Your Ultimate Guide to Meal Timing and Frequency

Meal Timing

Meal timing doesn’t need to be confusing!

The most common questions we receive are always about meal timing.

We have good news for you.

If you are not a competitive bodybuilder or athlete you can stop worrying about meal timing completely.

The only thing that matters is QUANTITY of food throughout a 24 hour period. When you eat it does NOT matter.

Should you eat frequently to ‘stoke the metabolism’?

Your metabolism doesn’t suddenly drop from a few hours of not eating,

and calories consumed actually influences metabolism far more than meal frequency.


A 200-calorie meal will burn twice as many calories through metabolism and digestion than a 100-calorie meal, so eating one meal of 200 calories has no different impact on your calorie burn than eating two 100-calorie meals.

In fact, studies tend to show no drop off in metabolic rates when the same number of calories are eaten in the same time frame but spaced further apart.

What about intermittent fasting? Do you have to eat Breakfast?

Despite what your Grandma told you, Breakfast is not a MUST.

Again, it comes back to eating the right amount of food in a 24 hour period. Are you not hungry in the morning?

You don’t have to eat your breakfast until later but what IS important is making sure you aren’t reducing your calories too low throughout the entire day because you skipped a meal.

You need to make up for it.
If you prefer to have two large meals instead of three meals this is completely personal choice.

Just ask yourself if you are a nibbler or a gorger?

If you like to FEAST then maybe fasting is for you.

But wait Ladies! There is a catch with fasting

The mechanisms are still unclear but it appears that women don’t fare as well with a fasting style diet. In fact studies found that irregular meal frequency appears to cause a level of insulin resistance in women which may lead to cardiovascular risk factors.
As a Nutritionist who has worked with hundreds of clients, I can count on one hand how many women I know that actually benefited from fasting. It appears that gender differences play a big role in how we feel fasted versus non-fasted.

Does fasting have any benefits?

Fasting was shown to improve inflammation, improve the repair of damaged molecules and could even extend your life. While research is still limited with human subjects, I’m sure we will know more about fasting in the next few years.

Do you want to try fasting?

If you have any sort of eating disorder you should AVOID intermittent fasting. Secondly, check with your doctor before trying fasting or any other new diet program.

What does intermittent fasting involve?

There are several styles of fasting but I’m going to explain the daily fast.

You can also google another fasting style called the 5:2 diet.

Males are recommended to try fasting for 16 hours with an 8 hour feeding window.

Females are recommended to try fasting for 14 hours with a 10 hour feeding window.

What is a typical day for a Male using intermittent fasting?

Wakes up at 8am, fasts until 12pm drinking only water and black coffee/tea.

He breaks his fast at 12pm with a huge meal which keeps him full until his large dinner which he finishes before 8pm.

Feeding Window = 12pm-8pm

What is a typical day for a Female using intermittent fasting?
Wakes up at 8am, fasts until 10am drinking only water and black coffee/tea.
She breaks her fast at 10am with a morning tea or normal breakfast.
She then has a snack or lunch sometime before dinner (even if its a late lunch) which keeps her full until dinner which she finishes before 8pm.
Feeding Window = 10am-8pm (10 hours)

Fasting is not a magic bullet

You will NOT get increased metabolism or fat burning powers by fasting. It is simply a way to control your 24 hour calorie intake.
Meal timing is simple.

Eat according to your schedule and get the right amount of food each day!


Did you not agree with some of this article?

We always do our research before posting.

Click Here For Meal Timing Research Studies


Hi I’m Brad, the founder of FlexiDiet. I’m a ISSA & NZIHF Certified Nutritionist/PT specialising in getting people lean eating burgers. Here at FlexiDiet we don’t believe in clean eating or restrictive diets and we want to teach YOU how to make your favourite foods healthier. If you are enjoying your food, your results will be PERMANENT and you don’t actually need to use a temporary fix ‘diet’.

FlexiDiet is the result of hundreds of successful client transformations. Will you be next?

Your diet doesn’t have to be super clean and restrictive.

Your diet doesn’t have to be confusing.

You diet doesn’t need ‘special foods’ in order to lose fat.

You can still socialise, drink alcohol and lose fat.

We teach you how to meal prep.

Learn to build your own 7 day meal plan with yummy recipes provided.

Want to get started on building your own meal plan right away?