for you!
http://www.snorgtees.com/cantreadgood

admin February 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Ron,

That is funny! I like wearing random graphic T’s to the gym that say weird stuff.

Good Find!

Rusty

trif_m February 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Great Post again Rusty but I don’t think you can apply this to fat and very fat people.

You can’t make a person change a habit that took years to develop – eating “non- stop” in a matter of days even weeks.

I propose an alternative and would like your take on this.

This person will start with a transitional diet.

The transitional diet is a reduced carb (nothing very drastic) diet, on which the person eats balanced high volume but low calorie density mini-meals.

During a day a person will eat between 4 and 5 mini meals built using the following guidelines:

– eat a lean protein with every meal

– add healthy fats to your diet and remove bad ones
* eat more almonds, avocado, fish, dark leafy vegetables, non refined vegetable oils, olive oil etc
* do not eat any trans fats and limit saturated fat consumption

– carb selection:
1. low Glycemic Index carbs at every non-post-workout meal:
* vegetables and fruit (but fruit only at 1 or 2 meals)

2. High GI carbs post workout:
* whole wheat breads, cereal, pasta
* yams, brown rice, yams etc.

3. Simple sugars are not to be consumed
* no Soda & packet Fruit juice (fresh squeezed un sweetened fruit juice is ok )
* no bakery products (doughnuts, cookies)
* no chips and other snacks

– beverages containing more then 0 calories should not be consumed with the exception of recovery drinks and healthy shakes (made and drank with the above rules in mind)

If, lets say, you decide to eat 4 meals a day then you will be eating about every 3.5 to 4 hours. Meals sizes should be made so that you feel hungry 1 to 1.5 before your next meal.

In order to see results you should have about 90% adherence to the eating style, meaning that if you eat 28 meals a week at least 25 follow the guidelines. The others are cheat meals and can be used for when you have special occasions OR can be skipped.

Eating this way has produced great results for me – I lost about 30 pounds in 8 weeks. During this time my energy levels have been fairly constant.

Now I know that weight loss and fat loss can be quicker than that but I DON’T AGREE with fat loss programs that compromise you general health and performance.

A good fat loss program should focus on changes in appearance but must not neglect health and general performance. Improving you body is not a sprint race it is more of a marathon so don’t try to use quick fixes.

Arguments in favor of eating this way.

#1. Greater Caloric deficit.
Eating starchy carbs only post workout and eating fibrous carbs (fruits and vegetables ) with every meal greatly reduces the total amount of calories eaten because fibrous carbs have low calorie density (a full plate of broccoli can have as little as 30 calories) while providing great bulk, so you feel full and can’t eat more/ don’t feel as hungry.

#2. Low GI foods tend to keep insulin levels fairly low allowing glucagon to mobilize fatty acids so that they can be used tor ATP (energy) production.

#3.Eating High GI carbs post workout spikes insulin levels which is a good think because increasing insulin levels promotes the storage of dietary glucose as glycogen (replenish glycogen stores) and kick starts protein synthesis.

#4. Everybody can benefit from increased protein intake. Here is an article on the benefits of increasing protein intake:
http://burn-body-fat.blogspot.com/…weight-fat-loss.html

#5. Adding some fats while removing others can have great benefits on the metabolic rate and fat loss.An article on this topic as well:
http://burn-body-fat.blogspot.com/…fat-diet.html

#6. You can read more about the why it is critical to drink enough water and about the advantages of increasing water intake here:
http://burn-body-fat.blogspot.com/2007/…fat.html

After the person lost the desired amount of body fat then s/he goes to a transitional phase where number of meals are reduced gradually to 1-3 meals a day.

trif_m
http://burn-body-fat.blogspot.com/

Tim February 6, 2008 at 6:32 pm

rusty I gotta a couple questions. im 6 ft I did the high protein diet and got down to 169 .5 4% and was eating around 5 meals a day. which was awesome and then chrismas and new years and ive put on some weight im around 177 but @ 6 % so its not to bad. the question is why does it seem like low carb diets make your skin feel saggy and depleted. I ran across this diet that really interesting its the don lemmon diet know how. I ve done it and my body has lost inches and gotten really tight. I have a pdf and wondering if you could take a look at it and see what you think(i have it i dunno how to send it to you). Because I wanted to try the the one meal plan if it either didnt sound like a good diet to lose body fat. Its I wanna do the diet it did before but i dont want my skin to be saggy

