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Do you eat too much?

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Or maybe you don’t eat at the “right” times?

Just like the idea that different people don’t need to like the same food, different people also don’t need to eat the same amount of food. Looking to others as a way of determining how much to eat is a very, very dangerous idea. No two people have the exact same body and lifestyle, and therefore no two people should be eating the exact same amount.

sugar cookie oatmeal

This was my breakfast today: Sugar Cookie Oatmeal.

I ate it, post-run, along with strawberry slices and peanut butter. Pre-run breakfast consisted of fresh watermelon and a bunch of pistachios. After breakfast, I talked with my little sister on the phone. She’d just woken up and was eating her own breakfast: a single container of yogurt.

Whose eating style is correct?

Both of ours! I probably eat about twice as much as my sister, and yet we’re both perfectly healthy. She’s shorter than me, has a slower metabolism, and doesn’t go running; therefore she needs less. If she were to eat like me, she’d probably end up with the world’s worst stomachache. And if I were to eat like her, I’d be so hungry I could eat an elephant. (Don’t worry, fellow vegans. I said I could, not I would.)

The mainstream media tells us there is also a “right” number of times to eat: five or six small meals, divided throughout the day. But once again, I have to argue that no one should take this advice as something set in stone. Do not trust society to tell you what or when to eat; experiment and find out what works best for you. I think eating every 3-4 hours works best for many people because it keeps energy levels up. But if you find that your energy doesn’t drag even if you go six hours without food, why should you feel like you have to eat anyway?

As an example, let’s use my friend Sarah.

She normally eats a small breakfast, followed by a big lunch and dinner, and she rarely ever snacks during the day.


Unless I make Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.

Those, she can’t resist.

On the other hand, I usually eat six meals a day and will almost always taste-test recipes in between meals as well. You’d be hard pressed to find a time my mouth is not stuffed with food. Does this mean one of us is eating incorrectly? No, not at all! It just means we’re different people with different needs.

Do you eat three meals per day? Or six smaller meals? Or maybe you’re a grazer?

And do you ever compare the amount you eat to what others eat?

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Sometimes I notice that others eat more or less than me — but I know we all have different needs so I try not to focus on it too much. I do not like when people comment on how I am eating — if I order a salad they ask if I’m on a diet (what???). It is annoying for sure!

    1. beccah says:

      haha it is,its esp annoying and rude when people make comments like you eat nothing or weigh nothing b/c its none of their amn business and can be damaging mentally. >.<

  2. Helen says:

    I definitely agree with you, diets aren’t one-size-fits-all! I prefer to eat a small breakfast of fruit, a light lunch (like tofu lettuce wraps, or soup and salad for ex), and a big, yummy dinner of pasta or curry, etc. With snacks of nuts and dried fruit in between. This doesn’t include my frequent slip ups in the sweets category, I can put away some chocolate.

  3. Lenna says:

    Thanks for this post Katie, it is important to realize that everyone is different and what works for one person doesn´t have to work for another. We have to find our own ways. I need to have 3 regular meals plus at least to snacks, but sometimes I just snack my way through the day, depending on my activites on the particular day. But a BIG breakfast is a must :)

  4. I’m a runner/yogini/weightlifter and there are days where I’m so hungry I could eat my entire fridge, and there are other days where I don’t need as much fuel. It all depends on my activity, hormones, and other factors (big meal the night before, working out, blah blah blah). For me, I love sitting down to a giant meal so what works for me is 3 big meals a day plus 1 afternoon snack. I eat a lot of protein and fat and make sure the carbs are only high on my running days, and I try to avoid gluten and all dairy besides yogurt because of my IBS. I never used to sit down to a meal, and would just grab sugary snacks to eat, which led to me being nearly 70 pounds overweight. Now, by sitting down and actually having a meal, I watch my weight and have energy as well. :)

    BTW: I made your blondies a few weeks ago and my sister, who is emphatically NOT vegan, couldn’t stop eating them! Even after I told her they were made with chickpeas! :)

    1. That makes me sooooo happy! I haven’t tried them on my sister yet. Next time she visits, I will have to!

  5. Marina says:

    This post is just what I needed today.
    I eat a lot compared to my sister, but she doesn’t move much, and I am recovering from disordered eating and go on runs/bike rides few times a week.
    It’s really important not to compare our metabolisms and our bodies, because we are all unique in our needs. We just have to listen to what our bodies are telling us.

