I get this one a lot.
Alike many nutrition questions, not to sound cliche… but it really depends.
First off, we gotta get some more context. What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight, add muscle or increase your sport performance?
Here are a few quick tips for each of these cases:
Well, timing is important otherwise you start to devour everything in sight when you finally do eat. You may have been there before. Smaller more frequent meals are commonly taught, but I generally coach the “eat when you’re hungry” approach. The biggest keys are to eat slowly (20-30 minutes) and away from distractions (no TV, texting, Facebook etc…) and only until you’re 80% full. That way your body hits satiety (AKA the feeling of fullness). If you eat too fast, your body doesn’t have time to trigger the “stop eating” button and you’ll tend to overeat.
Eat. Eat often, and when you’re not hungry eat a sandwich. Seriously, timing of large meals is critical when you want to add muscle to your frame. Eating large amounts of food quickly is the takeaway here. Quality protein is most important. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or eating animal protein (which are scientifically proven to be more complete) you must ensure all essential amino acids are being taken into account to maximize the growth of muscle fibres.
When you’re a performance athlete and need to consider nutrients and calories and performing well, you need to ensure you’re getting the appropriate number of nutrients in your body before every lift. Many meals throughout out the day is the gold standard, while pre and post training nutrition plays a huge role in your success too. Eat good whole food and sleep well to ensure you’re body is ready for the next competition.
Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you. Be sure to reach out if you need some answers! Ciao!