Multiple sources advise us to eat 5-6 small meals per day, but they never define how many calories is in a small meal.  That’s where most people become confused. My small meal may consist of 500 calories, whereas, someone elses small meal may consist of 300-650 calories per meal. 

For example, John is 6’2 and 204 lbs. (athletic looking build) and 11% bodyfat.  Bill is 5’9 and 204 lbs. obviously out of shape, (chubby, round build, looks out of shape) and 23% body fat.  (Both engage in moderate activity) 

John has exactly 22 lbs of fat and 182 lbs. of lean muscle, whereas, Bill has a total of 47 lbs of fat and only 157 lbs. of lean muscle.  Based on lean body mass, their caloric needs are completely different.  (Having your bodyfat tested is the only way to determine your daily caloric requirements)

 John’s caloric requirements are exactly 3672 per day, if he wants to stay the same bodyweight.  These requirements are based on moderate activity.

Bill’s caloric requirements are 3304 per day to stay the same weight. 

Now let’s say Bill wants to lose 20 lbs.  (2-3 lbs. per week is a healthy approach to weight-loss)

One lb. of fat is exactly 3500 calories.  Bill has a total caloric intake of 23,128 per week.  His goal is to lose 2 lbs. per week.  Which means I have to subtract 7000 calories per week from Bill’s diet to get to 16,128 (total calories)  divided by 7  (days per week), now we are at 2304 calories per day spread over 5 meals.  Let’s not forget, Bill is at a moderate activity level.  460 calories per meal for five meals.  Not difficult to do once you eliminate empty calories. 

Once you build lean muscle and lose fat, your caloric requirements go up.  Basically, you have to eat more food to sustain your hard earned muscle.  HA!  Once you build this hard earned muscle you can manipulate your calories down and engage in some form of fat burning aerobic activitiy to lose any extra body fat. 

Be patient, stay away from the scale, and add nutritional foods into your diet.  Remember it’s not how much you eat, it’s what you eat and how often you eat.

 Not intended as medical advice.