A Fuck You Letter To 6 Meals A Day

August 24, 2014 | 67 Comments

6 meals per day
Not sure what this is, but it looks good.

Dear 6 meals a day,


Alright now that I got that out of my system, lets talk like human beings.

You must be mighty proud of yourself.

It’s the year 2011, and you managed to take over the world.

You have succeeded in convincing everyone that eating 6 meals per day is not only better (than eating 3 meals) but mandatory if you want to lose weight, build muscle, and be healthy.

Hell, you even had me fooled at one point, but I broke free from your evil spell. So now I have my chance to tell you why you’re completely full of crap.

– “Eating 6 meals per day boosts your metabolism”

Well aren’t you the clever one. But yes, unfortunately I have to agree that eating 6 times per day does TECHNICALLY boost your metabolism, but so does eating 1, 2, or 3 times per day.

You see, every time you eat any amount of food, you have to account for the thermic effect of food(TEF). TEF is basically the amount of calories needed to process the food you just ate.  A common way to measure the TEF is to take approx. 10% of the total calories you just ate, and that number is the number of calories it took to process the food.

So if you eat 300 calories, it will take 30 calories to process those calories. However, you can also eat a 2000 calorie meal, which will take 200 calories to process.

In the end it all adds up to the exact same amount. Eating 6 meals per day does nothing special for your metabolism, it’s just a very clever spin of words used my fitness marketers.

– “Eating 6 meals per day keeps you out of starvation mode”

So do you really think the human body is stupid? Do you actually think that if we don’t eat 6 meals per day that we go into starvation mode, lose all our muscle, and die?

If so, then you are stupid my friend. Do you think our hunter gatherer ancestors gave a shit if they ate 6 meals per day? Do you really believe that’s the reason they died at an early age? Hell no! They didn’t care how many times they ate per day and they didn’t die from starvation mode, they died because they got torn in half by saber tooth tigers.

Starvation mode is a complete myth. In fact, there are studies showing that the human body doesn’t enter any sort of  “starvation mode” like state for at least 72 hours without food.

“People who eat 6 meals per day have less cravings”

The reason people who eat 6 meals have less cravings is because they are eating in a very consistent and structured pattern.

These people tend to care more about their health, which is why they strive to eat every 2-3 hours per day. This causes the body to get used to a specific eating schedule, which is why these people tend have less cravings.

On the other hand, there is NOTHING special about the number 6. As long as you stick with some somewhat consistent meal frequency, let it be 1 meal, 2 meals, or 3 meals per day, your cravings will be pretty stable.

In fact, eating 6 meals a day has many disadvantages since most people never really feel full after each of those so called “mini meals.”

However, eating 2 or 3 big meals a day will help you stay full and satisfied.

“People who eat 6 meals per day get to eat more food”

Yeah… this is technically true. When eating 6 small meals per day, you’re eating at greater frequencies throughout the day, and you’re probably eating more varied foods, but you’re also eating like a damn pigeon during those times. For most men, that’s only 300-400 per meal. I’ve personally tried eating 6 small meals a day, and I absolutely hate it.

Each meal is such a tease. Half a cup of yogurt or a couple of nuts, ha!

I want 2 giant bowls of yogurt, and I want 3 giant handfuls of nuts. Small meals throughout the day are just so unsatisfying. They tend to stimulate hunger even more for me since I don’t get full from an individual meal. It works for some people, but definitely not for me.

Or even one meal a day is pretty great 🙂

Stop the lying

I know it’s not all you’re fault. I know that there’s a boat load of cash to be made when meal frequency is increased, and I know that this letter probably won’t change people’s beliefs in eating 6 meals a day.

But hey, I’m trying. I’m just one man.

Do you think that it’s even slightly possible that you let people know that there’s nothing wrong with eating 3 meals or even less per day? Maybe you could tell them about your sworn enemy intermittent fasting.

Just let the people have options. Is that too much to ask?

Anyways, let me know if you want to start spreading the truth about meal frequency. See you later.


– Keith

P.S. I already know what you’re going to decide, and I know that the mainstream media is never going to stop supporting you so… FUCK YOU!

To my readers: Before you start leaving me hate comments and death threats for bashing 6 meals a day, just understand this – if eating 6 times per day works for you, then that’s great. Don’t stop. I just want to let people know that eating 6 times a day is not their only option to lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy. 

