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I’m trying to Build Muscle – How Many Meals Should I Eat?

There are several long-standing myths within the body building community about how many times you need to eat every day. These myths proclaim that if you eat the recommended number of mails every day, you’ll boost metabolism, build muscle mass, and lose weight. Some say you should eat three meals a day while others say you should eat six meals a day. So, what’s the magic number?

There’s No Magic Number

Researchers and professional body builders have conducted several experiments to gauge whether the number of meals has any impact on the metabolism, muscle gain, and weight loss. They have tested all possible scenarios on healthy and fit people as well as overweight people. Here are some insights into those findings:

Several Meals per Day

Some professionals believe that if a person consumes 6 to 9 meals per day and sticks to their daily calorie intake, they’ll see a marked improvement in their metabolism and gain muscle more quickly. This theory was soundly debunked when a research found that whether you eat 9 times a day or 3 times a day, the rate of metabolism remains the same.

Several Small Meals a Day

People also believed that if they consumed several small meals in a day with lower calorie counts, they’ll lose weight, improve their metabolism, and build lean muscle. Again, this was disproved by research and experimentation. Yes, you will lose weight if you reduce the number of calories you consume and work out, but it doesn’t matter if you consume 3 times in a day or 6 times in a day. The results would be the same.

More Meals means More Muscles

Some professional body builders believe they should eat meals with protein more frequently through the day to ensue your body gets an adequate amount of it. This protein would then be utilized to build lean muscles and strengthen them.

This was again disproved by researchers. While you do need protein, you don’t really need to spread it out and consume it over the course of 6 or 7 meals. The goal is to hit the daily intake amount without fail as that would help you gain muscle.

What’s the Final Verdict?

Frequent meals won’t raise your metabolism, help you build muscle, or lose weight. The right nutrition and work out program will. However, the idea isn’t wholly without merit. There are several advantages of frequent and organised meals:

  • You have a constant supply of energy to carry out your high-intensity training.
  • You’re consistent with your meals and give your body the nutrition it needs to build muscle.
  • You won’t be hungry as often so you won’t be tempted by junk food and unhealthy habits.
  • You’ll avoid overeating at meal times because you won’t be as hungry.

While you don’t have to eat many meals per day to gain muscle, you can benefit from it. However, you should do what’s convenient for you and organise your daily meal plan according to your schedule.

If you are too busy to make and consume food every three hours, don’t attempt to. As long as you consume the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, you will see the muscle gain. In fact, we would say that 3 to 5 meals are ideal because they would fit into a normal schedule and keep you healthy.

If you have any questions about a proper diet or want a workout routine that would help you avoid it, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Schembri PT. You can send us an email to or fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team
02 9648 6405