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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Hey, what’s up? It’s Sean Nalewanyj here from And in today’s video lesson, I’m going to be giving you a piece
of advice that is literally going to change your life. It’s going to allow you to get
the same or even better results from your body building program while putting in less
effort. And what could be better than that, right? So, make sure you pay attention to
this. Now, a very, very common piece of body building advice that you’ve no doubt read
about, because 95% of experts will promote this idea is the concept of eating frequently
throughout the day. It’s said that in order to maximize your body building results, you
need to be eating, you know, around six meals a day, spaced out every two to three hours.
And this advice is given because it said that, eating frequently throughout the day is going
to keep your body in a net anabolic state. It’s going to prevent muscle breakdown. And
it’s going to keep your resting — fat burning metabolic rate elevated. Now, the reality
is that if you actually look into the research behind this idea, well, it does seem to make
sense logically, the research is actually pretty clear in demonstrating that meal frequency
has little to no effect on your overall body composition. Eating frequently throughout
the day, does not increase muscle growth. It does not reduce muscle breakdown. And it
doesn’t increase fat loss. And again, this is — this is pretty clearly demonstrated.
The reality is that digestion is an incredibly gradual process. It’s not like you eat a meal,
and then that meal goes into your stomach, and into your digestive tract, into the small
intestine, the nutrients are absorbed, and they’re shuttled into your cells, and then
in three hours you must eat again. It’s an incredibly gradual process. Even the fastest
digesting proteins are still absorbed only at a rate of about a few grams per hour. In
reality, an average size meals probably going to keep your body in a net anabolic state
for anywhere between five to seven hours, and even if you go over that by say, an hour
or two, it’s not like the whole world is going to collapse, and you’re going to, you know,
lose a ton of muscle just because you waited an extra hour or two. So, my advice to you
is pretty simple. And that is that, if you’re looking to maximize your muscle gains or you’re
trying to burn fat, as long as you’re getting around three meals a day, spaced around every
five to seven hours apart, you’re pretty much doing everything you can from a meal frequency
perspective to maximize your results. By far the most important thing you need to worry
about is not when you’re doing blocks of two to three hours, but rather what you’re doing
in blocks up to 24 hours. And what I — what I mean by that is that, you know, 95% or more
of the results that you get from your body building nutrition program are going to be
the result of hitting your overall calorie totals for a 24-hour period. So, you need
to be obviously in a net calorie surplus in order to feel muscle growth. So that’s — that’s
the foundational principle, and then, making sure that you roughly hit your protein, carbohydrate,
and fat amounts for the day, and from the proper food sources. As long as you’re doing
that, how you spaced those meals out is going to have a very, very minimal impact on your
bottom line results. Now, if for some reason that makes you feel psychologically better
to be eating frequently throughout the day or you just have a big appetite, and you prefer
to eat that way, then that’s totally fine, go right ahead. But if you’re like me, and
if you find eating every two or three hours to be pretty burdensome, and you don’t like
the idea of having to stress out, you know, every two or three hours, oh, I haven’t eaten,
you know, where’s — where’s my next meal going to come from? I’m in a — I’m in a catabolic
state. If you’d — if you’d prefer to be free from that, then take this piece of advice,
because again, as I said, the research is pretty clear in showing that meal frequency
has little to no impact on your bottom line results. So, I hope you found this video lesson
useful. If you want to get a free step-by-step meal plan that lays out exactly what you need
to be meeting each day, the foods, the protein amounts, the calories, just head over to
The link is in the description box. You’re just going to enter a few stats about yourself,
your age, your height, weight, activity level, your goals, and, you know, a step-by-step
meal plan will be laid out for you to follow instantly without any, you know, stressor
or having to piece things together on your part. Those meal plans are using six meals
a day. But again, if you want to consume fewer meals, you can just condense them down, if
you want to eat four meals that’s fine, three meals, even if you want to eat two meals,
theoretically that’s fine. So, again, thanks for watching this video lesson. And I’ll talk
to you again with some more free tips.

62 thoughts on “Is Eating Every 2-3 Hours Necessary For Muscle Growth?