I know im throwing alot at you but i wanna get someones opion of this info

Brad February 6, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Hey Rusty!
Whats up man? Great article. Anyone who might have read the article and is questioning what Rusty is claiming about eating less meals…. well here is one more testimonial that this method works.
As I have posted before, I have done the 6 meals per day plan for fat loss, and it worked. I also fell into the trap that you have to do all you’re cardio in the AM on an empty stomache. I got extremely lean for me, 6%. And I kept it there all summer till I finally exploded and ate like a complete horse and managed to put on 12 pounds on a 5 day vacation. And when it was all said and done I went from 177 pounds to 203 pounds in a matter of 2months. This was nothing new to me as I had this same type of weight gain at the end of the previous summer.
Before reading Rusty’s aritcles, I figured it would always be this way if I wanted to get lean. I would have to diet and train extremely hard for 3 months in the spring, look good and maintain that weight in the summer and then explode like a mad man and gain 25 pounds in about 6 weeks and be at that fat weight all winter. Then repeat the whole process over and over and over!
To me it was so hard to live like this. I always felt like I was living a less fulfilling life just to look good for half of the year. Constantly depriving myself of eating something fun once in a while or always having to eat every 3 hours to make sure I got all my meals in. I was counting every stinking calorie, and every single carb, every single gram of protein, every gram of fat. It was ridiculous. If I missed a meal cause I was busy, I felt terrible, like my metabolism would shut down. Also, I was always hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All I did was eat but yet I was always hungry! About two hours after each meal I was starving for another mini-meal.

Anyways, sorry for complaining about that whole process. My point in leaving a post here was to tell everyone what following Rusty’s advice has done for me.

I have been eating 3 meals a day rather then 6 meals for about 6 weeks now. My weight has gone from 203 to 190 pounds in those 6 weeks. I’m thrilled at the results so far. I look better, feel better, and better yet, I don’t feel like it’s much of an effort so far. I’m not constantly hungry like I used to be when eating more frequent meals. Rusty, you’re a stud man! You’re advice is awesome.

I’m going to continue this method as long as I continue to get results. If for whatever reason I get to a sticking point, and I need to revert to my old ways of more frequent smaller meals to get to my goal weight of 175, then I will. But even if I have to end up doing that to get rid of the last few pounds I can live with that. Especially if it’s only for a few weeks or so. Then I will no doubt go back to the 3 meals per day to maintain that weight of 175.

I mean, compared to the 6 months of eating 6 meals a day that I’ve done in the past, if I only had to do that for one month to get past a sticking point that won’t be any problem….knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I never thought in a million years could lose 13 pounds in 6 weeks eating this way. So I might as well try and lose another 15 pounds using this method.

Here is an example of a typical day for me if anyone is curious.
Breakfast, oatmeal mixed with egg whites and whey protein powder, and an apple. About 350 cals

Lunch(post workout usually) 6 oz of chicken, 6 oz Sweet Potatoe, 1/2 cup of Broccoli.

Super, chicken noodle soup, a few crackers, some almonds, and usually I add some extra chicken to the soup.

Those are my main meals right now. Usually once or twice a day I’ll drink a protein shake and have a handfull of almonds or eat a couple saltine crackers. But thats it. It has worked for me. I hardly ever get hunger pains anymore. I drink tons of water and usually Green Tea once or twice a day.

Eating this way has allowed me to enjoy cheat meals once in a while without binging. I enjoy them cause I know I have plenty of calories to spare with this new way of eating.

One last thing, I got this tip from Rusty as well. If I know I’m going to go out to eat somewhere, or eat my moms home cooked meals, I’ll drink about 20 oz of water, a cup of Green Tea, and eat an apple before hand. This works extremely well and really curbs you’re appetite. Take care everyone! Thanks again Rusty!

Kathy February 6, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I must be doing something wrong. I’ve been doing the Warrior Diet – ok I get a bit hungry in the afternoon and I have some vegtable and a V8 and I haven’t lost a pound. I’ve been out of the gym due to foot surgery – I am hoping to get back on track soon. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t eat a large dinner just one serving of what I am feeding my family (I have protein and vegtables). I drink at least 74 ounces of water a day plus more at night. HELP – I am getting bummed. When I go back to the gym – I like to run – can you suggest any other cardio machines that won’t make my legs bigger? All your help is greatly appreciated.

Matty February 6, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Personally although trif_m has a great plan set out here I’d have to say that I don’t believe it works for everyone.. I tried the 4-6 plan and whilst it worked it was way too much work.. 28 meals a week was just more opportunities to go over calories and this style of eating only made me hungrier!

