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How many times a day...?

How many times a day do you eat?
A full-on meal, a snack? Times and places? A whim or necessity? For health or pleasure?

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  1. 3 -- B,L, D. Strict rule, keeps me skinny.

    1. I eat about 6 times a day. Breakfast of english muffin with peanut butter, banana around 11:00, lunch of turkey sandwich with tomato and lettuce on whole wheat with mayo and mustard plus a bag of Sun Chips, after work snack of cheese or pretzels, dinner of whatever I feel like making and dessert of some kind like ice cream or candy or whatever is on hand. I actually prefer cheese as a dessert if possible. It's a wonder I don't weigh more. Oh, yeah, in case it's not obvious, I eat for pleasure :)

      1. this might be a bit strange to some, but I eat a fairly late(and somewhat small) lunch and a late(rather large) dinner. Thats it.....no breakfast, no snacking. I get up super early, around 430am and food isnt what I want at that time......coffee is! then Im usually going all morning and stop for a late lunch(to miss any rush at restaurants). Then Its work, paperwork, drive home, take a nap, hit the gym, figure out what/where I am eatting. By that time its 830 or 9. eat around 10, have some drinks with friends, get to bed around 1230 or 1 and get up and do it all over again.

        2 Replies
        1. re: nkeane

          Nkeane, I am in awe of your endurance. Even on thyroid and coffee, I couldn't keep those hours.

          1. re: Vetter

            well I am only 31, so that may play a part. btw, that mid afternoon nap is key!!!.......as is coffee.:-)

        2. I get up at 6:30, have a coffee.... then another coffee at 8:30, maybe another at 10.
          Nibble sesame Ryvita crackers at about 10:30.
          Lunch (salad usually) at 12.
          Dinner any time between 6 and 8. Maybe a glass of wine or twelve.
          An occasional munchie binge any time between 9pm and 1am.

          1. I'm pretty strict during the work week ... I eat 5 times a day.

            Mid-morning snack
            Afternoon snack

            All portions are small'ish, and this along with a regular workout regimen has allowed me to lose 35 lbs in the past year.

            Of course, there are weekends (such as this past one in Chicago) where I COMPLETELY pig out.

            1. Other than after a workout, I eat when I am hungry and have the time to eat.

              I don't eat "by the clock" -- i.e., when it's noon or lunchtime. I eat only when I'm hungry.

              I also don't eat when I don't have time to eat -- i.e., I don't multitask when it comes to eating.

              Long way of saying, how many times I eat a day will depend.

              1. I often eat around 9 at work (small breakfast), lunch noonish, late day at work I'll grab a snack around 5, and then dinner at 7. If I get out of work around 5, I go straight home and make dinner. On late dinner days, I rarely have or want a dessert or late snack. On early dinner days, always (darn it).

                1. Breakfast, lunch & Dinner and maybe a snack or two, at the most. I must eat at least 3 meals or I have an insulin induced low blood sugar (type 1 diabetic).

                  Just about every morning it's a cup of tea and a slice of rye toast w/ butter & peanut butter. Occasionally, I'll switch it up and have half an onion bagel w/ butter and cream cheese. Sometimes I'll include fresh cantalope, apple slices or mango. But I'm fairly consistent in the morning. Weekends are dippy eggs and bacon, baby!

                  Lunch and dinner are always different. But most of my meals are relatively low carb (less than 30 carbs per meal). I typically have a glass of wine just about every night with dinner.

                  For dessert, maybe a Hershey's Kiss. Sometimes a half of a cookie/brownie once in a great while.

                  1. i can get by with just one regular meal a day - usually a late lunch or dinner. in the morning, it's pretty much always a nonfat latte and half of a muffin or scone from my neighborhood cafe. the rest of my eating is usually snacking a couple more times a day - i.e. the rest of my breakfast baked good, frozen yogurt with fruit, a slice of toast with butter, an apple, etc. i am trying to get on a more regular eating schedule and not wait so many hours between eating (i often go 6-8 hours without eating something.)