  1. More videos Sean! I recommend your tips to everyone I know. (And of course, you're youtube channel and websites.)

  2. so do you eat only three meals a day? I think another reason to eat more frequent meals would be that you don't get too hungry for the next meal so you don't really pig out on every meal.

  3. Good Stuff! I've just recently heard about this, and you explained it very well. Also, what is your opinion of full body workouts? (2 or 3 times a week)

  4. Yeahhh buddy you're the first scientifically sound source of bodybuilding I came across years ago… good to have you back man!

  5. this is awesome news, the 5-6 meal frequency deal caused me nothing but trouble and I was stressing out over it to the point where I was starting to not enjoy the whole gym/muscle building process. Cheers for the tips

  6. So why in your previous book you were writing that we must eat 2-3 hours in order to be in an anabolic state? (the truth about building muscle)

  7. I think he did this because people that are ectomorphs especially struggle with gaining weight. This is a specific way to do it, if you're really skinny, but it's different in this video. He tries to make it more simple and let's be honest. Many people, in my opinion struggle eating 5-6 meals constantly between 2-3 hrs. I did and it was a horrible experience i almost puked literally! Hope this helps, btw.

  8. I understood what you meant by this vid Sean and agree with you 100%. I applaud you for always wanting to move up and forward with your research for the program.

    I find for myself that the frequent meal timing works fine for me and fits into my work schedule nicely. I become hungry at around the three-hour mark and have no problems spacing out my total daily calories over six meals as you have outlined in your new program. Whether that's because of habit or need I'm not sure, but it works.

  9. Ok..thanx for your answer, i trust you. Last question. As you say, there's no problem eating meals from 5-7 hours, so is there any time that our bodies our in catabolic state? I suppose this happens after 7-8 hours without protein, isn't it? We should not worry so much about it, am i right?

  10. Yeah, look, sometimes it is very annoying ,especially if you are out with friends and you are nervous about the time (2-3 h). If there's no problem i wont be worry anymore, although all this time i used to be a 2-3 hours eater like you, but then i took an advice from Sean. :p

  11. Ok, thank you again Sean. Also, the changes in the workout programm looks pretty good. —— Cable crossovers must be a good exercise to be in the workout program, isn't it?

  12. sean, isn't eating 6-8 meals per day still optimal for maximum size? especially for people with high calorie requirements? getting 4000+ calories from just 3 meals with the corrent macronutrient ratios would be pretty difficult even if your diet consists of the most calorie dense foods..

  13. I'll bet the supplement companies had a lot to do with this myth, so they could sell more meal replacement/protein powders.

  14. im a decathlete, i need like 4000kcal's when i train once per day and 5000kcal's when i have 2 workouts / day… lets say my macros will be 33% protein/carbs/fats each, that means: 330g proteins, 330g carbs, 147g fats…. divide this is 3 meals means: 110g pro, 110g cho, 50g fats in one meal… this is when i have 1 workout/ day… 137g proteins, 137g cho, 61g fat/ meal when i have 2 workouts / day…. thats kind of a lro of food to eat at once….

  15. do you have a link to a research paper that supports what you say? i'm not skeptical, i'd just like to read it. i'm curious to see the paper since the misconception of eating every 2/3 hrs is so common. thank you!

  16. Guys like that have to eat every 2-3 hours by default because their overall calorie intake is so high. For the majority of people on 2500-4000 cals a day it's much different.

  17. You completely missed the point of what I was saying. If you have a high calorie intake then you'll be eating frequently by default. The point is that increased meal frequency in and of itself has no direct effect on protein synthesis or fat loss. Most people will still end up eating 4-6 meals a day regardless.

  18. What makes you think that increased meal frequency keps your "metabolism burning higher"? the thermic effect of food is dependent upon the overall amount of food, not the frequency of meals.

  19. Argument from authority; complete logical fallacy. Besides, your claim is false; there are plenty of natural pro bodybuilders that don't advocate high meal frequency; Matt Ogus, Alberto Nunez, Layne Norton etc.