Since switching to 1-2 meals with most of my calories at dinner i have complete control over my diet without too much hassle. This has meant a weight loss of 20kgs (44lbs)!

Whilst I know both ways can be effective for weight loss its great to see Rusty presenting the alternative solution that is not so common in diet and nutrition.

Thanks Rusty for showing me that skipping meals was not gonna cause metabolic shutdown! I owe you a beer.

Matty
Australia

DownSouth February 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm

I’m glad somebody finally agrees with me on this. I really don’t understand how you can eat 6 small ass meals and not cheat. One bigger meal is a lot easier, because for me I get real hungry but after a while I just ignore it, but if you’re eatin’ some tiny ass meal every 2.786 hours or whatever the hell it is you just keep teasin’ yourself. And I’ve always had great results with just eatin’ one or two meals a day (usually a smaller one at lunch time and a slightly bigger one at night. No science behind that obviously). I understand the concept behind smaller meals but unless you’re so damn busy between those meals it just wouldn’t work in my eyes. And who has time to sit down 6 times a day? I’ve got 20 units and football so that just don’t work for me. Eat somethin’ a little larger twice a day and get on with your day. Don’t schedule out your rationings of talapia and broccoli.

admin February 7, 2008 at 1:51 am

Trif,

Good addition buddy! Yes…the diet you described would work as well. The diet I described works well for people who have a tough time keeping portions under control. I am simply not disciplined to eat many smaller meals…plus I love it that I have several hours per day when my body is in a fasted state and is using body fat for energy. I know that the diet you described works too…people just have to make sure and follow it to a “T”. You did a brilliant job describing it. Your blog is looking good, by the way!

Tim,

The reason your skin looks saggy is that eating lower carb all the time quickly reduces the size of your muscles. It takes a while for your skin to shrink down a bit to adapt to your smaller muscle size. When you eat a bit of carbs, you will gain some of that muscle size back. The trick to getting ripped is to stay at that same body size for 6-12 months…this is a huge reason I tell people to stay at a consistent size year round. Here is a post on that: A Muscle Definition Tip

Brad,

I don’t know what to say! Thanks for the testimonial. I know you will like this way of eating WAY better than eating 6 times per day. Your digestive system probably feels better as well now that you are giving it a break from non-stop food! You are going to enjoy being fit year-round as well. Who wants to do what it takes and then gain a bunch of fat? “Bulking up” during the winter is an old school fitness approach that needs to be put to an end. All the personal trainers in my gym are now finally hitting cardio to “get ready” for summer! They all probably have at least 15-25 pounds to lose. I don’t get it!

Kathy,

It really sounds like you can’t go any lower in calories. The only direction you can go is to increase your activity level. This should do the trick. Does your gym have one of those stair machines, where the stairs actually move kind of like an escalator? If it doesn’t then a regular Stair Master is the way to go…It is better than the elliptical machine.

Matty,

I am digging the Aussies more and more. You guys are all about staying in great shape, drinking beer, and hanging out on amazing beaches! I think I may be Australian…I love all of that stuff! As far as the two different approaches to eating, I guess people should give each approach a try and see what works for them. I do much better just eating a couple of times per day. Awesome job on losing those 44 pounds! If you believe in staying fit the rest of your life, this will be the last time you will ever have to lose that amount of weight. It is pretty cool if you think of it like that!

DownSouth,

That has to be tough to be taking 20 credits and playing Football! I wish I would have ate less meals in college. I always had a tough time staying awake in my afternoon classes due to digesting food from eating a big lunch. If you are a coffee drinker, it works much better to keep you awake if you drink it on an empty stomach. Good to hear from ya!

Incredible comments guys…got some really long ones up there!

Rusty

evan February 7, 2008 at 4:24 pm

kinda of off topic. but how is soup for a diet? Is eating french onion soup or chicken noodle soup “bad”?

Kathy February 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Rusty, Thanks for your response. I hope to give my foot this weekend to recover and be back in the gym. The machine you suggested is at Gold’s where I work out – are you sure it won’t make my legs and butt bigger? I hope not – what kind of program do you suggest on that machine and how long do you suggest? Can I use the machine along with running? I need to drop this weight ASAP.

admin February 8, 2008 at 2:18 am

Evan,

I did a homemade soup diet for a while and it worked great! Ingredients…chicken breasts, cabbage, cilantro, onions, chicken broth, jalapeño peppers, etc. It was a low carb high protein soup, that tasted great. I made it extremely spicy and it satisfied me better that way.