67 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. Just think about this guys in jail only eat 3 crappy meals a day and some of them come out and can literally compete in body building shows.. its all about the money!

  2. I like this letter. The Grandfather of health and fitness, Mr. Jack Lalanne, only ate three meals a day. I only eat three meals a day and usually have to make myself eat come next meal time because I eat healthy fats and proteins with every meal, I drink water all day and pretty much never feel hungry… Unless I eat grains and sugars. My doctor even agrees I don’t need eat more than 3 times a day. Then there’s all this talk of blood sugar spikes; seems to me that if you are eating low carb and stay away from processed and fast foods like we should, you aren’t spiking anyway. I’ll keep my “3 squares”, thank you. It’s working quite well for me!

  3. I agree with the 3 meals per day. Meals got all mixed up from stupid weight loss ideas of the 80’s, 90’s (remember the fat free craze???) & now. 70’s and eariler everyone ate 3 meals per day. If it was good enough for June and Ward…and the Beave…it’s good enough for me.

  4. OMG I love this. I finally met someone who hates the whole stupid 6 meals a day more than I do. It’sd plain stupid and no, I was never able to lose weight through it. I started recently the intermittent fasting and NO, I didn’t die, and I managed to lose weight and eat like a regular person. FUCK YOU 6 MEALS A DAY! Bless you, Keith

  5. I gave been on 1 meal per day diet fro a week now and I feel great. Lost 4 pounds already. No loss of muscle . I eat everything I like. I just love it. Less money and time spent trying to feed my face all day long. I have no regrets. Best of all I proved all these experts wrong. People lived like this for centuries and they survived and thrived. Sure there is benefit to all diet plans one way or another, but having tried various diets this, has been the best yet. I am going to continue this plan for at least 3 months and see if I see any side effect. It seems my sweet tooth syndrome already has gone. Also I have stopped eating wheat and carbs all together. I drink coffee in the morning and drink water and nothing else.
    At least give this a chance, what do you have to lose, if you don’t like it go back to your 3 , 6 meal plan or other diets. One thing I am sure about that you cannot eat everything you like on any of these diets.. Honestly , I could not believe that I am not feeling hungry all day and that I do not crave sugary drink, cakes etc .. I don;t even think about these at all. It was rough the first few days , ,but on 7th day all is good !! 🙂 after all they say god crated world in 7 days
    TRY IT !!!

  6. Keith, do you really feel it’s absolutely necessary to use the language you use to get your point across? It’s not funny, not endearing, and not impressive. Your attempt to draw attention with your “in-your-face shock value” seems to be a means of detracting attention from your less than stellar writing ability and clinically controversial nutritional claims. In other words, get back to your barbells and beer, and let the pros write about diets before someone desperate to lose weight actually listens to you.

  7. We don’t even need 3 meals a day, let alone 6, I practice mindful eating now where I actually wait until I am physically hungry, not when the clock says I should or any other system that involves a food plan or diet. I agree with you & I appreciate your humour. There’s more serious issues in the world than just a few swear words. Thanks Keith.

  8. Thanks for the post! I was wondering your take on skipping breakfast. When I was younger I hardly ever ate breakfast. Now I eat three meals a day and gain weight. If I skip breakfast the weight just falls off. Some say go with what your body tells you others say that is horrible to do.
    Your thoughts on this would be nice.

  9. Cooper – Dec 29, 2015: For those that read this post I can tell you from experience that yes the food in Jail is crap, but the reason some guys come out ripped is because 1) They are able to train(most jails have a well equipped gym). 2)You’re surrounded by inmates who’s own levels of testosterone are elevated simply because that’s what happens when you get a shit load of nutcases together in one place. 3) You basically eat, sleep, train. 4)Steroids are easily accessible even in a prison environment.

    Personally, I eat 2 meals a day pre and post training. Not for any other reason other than I like to around 2pm, train between 4pm-8pm, and eat post training because I’m hungry. That’s it.

    I don’t eat breakfast, because, well, I just don’t feel like eating in the morning.

    There’s no special reason as to why I do this, I just listen to my body. Occasionally I feel like eating more. So guess what? I do.