    1. Dallas says:

      i know this is sort of not connected to anything, seeing as you wrote this like a year ago, but i thought i’d like to reply – i totally get what you mean! everyone in my family (we’re a big crowd) eats differently and no one comments about anyone else’s eating, which is nice. we all know “eat when hungry, stop when full” and we all trust our own selves. good luck with your health!! :)

      1. Marina says:

        Wow, it was weird getting an email about reply to this comment 😀
        Thanks for the well wishes :) Thankfully, I am recovered, no longer working out regularly and definitely not comparing my eats to somebody else’s. Life is good. Food is good :)

  6. I’m a total grazer….. I eat EXTREMELY healthy when I graze though…. I took it really hard when one of my coworkers said “Gawd, you eat aalllll the time. I can’t believe how you stay small. It’s not fair.”
    Sure, they skipped breakfast (bad idea in the first place) but ate a huge fatty lunch, Snickers, and a pop by mid day. And they don’t exercise at all…. I on the other hand had ran before work, had oatmeal, a spinach salad (dry), an apple with cinnamon, and eaten carrots all day. Sure I always had something in my mouth but seriously?!?!?! It hurt my feelings. I work so hard.
    You are inspiring me to be more ME! :)

    1. Same here! I graze all the time, but I absolutely watch what I eat and I eat healthy and work out. People are like, “you eat all the time” or “are you eating again? If I did that I’d be huge!!”. And it’s kind of annoying. I’ve maintained my weight for years because I know what works for me. Besides, it’s about calories in and calories out. It takes effort to stay in shape!

    2. Emily N. says:

      I completely agree with this! I hate when people comment on what I eat, because they don’t realize how ridiculously healthy it is! I eat incredibly mindfully; if food is going in my mouth it’s always something vegan/non processed/healthy and I’m eating it because I’m hungry or about to have a big work out.

      In other news, I have overweight extended family members who tease me for being vegan all the time, and then try and tell me that I’m too small. I’m just doing what works for me. I like to be in shape, and not overweight so I can feel good about myself! And clearly, there are a lot of different foods that we “health nuts” (I hate that term because it implies there’s something wrong with wanting to treat your body well) can eat and still maintain a balanced diet–hellooo deep dish cookie pie!!

      Long story short, I agree with you Julie!

  7. I usually eat 3 meals a day, with an afternoon snack. Sometimes I add a nighttime snack if my dinner wasn’t good enough. When I first started running, I was eating six meals a day, but it was really because I was so hungry all the time, not because some Oprah-sanctioned doctor told me to. I think my body was adjusting to the increased calorie burn. I would sit around craving bread.

  8. I usually don’t eat breakfast until 10 or 11, lunch at 3 and dinner late. It’s what works for me, and I usually snack once or twice but I prefer hefty meals! Since I tend to eat high fat and low sugar my blood sugar seems to stay pretty stable so I don’t need to eat as often. Great post katie!!

  9. This is exactly what I needed to read! I have been dealing with issues regarding this for the last 2 months or so, thanks to some unnecessary comments from nosy people. Last week, the day I flew home from France and was awake for 30 hours straight, I went to a late dinner at Whole Foods. I hadn’t eaten much that long, long day due to lack of time between flights, and I’d eaten lunch 7 hours before I finally arrived at WF, so I was QUITE hungry and took full advantage of the salad bar, filling it to the brim. When I went to get some silverware, some guy glanced at my bowl and said, “That’s a lot of food!” It really struck me at first. Having struggled with disordered eating and negative body image, that was seriously the LAST thing I needed to hear. But I am so much stronger than I once was, and seriously, most of the base of my salad was raw veggies. The bulkier grains and protein sources were on top. Yeah, it may have looked like a lot of food, but calorically, it wasn’t. I was actually quite angry, then, so I replied, “Is there something wrong with that? For a girl?” He realized he’d overstepped his boundaries and said that, no, he ate a lot, too, sometimes. Still, in hindsight, I wish I would have told him, “You know, you should be careful who you say that to. I used to be a borderline anorexic.” I’ve also had a girl tell me I’m “too dependent on food” just because I was eating an afternoon snack . . . after walking around ALL afternoon. Seriously, some people are so ignorant!

    Thank you, Katie, for your wisdom and lovely spirit. This post made me feel much, much better.

    1. Melissa says:

      Argh, oh girl I feel you.