As far as French onion soup goes…I would limit it. Chicken Noodle soup…just add a bit more chicken to it and it is fine.

Kathy,

I’ve been doing walking intervals on this…level 9 for one minute, level 12 for a minute, back to level 9 for a minute, then level 13 for a minute. I work up to alternating between level 9 and level 15 for 20 minutes. It is really rough. I started doing this two weeks ago. It has toned the back of my legs really well, without any sort of size gain. Try this and then follow it up with 10 minutes of walking or jogging on the treadmill. You will sweat like crazy, but should drop that fat quickly!

Hope that helps!

Rusty

Jamie February 8, 2008 at 4:51 am

Hey Rusty,

Thanks for the advice just wanted to say that i have so much more energy since eating very little throughout the day. I am no longer lethargic in the gym, and im getting stronger.

HOWEVER

Seeing as im eating very little I keep waking up in the middle of the night on auto pilot and eating bread and jam and other carby items. Therefore im guessing i require more carbs than im ingesting.

Im pretty lean as it is so i think i should up my clean carbs?

Or have more carb days?

Cheers for any advice.

Bring out the ebook pretty sure most of the people on here would use it as their bible haha

All the best

Jamie

admin February 9, 2008 at 1:04 am

Jamie,

Try more carbs in the evening. That should do the trick. Another trick is to eat a Fuji apple and drink a glass of water before bed. The water will expand the pectin and create a sense of feeing full. The calories are negligible…so no worries if you eat right before bed.

Rusty

Jamie February 9, 2008 at 7:28 am

Thank you so much dude!!

Can’t believe i ever did the 6 meals per day thing now… Ruined my social life too, thought i would get fat if went out and drank…

Now i can drink socially and still look good!!

Best site ive ever read…. Bodybuilding sites are full of people that just crave this information but never get it from the muscleheads who are all about mass..

Keep it up!! Haha

All the best

Jamie

admin February 10, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Jamie,

There are a lot of great people who visit the bodybuilding forums, but the most vocal members are usually idiots. “Lift big or go home p*ssy!”…these are the types of things you find in their signatures.

Normal women are almost non-existent in these forums. Anyone who asks questions about how to look like Ryan Reynolds or Matt Damon, gets absolutely flamed. Those guys seriously have no clue about what looks good.

Glad you found my site. It is enjoyable to talk about looking good, while having a great social life. The great thing is that I have just as many female readers as male, so it is a great balance. Plus…no weird pictures of some guy with a mullet doing a “most muscular” pose in his mom’s basement!

Rusty

Christine February 10, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Hi Rusty,
I have to lose 9 pounds in 6 weeks for my birthday weekend in NYC! So this is my plan. Absolutely no snacking – just three meals a day with the first 2 being on the small/low calorie side. I am going to work out at 5am every day doing 30 minutes of HIIT. Then should i do weight training or should i extend my HIIT? I only have about 50 minutes to work out in the morning. As for meals, after the gym, i would like to have my one cup of coffee with 1tbsp cream and 1tsp of sugar, with maybe a fruit or a slice of toast. Then around noon, i will have either a turkey sandwich with mustard, or a grilled chicken salad. Then at 7pm, i will have a low carb dinner (grilled chicken with green vegetables, and maybe a couple days a week, let myself have some whole wheat pasta or baked potato?) Should this work? I think my calories will be around 1200 a day. I am 129 and want to be 120.
Thanks so much!

admin February 11, 2008 at 3:11 am

Christine,

That should work well. The smart thing about your plan is you are eating the majority of your carbs during your post workout “window of opportunity”. Your body is going to use these carbs to replenish your muscles, so it is very unlikely that this will be stored as body fat. I think you should do a really brief lifting workout before or after HIIT. You can actually get a lot done in 15-20 minutes if you know that is all the time you have.

You will lose 9 pounds no problem in 6 weeks. Try to workout almost every day the first 2-3 weeks to make sure you “push” your body into fat burning mode. Why give your body a choice. Make it lose that fat! Then you can back off the last 3-4 weeks and you will still lose fat.

Early Happy B-Day!

