March 19, 2008 7:45 AM   Subscribe

If I eat three breakfasts and then don't eat for the rest of the day, is that the same thing as eating breakfast lunch and dinner?

lately (based upon a rumor i heard, the fact that i love breakfast, and having an erratic sleep schedule) i've been eating breakfast in large quantities (as in i eat till i feel pain) and then eating nothing for the rest of the day. is this okay for my body? will this kind of diet make me gain weight? lose weight? also, i should note that for the past week or so i've been sleeping at 11am and waking up at 7 pm. i've also been smoking about a gram of weed a day. i smoke cigarettes (about 5-10 a day) if that means anything.
posted by defmute to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Cut down on the weed a little.
Eating until feeling pain cannot be healthy.
Eating more calories (of any kind of food) than you expend will make you gain weight.
Cut down on the weed a little.
posted by Dizzy at 7:48 AM on March 19, 2008

Of course not.
posted by box at 7:49 AM on March 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

Why don't you make breakfast food for dinner? I love breakfast too, and that is what I do.
posted by sweetkid at 7:51 AM on March 19, 2008

That will make you fatter than if you spaced them out.
posted by 1 at 7:51 AM on March 19, 2008

Think of it this way...if pain is an indicator that warns you that something is going awry within your body, and you're eating until you feel pain, then yes, it is not okay for your body.
posted by Asherah at 7:55 AM on March 19, 2008

There's been a whole slew of article recently, all with the same premise: "why do the French eat cream topped with clogged arteries and not not have an obesity epidemic like us?"

And the answer that the article give is, "they eat a little at a time." Eating 3 breakfasts is equivalent to having a tiny tiny fire (your metabolism), then going and dropping a Redwood on it. It (the fire/your metabolism) dies, your metabolism slows down, and your waistline expands.

So yeah, eating a huge breakfast is not the same. Hell, ask anyone who's done Ramadan. My poor friend looked like crud by the end--and he's USED to Ramadan.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:58 AM on March 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

What you are eating for breakfast also matters, as you're probably missing out on some essential nutrients if you're eating something like cereal and milk only.

It's better to eat little bits constantly throughout the day than to eat once.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:02 AM on March 19, 2008

i eat till i feel pain
is this okay for my body?

Honestly, it doesn't sound like ANYTHING you're doing is particularly good for your body, but this is going to be the worst of it long term. Because of the size of your portions, psychologically you are building expectations and habits that will really hurt you later on.

For example, because of younger, chubbier days, I know I am a person who can eat an entire pizza. I have done so quite often. In my present (fitter and healthier) form, I know that if presented with a (New York) slice of pizza I will be full and happy. However, if you were to present me with a whole pizza, I'd probably eat more than half of it-- if not the whole thing-- just because I can.

You are probably going to find that eventually, even if you go back to eating a more conventional three meals a day, your breakfast is going to stay huge. This means you'll be eating more calories than ever and probably gain weight. Also, eating to the point of discomfort stretches your stomach and makes you get hungry again faster.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 8:06 AM on March 19, 2008

I have a hard time believing this is a serious question. But in case it is - no, eating 3x what you should for breakfast does not equal eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It is such common sense, along with "vegetables are good for you" that every single women's and health magazine ever written since at least 1990 has made it clear that it is unhealthy to eat nothing all day and then binge for one meal.
posted by tastybrains at 8:19 AM on March 19, 2008

I don't think it's such a bad question. I went through a (short) period of only eating in the middle of the day and I came out fine, I actually felt better. I know a lot of people love food, but some people just get annoyed at having to think about it three times a day and would rather just get it all over with at once. Maybe move the one meal to the middle of the day? And definitely don't eat until you feel pain, that won't help.
posted by sweetkid at 8:24 AM on March 19, 2008

i eat till i feel pain

How can this possibly be good for you? Eat slowly until you feel un-hungry (not full). When you feel hungry again, eat a small meal. Repeat. I don't want to be snarky, but this is just common sense.
posted by ob at 8:25 AM on March 19, 2008

You'll be fine. I'm guessing from your lifestyle that you're a young man and, as such, your body will be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

Is it heasthy? No. Is it a good idea? No. Will it make you healthier or help you loose weight? No.