      I’m also recovering EDNOS and I’m a marathon runner. I’m running like 35-50 mpw and doing biking since I’m training for a sprint tri and a sprint du between now and August. I eat A LOT. But I absolutely hate it when people comment on how much I’m eating. It puts me in a shame spiral and is totally triggering. It doesn’t matter that I know I need the fuel or I know that my meal is mostly raw veggies (I do giant salads, too, and someone ALWAYS has to comment on it) it’s still a slap in the face and makes that evil, nasty voice in my head start up on me for daring to eat. :(

      People need to just not comment on anyone’s food, IMO. You never know what troubles someone is having or has had and you could seriously mess up someone’s head doing it. When I was at a work trip recently a gal kept saying things like “we’ll let you have a snack, ’cause you’re ALWAYS hungry!” It pissed me off. I didn’t realize how bad it was making me feel until dinner that night. I had a panic attack and couldn’t decide on anything to eat because I felt so upset that I was apparently “eating too much” earlier in the day. We were at an all veg restaurant that I was really excited about but I could only stomach eating fat free soup and steamed kale. And that was after almost crying over the menu for about twenty minutes. :(

      She did make me cry later that week, saying the same thing while I was having a mild anxiety attack trying to find lunch. I mean, honestly. Come on. Don’t comment on my food.

      1. Girls, you should be PROUD of what you can put back! 😉

        Look at it as a good thing… ya know, like those people who win pancake-eating contests? Whenever my guy friends tell me, “Geez Katie, you eat a ton” I always respond with, “Thank you. I know.” It’s so funny when I can outeat them… then I tease them. “What’s wrong? You’re gonna let a girl out-eat you?” I enjoy dispelling the myth that it’s “ladylike” to just eat a salad and not have an appetite.

        Do not apologize for a healthy appetite!!! :)

        1. Nathalie says:

          Ok, I have to comment on this.

          So, I moved to Japan last year, right? When I first got here, I thought it was cute/charming/amusing, but now I find it overwhelmingly annoying. I’m referring to the fact that here, EVERYBODY has to comment on your food. And by “your”, I mean “a foreigner’s” food. When I started work and would bring stuff from home for lunch, teachers in the communal teachers’ room would come from the other side of the room to see what I had. Because they assumed it was interesting foreign food (it wasn’t; I’m very into the Japanese diet).

          More than once I felt the need to just stop eating my lunch because everybody was watching me eat. Even now if I bring something I made myself (which on its own is apparently super-comment-worthy), it feels like I’m getting interrogated when they ask me “Did you make it yourself? What’s in it? Is it an American food?” I’ve taken to giving short, curt, to-the-point answers, which clearly convey I’m trying to eat, not have a conversation. I make it a point to NEVER comment on my coworkers’ food.

          I know this is long; forgive me, but I have one more thing to note. Here in Japan, there is way more gender-structuring for volumes of food eaten. All-you-can-eat sushi places have different rates for if you’re a man or woman. And I eat a LOT, like Katie. People always, ALWAYS comment on it. It gets old really fast. There’s a general perception that one should always eat “until 80% full.” There’s a proverb about it. And women are sort of expected to eat not so much. In short, everything here works against me being able to eat a meal around other people in peace. And reading the comments about such commentary being triggering, I think I’ll inform my teachers next time to think twice about commenting on people’s food, at least if they’re American (and/or girls).

      2. On one hand, I kind of get where your coming from.

        On the other hand, why don’t you guys eat DENSER food? The fact that you still have to eat all this low/no sugar, super-voluminous-from-WATER stuff just points at the fact that a lot of you still have eating disorders.

        Yes, everyone eats differently. But when you’re recovering from an ED, you need to try to eat like normal, non-ED people eat. That means NORMAL ice cream, NORMAL sandwiches, NORMAL salads (not dry), etc. And, really? Salads, unless very generously dressed and piled with nuts, seeds, etc. don’t really belong on a recovery diet plan. Check out any of the inpatient places.

        I’m sure it’s hard, and I’m sure it goes against what you’ve trained yourself to think over the years, but it’s time to break the spiral.

        Don’t you want to enjoy life again? Even if that means a *GASP* McFlurry or fries? Or a non-dark chocolate bar?

        I wish you the best of luck.

        1. ducky says:

          Have you ever had a combative or negative relationship with food? I take it from your post that you haven’t.I don’t have an eating disorder, but my own relationship with food could be called contentious. A lot of people, even those without eating disorders, eat a lot of veggies and fruit for a variety of reasons. Training as athletes, veganism, cutting out junk food, etc.