Rusty

karie February 18, 2008 at 2:13 pm

first off, i want to say i love this website. for years i have been eating 6 meals a day b/c everyone has told me its the way i have to eat. about 8 yrs ago i lost 35lbs by doing 3 meals a day. i switched to 6 b/c of what the “experts” said. well since that point i have struggled with binge eating b/c i feel so restricted and obsessed with food. i acutally just binged about 2 hrs ago on about 2000cals. i feel bloated, defeated, and exhausted. i feel like i have failed. i’m so sick of thinking of food all the time. this site has made me realize i need to change my ways. i’m going to go back to eating 3 large meals a day. i don’t feel satisfied on 6 at all. now that i have binged i have to deal with all the bloat and water weight. i definately don’t feel like working out today as i’m so darn FULL! Any tips?

admin February 18, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Karie,

You sound like a person who would do very well eating less meals per day. You are obviously not satisfied from 6 “small” meals. I can’t eat this way either. I have to eat bigger meals. I like the idea of feeling full every now and then.

Why don’t you try eating two really strict meals during the day. One in the morning and one mid-day. Then at night allow yourself to eat a bigger meal, but keep it healthy most of the time. Eat until you are full at night. At first this meal will be big, but you will find that over time your stomach will shrink a bit because you are eating really light during the day. Once you get full off a bit less food, you will begin dropping all of that weight rapidly.

Hope that helps!

Rusty

karie February 18, 2008 at 2:52 pm

thanks rusty. i’m going to go back to eating less frequently. right now my body is so used to eating every 3 hrs it will take a few days to adjust. do you have any suggestions on how to salvage this day? i’m going to workout at 5 b/c i think it will make me feel better and it will burn off some of crap i just ate. i’m so happy i found this website and have somewhere to go that supports eating less frequently. thanks so much
karie

admin February 20, 2008 at 2:06 am

Karie,

You are very welcome! Don’t worry about the past, just begin making the right decisions going forward. Glad you enjoy the site!

Rusty

karie February 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm

For those of you who went from eating frequently to eating infrequently (2-3 meals) did it take you time for your body to adjust? i find that i’m so used to eating every 3 hrs my tummy starts growling at the 3 hr mark no matter how large my last meal was. Any tips to adjusting to eating this way?

admin February 23, 2008 at 2:16 am

Karie,

Here is a tip I haven’t written a post about yet. Eat a bit higher amounts of fat and lower carbs your first week. Kind of like Atkins, but healthier. Avocados, nuts, eggs, cheese, etc. This will get your body used to burning fat for energy, instead of relying on carb energy. Your body will be more likely to access stored body fat after a week of doing this. At this point, back down on the fats and eat healthy foods.

This should help!

Rusty

Liz March 3, 2008 at 12:00 am

Rusty, this blog is simply fantastic.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on losing that last bit of belly fat by exercising using HIIT everyday and eating healthy (plenty of veggies, some fruit, whole grain, lean protein). I was poking around google for some more insight and I always came upon the usual; someone stressing that you should eat 5-6 small meals a day. So, I tried the “eat 5-6 small meals a day” thing and I started to notice that it actually made me crave for more food than when I ate three regular meals. After looking around the web some more I came across your blog, and I’m extremely eager to try this method because I’ll be able to focus on only one meal and from what I’ve read, others have had great success. To get used to the change, would it be okay to eat a slice of wheat toast for breakfast with some peanut butter, and for lunch, some type of fruit (with water throughout the day)?

Thanks a lot 🙂

admin March 3, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Liz,

Thanks for the compliment. Yes…the eating plan you described certainly captures the idea behind the Warrior Diet. In fact, I have been able to get very lean off of 3 meals a day and eating my biggest meal at night right after my workout. The main idea here is to have time during the day where you don’t have calories in your system to burn, so your body burns body fat for energy. A simple concept that works very well.

You will have no problem losing that last little bit of weight following this eating plan.

Rusty

shane#1 March 7, 2008 at 6:27 am

cool video:)
its sad about patrick swazye.i use to hate that guy when i was a big meat head,but i seen road house the other day and he for sure has a great build.he seems like a really nice guy.i hope we all keep him in our prayers.come to think of it he makes a great role model for my body type

Lisa March 9, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Hey! What great advice. I don’t know what I googled to end up on your site, but I’m glad I found you. I’m really enjoying all the info you share and your writing style if fun to read. I must say, though, that eating one meal a day (warrior diet) is something I had never heard of and is really working for me. I’ve had issues with bingeing in the past and have been struggling to eat 6 small meals a day. I feel so much better having one big meal a day and just a piece of fruit or veg juice, maybe a little protein if I need it, the rest of the time. I just started a week ago so I don’t have measureable results for you yet. I’ll let you know how it’s going.