  20. First of all, it is amino acids, not whole proteins that enter the bloodstream after digestion. Gastric emptying and digestion are not instantaneous, the nutrients in a bolus of food do not enter the bloodstream all at once. Furthermore while whey protein might be digested quickly, and only increase blood plasma amino acid level for 2-3 hours; there will still be amino acids circulating in the bloodstream on a 24 hour fast.

  21. Trying to prevent catabolism in order to achieve hypertrophy is like trying to prevent increased bloodflow to your penor in order to achieve orgasm. Muscle buildup requires muscle breakdown; it is net anabolism that is the relevant value, and increased time between meals will not reduce net anabolism.

  22. So I think you might have touched on this, but this principal also applies to those who are trying to cut/lose body fat too right? Just eat the correct amount of calories and macros within the 24 hours?

    Also, have you considered doing more videos geared more towards those trying to cut? It seems like a lot of videos are suited for more for gains than losses…

  23. eating every 3 or 2 hours is just gonna make you overtake calories (or carbs because thats what you REALLY need to eat when trying to build muscle), and then you are gonna gain fat =/. Most of the people will eat automatically 4 to 5 times a day, for example i eat like 5 times a day but because im hungry, and no im not fat at all but i eat kind of healthy, and before i started trying to build muscle i used to eat…4 to 5 times a day but not every 3h. You just need to eat as you can ๐Ÿ˜‰ (healthy)

  24. Completely agree I only eat 3 meals a day with 2 protein shakes one in the morning one at night and still seeing gains all that 6-8 meal bs is complete bro science

  25. Please cite your sources. No one believes me when I tell them this and I would like to have the scientific journal on hand. I cannot find anything recent on this topic on Google Scholar.

  26. it isnt necessary. Thats just what bodybuilders made up when they started using insulin. Since they have to eat every 2-3 hours or itll literally kill them ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Hey Great Vid, How long should you wait after eating a small meal??? For example, if you portion your meals to 300 cals should you wait 2 hrs or 3hrs?? Would like some insight thanks

  28. I seriously get hungry no matter how much I eat with my three main meals a day. I replaced all simple carbs with complex carbs. I started eating every two hours while I was awake. I went from 193lbs to 145lbs in a period of several months. I am at 135 lean body mass and 8 percent body fat. I do have a cardiovascular and a weight training plan which I have stuck to that and my eating habit for over 8 months now. For the first time in my life I can see abs.

  29. Are you sure it doesn't increase metabolic rate because I notice that when I start on a program of eating 6 meals a day for a couple weeks and then drop down to 3 meals I feel like I'm starving to death, but then after a while I readjust and feel fine.

  30. mix feelings on this one.
    when i was a kid as an athlete long time ago i was eating every 2 hrs 400 500kcal meals each. results when i got older i felt i was constantly tired and hungry and sometimes hypoglycemic.
    when i switched to 4 meals daily one every 4 hrs even with less kcal my energy went through the roof but the hunger hypoglycemic issue never really left me since then despite my normal blood work and blood sugar levels seems my metabolism cant coop sometimes or smth

  31. I eat a main meal every 6 hours. Breakfast at 7, lunch at 1 and dinner at 7 there are small snack in between like a pack a crisp or a bannana

  32. I always agree with u on most of ur videos…but not with this one… I put on so much size and weight by eating every 2 or 3 hours…I notice that when I don't do it because of work….I lose very easy like 15lbs in 2 weeks…always… Anyone who wants to put on size….must eat every 2 or 3 hours…it really makes sense…

  33. it makes sense, when you eat 3 big meals each meal is gonna need more time to digest , when you eat 6 small meals it's gonna digest faster and you need to eat again, as long as you take your daily recomendation of nutrients your fine, i think

  34. Yeah as someone with a small appetite it's hard to get 130grams of protein a day. It's hard for me. So eating 30-40grams a meal over 5meals is easier.

  35. Well I do agree with you , but more meals mean more calories and thus more growth , if you're goal is bulking , then eating a healthy meal every 3 hours is perfect , but if your cutting, 3 meals a day are more than enough . Please remember that all the meals should be healthy and not the candy like bs in the stores.

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