          I guess I’m more offended at your gall at passing judgement here. Who are you to say these people still have eating disorders? What the hell is a NORMAL sandwich, salad, or whatever? In what reality is a Mcflurry considered normal food??

          You’re sure it’s hard? I don’t think so, your understanding seems minimal at best!

        2. Emily N. says:

          I understand where you’re coming from, but in all reality I have absolutely no appetite for fast food and those types of things that people say you must indulge in to have a healthy appetite. Yes I eat mainly fruits and vegetables, with some whole grains and healthy fats, but that’s because I have no interest in the long term negative side effects that come with eating fast food. My grandparents got along just find without it (they are in their 90s and still healthy), and so did every generation in history before them. I don’t see any reason to start eating it now.
          People seem to confuse healthy eating with disordered eating. I think that’s what Katie is proving in her blog. You can eat dessert, but still retain useful nutrients and vitamins that your body needs. You can eat a high calorie diet without including a BigMac. I’ve never understood why people are judged for passing up foods that have absolutely no nutritional value. I like to be informed about what is going into my body, and how it’s going to benefit my health.

          1. Therese says:

            We are not lemmings. I don’t care if McDonalds, white bread and meat eating are normal. So is cancer, heart disease and stroke. I’m going to try to make the most informed, logical decisions I can about food, and pursue the foods that help me to have clear skin, a good immune system and a lower weight. Done normal. Normal makes me sick, ugly and tired. Salad is wonderful, life giving food. Don’t love food that doesn’t love you back, but most importantly let your brain be your pilot, not your stomach. Isn’t that part of recovering from an ED?

  10. Ragnhild says:

    Oh, I compare aaall the time! Im really trying to figure out how I should eat to feel my very best! What i do know is that I dont like big meals, I rather eat often. I often (ey, make that always) bring a dark chocolate bar in my bag so I can have a piece when my blood sugar is going down.
    I also know I have a hard time eating enough, which only leads me to have mini-binges later on. And that is not good at all. So I try as hard as I can to find balance, and eat right for ME!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post Katie!

  11. I love this post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and really trying to listen to my body more as opposed to eating because I “should.” Unfortunately, I’m a food-lover with a slow metabolism so I just can’t consume as much as others. Which is just fine–as long as I’m doing what’s right for me. As of now, I eat three meals a day with snacks when I’m hungry. BUT I do have “not hungry” days in which I’m never all that hungry. On those days, I have to be careful to not overeat!

    Thanks for bringing this important topic up! It’s a great reminder for us all to avoid being influenced by what others are doing. :)

  12. This is such a great post, all too often bloggers, including myself are criticised for not eating enough and it frustrates me that we can’t see that every one is different! As you say we all have different needs. Thanks for highlighting a really important area :-)

  13. teabagginit says:

    i’ve recently started to eat 3 meals a day with small snacks in between. i used to be a grazer but now that i eat so much protein, i’m just not as hungry as often!

  14. Katie says:

    Love this post! I sometimes find myself falling into a trap of comparing how much I eat (a lot, albeit mostly healthy stuff) compared to others. My roommate eats wayyyy less than me, but she also doesn’t workout and therefore doesn’t need as many calories. It is so important to remember that everyone is different.

    I also tend to think ‘oh it is 12 so I have to eat’ and am trying really hard to listen more to body and eat when I am hungry and not just because I think I should.

  15. O.C. says:

    I am such a grazer! Sometimes just have a big breakfast and graze throughout the day on nuts, veggies, fruits chocolate and Larabars till dinner. I don’t really feel the need to follow sOcietys rules of when it’s “normal” to eat. But I don’t like eating dinner too late or it makes it hard for me to sleep!

  16. ~Jessica~ says:

    I think comparison in blogging and life when it comes to food really upsets me in whichever context I view it. Either someone is skinnier than me, moving less and eating more, which just makes me hate my body for not being as efficient as theirs in terms of metabolism, or when I’m injured and basically sedentary there are loads of bloggers eating less than me (I could seriously eat ALL the time, huge quantities, whether I’m running 100 miles a week or none, and I hate that…but a lot of my hunger is emotional) and doing more, which makes me equate food with exercise and think I don’t deserve to eat unless I run. Then I just end up bingeing because I can’t face not ‘deserving’ any food.

    I don’t know how anyone, inactive or not, survives on just a yoghurt or an apple or whatever for breakfast. I wish I could!