                    1. Three times a day, and sometimes lunch is just an apple (or maybe an apple with a bit of cheese). On weekends I sometimes have just two meals, brunch and dinner, but the brunch is more substantial than my usual weekday breakfast of toast and fruit.

                      I like to enjoy my meals and if I snack between them I'm often not hungry enough at dinnertime to do justice to the food.

                      1. Weekdays: Lunch and Dinner only. Sometimes lunch only consists of a bag of chips, or a quick sandwich(I dont know anyone who has the time at work to be able to have more than that).

                        Weekends: a big lunch and dinner each day. Including alcoholic drinks and alot of food. These are the days I go all out.

                        Breakfast - never, although I do enjoy breakfast foods(eggs, pancakes, french toast, sausage, bacon, ham, etc for dinner.)

                        Snacks - rarely, I dont have the time to be sitting around snacking @ work, or at home.

                        I never eat anything for its alleged "health benefit", I eat for pleasure.

                        1. 3-5...I always have breakfast, lunch, dinner, I sometimes have a mid-morning snack and/or an afternoon snack. I don't like to go too long without eating, so the snack depends on when I have time to eat...like if I eat lunch at 11:30 and plan on having dinner at 8:30 I will definitely have a snack in the late afternoon, but if I end up having lunch at 2 and I'm planning on eating dinner at 7 then no snack. So 3 assuming that my meals are well-spaced, but more often 4, and sometimes 5. I eat for both health/necessity and pleasure.

                          1. Great post! I love my chowhounds. Always something interesting here to read and write about. I have changed over the years. It used to be that several cups of coffee and perhaps some fruit would hold me over until I ate a huge dinner, mostly home cooked but sometimes out. But my healthy and fit young friend has convinced me to change my ways purely by his example. He prefers to eat about five small meals a day plus many snacks. I have seen the benefits. He always has energy and he enjoys eating. I think his real secret is that he doesn't have clean your plate syndrome. When he starts feeling a little sated he just stops eating. He hasn't given it much thought, it just feels natural to him. But I have given it a lot of thought. He only eats when he is hungry so he always really enjoys his food and he ends up with so much variety. I really think he gets the most out of eating this way. So I am trying to copy him as best I can. So four small meals a day plus two snacks for me most days. But I do revert once in awhile to fewer bigger meals. Old habits die hard.

                            1. When I am hungry usually whatever I want. I have healthy taste (usually) so it isn't an issue. Just listen to my stomach.

                              1. I'm always hungry so I eat at least six or seven times a day. Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner, after-dinner snack, and midnight snack. The meals are usually not too huge. I eat whenever I feel I need to which seems whimsical to some but after a few hypoglycemic attacks I try not to take chances getting too hungry.

                                When I've eaten a very large lunch, I think I will be able to go without dinner. Never works. When I'm not eating, I'm thinking about what and when I'm going to being eating for my next meal. I eat for health but it's always a pleasure.

                                1. I MUST have breakfast, even if it's just a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain toast. If I don't eat a small (non-sweet) meal early in the a.m., I feel quite nauseated. Don't know how may others are similarly affected, but I've always been this way.

                                  1. at least five. breakfast (830am) is fruit (half a grapefruit, half a pomegranate, something like that) and some plain yogurt, usually with granola. I've recently started drinking espresso at breakfast also. around 1030 or 11 I'll have some green tea and a snack, nuts of some sort. I have a small lunch at 1230 or 1--homemade soup or roasted vegetables or a salad (I almost always bring my lunch). at 3pm I have fruit--an apple, generally. I think I eat a lot of little things at work to keep me stimulated! dinner is 7pm-ish (I get cranky when people want to have late dinners) and is often in a restaurant with friends, otherwise something at home like soup or salad. late night, like 930 or 10, I love having pears and cheese. I'm not a vegetarian but I do live alone, and I made a pact (with myself) to buy only free-range meat and dairy, so I don't eat a lot of meat at all. but I love cooking for myself, and I've gotten really creative with local, seasonal veg.