Will it kill/hurt you? No.

Also, when it comes to wierd eating schedules, what you're eating is much more important than when or how much you eat.

If you're eating Eggo waffles and bacon and Captain Crunch, all favorites of mine back in my heady days, then you're going to have carb-crashin trouble. But if you throw some fresh fruit, whole grains, lean meat, fresh juice and the occasional vitamin/V-8... you can survive.
posted by willie11 at 8:59 AM on March 19, 2008

Slamming your body with food and then starving it for the rest of the day is a great way to screw up your metabolism and put on weight, as well as fostering the bad eating habits mentioned by others. It's essentially a mini crash diet, every day--your body will think "Crap! This is all I'm getting--better hang on to it" and store all those calories away as fat. Plus, pain is usually an indication that All Is Not Well.

People on physical training regimens and those who want to lose weight are generally advised to eat six small meals a day, presumably because this keeps the energy levels constant and the metabolism humming at good efficiency. Your body feels free to use energy as necessary, as it's always getting replenishments, and doesn't go into the "hibernation" mode instigated by a huge load of food, and then nothing. It has the added advantage of no post-meal sluggishness due to overeating--the lack of the energy depletion that comes from the body investing so much of its reserves in simply digesting a huge, pain-inducing gutful of food.

Oh, and thirding the "cut down on the weed".
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 9:07 AM on March 19, 2008

"the lack of the energy depletion"

yeah, make that "the lack of energy" or "the energy depletion", take your pick.

perhaps it's time for me to eat something also.
posted by the luke parker fiasco at 9:09 AM on March 19, 2008

I've heard, and come to believe, that you should eat until you are about 80% full, where full is defined as "don't want to take another bite," and not actual pain (which, by the way, is NOT healthy for you!). You won't come to any harm eating a little less at each meal, but skipping meals is not a good idea. Your energy levels and sleep cycle will get really out of whack if you continue eating like this.

You would be better off eating smaller amounts (and cutting down on the weed may keep you from having insatiable munchies that cause you to eat so much at once you are in pain and then refrain from eating for the rest of the day, so: cut down on the weed, too).
posted by misha at 9:39 AM on March 19, 2008

I'm gonna reiterate what a few people have said about messing up your metabolism. This will probably set you up for weight gain at the very least, as your body will store a lot of the breakfast and then go into a sort of "starvation mode" when you're not eating, causing your metabolism to slow and not burn off all the stored bacon.

Also, the larger the meal, the larger the glucose spike, and the larger the insulin response needed to handle that spike. I think you're setting yourself up for insulin resistance and possibly type II diabetes if you keep this up for any significant amount of time.
posted by jjbb at 9:41 AM on March 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

The conventional wisdom is that more, smaller meals is best for your metabolism. I think realistically it depends on the person. I recall that the Hacker's Diet dude talks about how, due to the realities of his lifestyle, he tends towards a one big meal a day schedule and manages to control his weight despite it. I think for most people the overwhelmingly important factor is going to be how many calories you consume versus how active you are, period, particularly if you're young. It's certainly not going to kill you in the short term. Honestly, the fact that you seem to be immersed in a lifestyle of unrestrained habituated behavior is probably the underlying problem you should be wrestling with.
posted by nanojath at 9:47 AM on March 19, 2008

jjbb has it exactly right and your proposal is exactly wrong. The opposite would work much better (assuming your activity is that of an average person):

1. Don't eat more than 500 calories at one sitting.
2. Don't go more than 4-5 hours without eating(except while sleeping)
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:35 AM on March 19, 2008

Eating till you hurt is a pretty clear indicator that UR DOIN IT RONG.

Nthing everyone above; frequent smaller meals are better for you. What you're doing right now is probably not going to kill you, but it's not a good idea.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:20 AM on March 19, 2008

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