Quick question...: Is it better to have... - Weight Loss Support

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Quick question...

fedupoffeelingtiredRestart October 2020

Is it better to have set Mealtimes or to eat when you are hungry?

13 Replies
slipstick1 stone

Yes. Or I should say whichever suits you. There's no simple answer that works for everyone.

I seem to work best with 3 meals a day at fairly standard times. I think that's because it helps me avoid snacking. If it's not a meal time I'm not eating!

Other people will only eat when they're hungry which may lead to them eating at "odd" times or only having one or two meals a day. And it works really well for them.

About the only thing we know really isn't good is eating lots and lots of small meals, effectively grazing. That gives your digestion no rest and can tempt you into overeating.


Mealtimes are a practical thing, but why eat more food when not hungry, so it's very rational to adjust meal portions accordingly.

Sarah-Phim3 stone

I pretty much stick to meal times but if I feel hungry I will eat an extra sensible snack rather than falling off of the wagon. But at the same time I occasionally don’t feel hungry and may miss a meal. I think you find your own rhythm. Time of the month sometimes throws me a bit but overall it stay consistent with my loss. 😀

Aginghippy2020 August in reply to Sarah-Phim

What do you have as a sensible snack ? I find it difficult knowing what I can eat.

Sarah-Phim3 stone in reply to Aginghippy

At the moment, I’m sticking with fruit if it’s just a snack but if I am really feeling hungry I might knock up something like an omelette. I’d rather eat something that’s actual food.

Aginghippy2020 August in reply to Sarah-Phim

Thanks, I have been having cheese and fruit and sometimes nuts. I am on low carbs and try not to eat before 10- 12 noon and after 7pm. But not always sure that I am doing the right thing.

Sarah-Phim3 stone in reply to Aginghippy

I think you have to do what works for you. I’m losing a pound or 2 per week and feeling pretty comfortable with what I’m eating.


If your appetite was working right, it would be fine to eat when you're hungry. However, many people are here because they have an appetite issue. Years of following dietary advice means their metabolism has gone awry, and their appetite/hunger signalling is unreliable.

So, if you find it difficult to stick to two or three meals per day, either some of this is going on, or what you're eating still isn't taking you in the right direction.

Don't know what's better... I personally don't really trust my hunger, not yet, not fully 😊 but I try to avoid eating when I'm not feeling hungry. If I do feel hungry and I haven't used up my calories and the time falls within my eating window, then I eat. If I'm hungry but I have used up my calories or it's not within my eating window - then I drink water 😊

thara96432020 August

Eat when peckish is my motto

ThaiDogRescue2020 October

personally my brain / stomach seems to think i'm hungry 24 7 so if i want to lose weight i have to stick to a plan as i can't trust myself.

TheAwfulToadMaintainer in reply to ThaiDogRescue

I notice from your other post that you're eating a "high protein, low-fat, low-carb" diet, ie., you're starving yourself. I really urge you not to do this. You feel hungry 24-7 because you are not consuming any useful nutrition. Add some fat to your meals, cut down on the protein, and you'll feel a whole lot better. Try to base your meals on lots of veg and then add some meat/eggs/dairy according to taste; if you do this, you should find that your appetite works a lot better.


Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.

However this is not going to work if you are eating a fundamentally poor diet. If you find that you're hungry all the time and nothing seems to fill you up for long, you're in big trouble. You need to change the type of food you're eating.