Thanks for the great site! Very motivating!!

admin March 9, 2008 at 9:27 pm

shane#1,

It is sad about Patrick Swayze. I think I feel like I need to do a post on him. He kept in great shape his entire career. I really enjoyed all the movies he made.

Lisa,

I’m glad you found my site, which can now be found in Google for thousands of search terms. I really enjoy interacting with you guys. I think you will enjoy the results you get on the Warrior Diet!

Have a great one!

Rusty

Lisa March 9, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Hi Rusty –

How nice to get a response, let alone a quick one. I guess I’ll take advantage of that and ask a specific question.

I have a killer work schedule. I work 2 jobs and get home at 1am and am back work at 7:30 am. I do have a break in between my jobs.

Are you hip to the any sleep advice? I’m only getting about 5 hours a night. I work, then I workout, eat my big meal (3pmish), nap and back to my second job. I know 5 hours isn’t enough, but do you know if the nap I get makes up for that? I’ve heard it’s hard to lose weight when you’re sleep deprived.

Keep up the great work!

admin March 10, 2008 at 7:21 pm

Lisa,

I’m certainly not an expert on sleep, but I have lost body fat while sleep deprived. To be honest, I have to much to do to get 8 hours of sleep. I know that a nap will help, but not all the way.

I hope that you eventually get down to one job for your own sanity. Life is too short to work that hard. That being said…diet is going to help you a lot, because you don’t have a lot of time to exercise. Eat strictly and get those workouts in when you have enough energy.

If anything, you will probably burn more body fat by being awake and so busy throughout the day.

Have a great one!

Rusty

Judy March 15, 2008 at 10:26 am

How can I read what Rusti has said. I have read the different replies back from things people read about Rusti. I would be interested to read it as well.

admin March 15, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Judy,

Anytime you see a comment that starts with “admin said:“, it is written by me. Hope that helps.

Rusty

Patrick March 18, 2008 at 1:51 am

Hey Rusty,

I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I am very interested.

I just started my freshman year of college last september (2007) and I was 6′ tall, and weighed 217 lbs, with a fairly large frame. I have been jogging and lifting weights and eating a little bit less than I was in high school and I am down to about 198 lbs now (I am 19 years old).

I am very happy with my success but I really would like to get down to about 180 lbs, and I have kinda hit a wall in the weight loss.

I have been doing high reps/weight to gain some muscle mass, and now I am going to begin doing LOW reps/weights in order to gain muscle strength and tone. I am also going to switch to HIIT instead of just jogging.

My question is on the calorie intake. When i lost the first 19 lbs I was probably eating about 4-5 meals per day, and about 3000 calories. I want to switch to 2-3 meals and a little under 2000 calories.

I am just curious as to whether it would be ok to make this calorie intake change immediately, or whether I should decrease it by a couple hundred calories a day. I don’t really want to mess with my metabolism!

Thanks for your help!

admin March 18, 2008 at 2:46 am

Patrick,

You could go straight to the 2,000 range with no negative consequences. Stick with it for a few weeks and then increase the calories…then stick with it for a few more weeks…then increase the calories.

Read this post and it will make sense on how you can eat low calories without your metabolism slowing to a crawl on you.

Eat Low Calories Without Slowing the Metabolism Down

This will work well for you!

Rusty

PS: 180 pounds would be an ideal weight for someone with a bigger frame at your height. You will look ultra-defined!

Jake December 21, 2008 at 11:10 pm

So how much should we eat? And what should we eat? I can’t help but think this is kind of like, depriving yourself. I mean…not being able to enjoy food at all. Not going out to eat at all. No snacks…

What about those who have a fast metabolism?

This dieting stuff is killing me.

Andy January 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm

It is easy. you need too know what and how much you are eating. My snacks in the middle of teh morning are a cup of lowfat cottage cheese with 3/4 cup of blueberries.

And in the middle of the day I take 30 almonds and 4 oz of turkey. Never hungy…never craving for more and Actually loosing wieght quite fast !

Andy January 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm

It is easy. you need too know what and how much you are eating. My snacks in the middle of teh morning are a cup of lowfat cottage cheese with 3/4 cup of blueberries.

And in the middle of the day I take 30 almonds and 4 oz of turkey. Never hungy…never craving for more and Actually loosing wieght quite fast !!!

Todd Chen May 9, 2010 at 4:15 am

Keep your belly flat to keep fit. Practice what this website publishes or simpli learn belly dance. Am Belly dance trainer

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