  17. I definitely eat too much sometimes, even for myself. It’s why I try avoiding foods I will be tempted to binge on (and why I love your single serving cupcakes). Mind you, when I diet and restrict quantities too much I become miserable. I do much better when I’m eating lots of low calorie veggies with healthy protein and a high nutritional content. I also do better when grazing.

  18. I’ve actually come to better terms with my body eating as often as I’m hungry (which is a LOT!) rather than eating when I “should”. I’m far happier with my body now that I realize it’s okay to eat when my body is asking for fuel – whenever that may be – in comparison to the days when I only ate when I allowed myself to. I’m definitely more of a grazer, but since I eat mostly fruits and veggies, I can eat almost all stinking day and not consume more calories than I really need. Then again, when my body is craving a bagel (like it did this morning at 10 am), I’m down with going and getting one instead of ignoring the craving because “I already ate breakfast and its not time for lunch yet.”

  19. I don’t think I could ever just stick to 3 meals per day; I’d go crazy! I like to snack, especially when I’m cooking/baking. I like the idea of having ‘main’ meals and then snacks in between, unless my breakfast, lunch and dinner times get messed (ie: eating too big of a snack that turns into a meal haha). I love food too much to not enjoy it all the time 😀

  20. Betherann says:

    Thanks for writing this, Katie!! It is SO important to stick with non-comparison, and yet so many of us do it — in fact, the media even encourages it (I think, anyway) with their Best Vs. Worse Dressed red carpet commentaries, articles on how to get So-and-So’s abs or So-and-So’s hair. Ugh it makes me sick!!

    I am, um, SLIGHTLY passionate about this topic lol. I blogged about a similar issue, except in the arts, here if you are interested:

    Thanks again for writing this, Katie! 😀

    1. Thanks! I’ll check it out :)

    2. Alyssa says:

      I COMPLETELY agree! It’s like the womens’ movement has taken a giant step backwards. And if people knew what celebrities REALLY do to maintain their bodies, they’d be very, very afraid. The fact is, most actresses and models don’t have very healthy habits. Under-eating and over-exercising are rampant.

  21. Jennifer JCD says:

    Great post, Katie! All too often I see people comparing food with each other. I’m a combination of all your eating types: big brekkie, graze all day long, small dinner, and a snack in the evening. I rarely overeat, but I do eat more than most people I know. I’m more active than most people I know too, so that’s why. :)

  22. Danielle says:

    I eat three meals a day, but I eat a fruity snack in the morning because I eat breakfast so gosh darn early (around 6 AM) and don’t get a break for lunch until around 1.

    And I can’t wait till tomorrow! those strawberry pancakes are already on my menu for this weekend!

  23. You’re very right! I have a friend who has a bun for lunch… with no snacks between lunch and dinner. Another friend drinks milk for breakfast, a small pack of biscuits for dinner and a medium-sized dinner. Sometimes I feel like such a pig eating with them! But I have definitely come to accept that different people have different eating habits. I usually have a bottle of soy chocolate milk at 9am, a lunch-like meal at about 11am, and graze through the rest of the day… sometimes overeating… a little?
    I’m amazed at how you can put the sort of feelings many people feel into such accurate words! In both the Blogger Peer Pressure post and this! You hit the issues right on the note 😀

  24. Great post! I think my appetite has to do with if I am currently training for a race or if I am just working out a lot! When I was training for my first full marathon this past spring I was starving all the time! I would eat 3 big meals a day but snack in the morning and afternoon or else I wouldn’t make it! Now I’m probably at 3 regular sized meals a day with an afternoon snack.

  25. Natalia says:

    I’m more of a one meal a day and then snacking when I feel hungry… I tend to eat a big lunch, and snack on smaller things when I’m feeling peckish.

  26. VEGirl says:

    While recovering form disordered eating and replenishing my weight, I ate huge meals. But I always had digestive problems and a full stomach would make me feel guilty, weighed down, and unmotivated. However, once I gained some weight, my appetite seemed to be become more natural and I was inclined to switch to smaller meals. I eat about five or six times a day now, and my digestive issues have become so much more manageable! A full stomach is seriously my idea of misery– I can’t go move, and I start feeling sick sometimes. I’m still figuring out how it will all work for me, but I tend to graze more in the morning (my hungriest time of day) and then eat a few more times after that. I love that eating smaller portions more frequently gives met he chance to sample everything I want to, and I tend to feel top of my game :). I have a habit of grazing while I cook and prepare food, but I don’t like how it makes my stomach feel (It seems to like sitting down to a portion much better [?]), so I’d like to break that habit (of course if I want to I’ll still ppartake in it!).