    Without knowing it I’ve been practising intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets and carb back loading/cycling strategies for years. Who knew!

    The whole fitness/diet industry has been so flooded with over complex bastardised information that it’s done more harm than good.

  10. This was a great post!! Thank you! I, too, think grazing is not necessary and trying to do so made me think about food all the time. And to keep the calories low for each of these 6 meals meant never having anything good. I am MUCH happier with two or three meals a day.

    BTW, I did a water fast for 20 days; played pickleball, table tennis and line danced throughout. I am over 60. I didn’t keel over. I felt just fine. People really worry ridiculously about missing a meal or fasting for a day…like it is going to kill you.

  11. I’ve never seen anyone with mass and conditioning eating 3 meals per day. It would be great to only have to eat 3 times daily, however huge amounts of food are required to build mass, even eating one thousand calories per meal 3 times a day isn’t anywhere near enough. I keep myself very lean on 4500 calories a day, and required 6000 to initially put the muscle mass on.
    Gyms are full of guys who look as though they don’t train, and the main reason is they don’t eat enough. To bodybuild, you MUST eat like a bodybuilder. Don’t be fooled into thinking only guy’s on steroids need to eat a lot of food. I’ve trained naturally for 27 years, and the main reason for me putting on 100lbs was my consistency eating those set meals. I’ve only ever trained 3 times a week for 40 minutes a workout. The real effort has taken place in the kitchen preparing meals.
    People don’t mind going to the gym 5 times a week and spending fortunes on useless powders, but when it comes to food they just can’t be bothered putting the effort in. With 2 minute microwavable rice and vegetables now readily available, and with the use of a George Foreman grill, you can prepare all your daily meals in 10 minute’s. There really are no excuses. If I was to eat 3 meals a day, I’d require 1500 calories per meal, which isn’t feasible. Not when eating clean calories. I’d require 2000 calories per meal if I wanted to put size on. It’s easy to eat huge amounts of calories if eating junk food, but not when eating lean meats and rice/potatoes. It would also be very uncomfortable eating so many clean carbohydrates in one sitting.

  12. You are awesome!! Thank you! I do not have time to eat 6 meals a day. That’s insane! I’d much rather eat 3 meals a day and not feel like a complete moron because I don’t know the secret to a fast metabolism. One way of doing thing not the answer. We need to promote that everyone is different. What works for me might not work for you.

  13. Hi,

    I am 60 years old. I was obese all through my 40 and most of my 50’s. I stop the bull crap and started eating one meal day. I had ripe delicious mangoes for desert. I have lost over 50 pounds and I am healthy. I run, I swim in the ocean and yes I l do Yoga!.

    I don’t care about the language. You hear it everywhere even on tv. I like to express myself. so thanks for being you! NS BEING HONEST.

    I now eat raw foods not because I have to but because I like my veggies raw. I love fruits raw. Starvation Mode is a Myth!

    thanks again!

  14. Do I know you’re wrong? No. But do I know that a human body can process a certain amount of macronutrients per portion more effectively? Yes. Do I believe that huge insulin response is best to be avoided? Yes. For this reason, I am sticking to my 6 meal a day plan. I want my 40 grams of protein per meal to be utilized better than yours 80 grams per meal. Don’t even start with the carb bomb.

    1. “But do I know that a human body can process a certain amount of macronutrients per portion more effectively?”

      How do you know that?

      1. Keith, there have been numerous studies that confirm the diminishing returns of every additional protein scoop per 1 meal (actually, the law of diminishing returns is quite omnipresent in nature). Your first 20 grams of protein per one sitting is going to stimulate protein synthesis much better than the second 20 grams (40 grams) or the third 20 grams (60 grams). Or, to put differently, 80 grams per meal will not be four times more effective than 20 grams. Why, then, would I not wish to distribute my protein intake in the most effective manner?

        1. I’ve seen those studies…but for 99% of ppl, having a protein goal to shoot for by end of the day is much more practical to maintain for the long haul.

          getting protein every 2-3 hours isn’t going to make or break your physique.

    2. You should be more worried about a prolonged insulin response compared to a huge insulin response. Insulin makes you fat, not the calories. Besides, the studies you claim to confirm diminishing returns are not a clinical study, only an observational one. Correlation does not imply causation.

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