                                    1. 1-Breakfast- pan dulce coffee or chocolate
                                      2-Midmorning snack
                                      3-lunch-leftovers from dinner
                                      4-midafternoon snack
                                      6-large dinner
                                      6-evening snack 1- usually sweet
                                      7-evening snack 2- savory

                                      I can eat this much cause i'm a teenager

                                      1. weekdays: oatmeal with raisins around 9 am at work, occasionally a snack of cheese and crackers or fruit mid-morning, lunch of leftovers at my desk anytime between 11 and 2, snack of plain yogurt and raisins or crackers mid-afternoon, snack of popcorn or cheese and crackers (i like cheese and crackers, you see) at home around 6, dinner around 8, usually rice or pasta based with a glass of wine. on rare occasion, will have a cookie or a few spoonfuls of salted caramel (thank you, bi-rite) ice cream after dinner. i don't love sweets.

                                        weekends: decaf coffee with milk and sugar whenever i wake up. eggs of some sort an hour or so afterwards. snack (popcorn, fruit, or chips) in the early afternoon or lunch depending on when i woke up. dinner out or take away, usually around 7/8.

                                        i eat when hungry, out of necessity. i get very cranky, nauseous, and tired if i don't eat as soon as i am hungry. however, the food choices are usually purely for pleasure, although i like to use up the contents of my csa box for health reasons. hopefully those vegetable experiments turn out pleasurable as well.

                                        1. Coffee when I get to work at 7:45.
                                          Snack at 9:40 when first class is over (at my school, you can busy samosas and little cinnamon rolls for about 15 cents each)
                                          maybe a second snack, like a piece of fruit at 11: 20 when second class ends.
                                          Lunch at 1:30, either school lunch, which tends to be Bengali, or leftovers (which also tend to be Bengali)
                                          Snack at 5:00 or so when I get home from work, maybe another piece of fruit or a couple cookies with either a cup of tea or a cocktail (depending on the day)
                                          Dinner around 7:30 either Bengali food if my cook is cooking, or something simple like scrambled eggs if I am cooking.
                                          Sometimes I have a snack in the late evening, particularly if there are cookies or ice cream around.

                                          1. I eat about five or six times a day. Breakfast at 6:40, then rice crackers at "nutrition break" at 10:15 (I often forget to eat at break). Lunch is at 12:15. When I get home around 4:30 I nibble on something, then I have dinner around 7:00. Sometimes I nibble again before I go to bed. Some of my meals are standard: breakfast is either a banana with yogurt and puffed rice cereal sprinkled on top, or Mesa Sunrise gluten-free cereal with soy milk. Lunch is always, 100% of the time, homemade soup. Nutrition break snacks are always rice crackers. I am a teacher and we're not allowed to call it "recess" anymore- nutrition break it is!

                                            However, I consume HUGE amounts of liquids throughout the day. I have a glass of hot water with lemon when I wake up and before bed, then I drink a mug of herbal tea on my way to work, a few more herbal teas during the day, a few glasses of water after work and more herbal teas in the evening.

                                            Oh, and that only applies to weekdays. On the weekend I usually sleep really, really late, eat a huge brunchy dish and then a tiny dinner.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Jetgirly

                                              "I am a teacher and we're not allowed to call it "recess" anymore- nutrition break it is!"

                                              Wow that's depressing, I love how we've sucked all the joy out of childhood.

                                              So there is no snack time? And I suppose "Nutrition Break" is something healthy?

                                              (I'm glad I teach in an international school where we get samosas and tea for snacktime)

                                              1. re: lulubelle

                                                Nutrition break is exactly like recess. It's only ten minutes though. During that time kids can eat whatever they pack (nothing is provided for them, but 99% of families around here prefer that), talk to their friends, etc. I don't think they can go outside. We have grades four through nine at our school (ages seven to fifteen or so).