    Katie, thank you so much for writing this post. With eating more often, I feel better but sometimes feel like I’m “eating all the time” or “eating way more than everyone else”. I need to NOT compare and do what works for me. My breakfast was an overall culmination of grazing this morning, and I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it! (for the record, I think I ate a huge berry pancake, cocoa smoothie sauce, four peaches, leftover dinner, the last of my unsweetened chocolate (only 1 1/2 squares :(), peanut butter, and about six spoonfuls of the pudding I made for as a gift for a friend :D. No shame!

    1. I bet you eat exactly right for your body! As a teenager, you have so many parts of you that are still forming (even if you’re not still growing in height) and you NEED a lot of calories. I ate a ton when I was a teen too… even more than I do now. I remember one day coming home and eating half the box of apple cinnamon cheerios… and then still being hungry ;).

      Also, remember that you burn a lot of energy with all that biking you do! :)

      1. beccah says:

        not every teenager needs a lot,if I ate a ton I’d be overweight,which I am,everyones metabolism is different,even teenagers.

  27. Erin says:

    This was SUCH a great post, Katie. Thank you for this!!!! It’s helped me so much. Like some of the other commenters, I’ve struggled with disordered eating and worrying about how much others around me are eating and “should I be eating like that? Am I normal?” You’re so right that I need to look to myself, not them! I’m motivated now to really look at what I do and think, and change my thoughts from thinking so much about my meals in terms of how others eat.

  28. I eat 6 meals a day as well! Oatmeal and banana for breakfast, clif bar for a snack, salad for lunch, apple & pb for snack, pasta for dinner and of course dessert!!

  29. Rebeka says:

    oh my gosh, I’m hungry/eating ALL the time! my boyfriend, who is about 75 lbs heavier than me is always making fun of me for being hungry and eating all the time but I can’t help it. It’s not like I eat a ton when I do eat, but 6 small meals is def the way I like to go.

    1. I love eating more than the boys. It’s so much fun… because it somehow makes them feel less “manly” to be out-eaten by a girl. Silly boys!

  30. I am totally a grazer when I’m home… when I’m at school and I’m way busier to think about eating all the time, I have to remind myself to eat more at meals to make sure I’m getting the nutrients I need. But you’re so right about focusing on your own needs, and it’s the same thing with body image in the media… people always wonder “why don’t I have legs like hers?” or “what does she eat to keep her stomach so flat?” The answer is 1. retouching and 2. everybody has a different body type, metabolism, genetic make-up, etc.!

  31. Sarah-Mae says:

    TOTAL grazer! I work 12 hour shifts for the military and when I’m working I pack a 24-can camping cooler with food and eat something EVERY HOUR! ha, apple one hour, some yogurt the next, maybe a little meat and lettuce, ha. GRAZER!
    The men I work with call me a rabbit and joke about how I am ” always stuffing my face”, but ive done the math before and they consume a Lot more calories in their two meals per watch than I do eating ‘healthy’ all day!

    1. I try to tell my dad that! He thinks that if he skips breakfast, it’s good for his weightloss goals. But then he ends up eating three times the amount of dinner because he’s so hungry! 😕

      1. Sarah-Mae says:

        I totally can’t get the husband to eat breakfast either! I have breakfast on the brain the MOMENT I wake up, while he won’t eat for hours, even if I offer to make food for him!!!

  32. Jenny says:

    I typically eat 6 (or, if I’m awake for longer than usual, 7) meals a day… A HUGE breakfast, a similarly big mid-morning snack, a good-sized lunch, a smaller afternoon snack, a more modest dinner, and a small dessert… Works for me! My blood sugar stays most stable that way, and I get all shaky if I skip meals so I guess it’s pretty sensitive, actually. I do graze a bit in the afternoon and between meals, though, too!

    Kind of embarrassing to admit, but since I am recovering from an ED, I do sometimes use the amount that others eat as a benchmark for how much I should be eating. I know I need more, so I always look at what my friends are eating… and then eat MORE. :)

    Happy Monday!

  33. Freya says:

    Very interesting topic! I often compare my eats to others, and it can get depressing. my sister eats much less than me,but doesn’t exercise, although I find it tough sometimes, cos it makes me feel greedy for eating so much more. I like BIG volume-filled meals, with loads of veggies too – I don’t know anyone who could eat the portions I do! I’ve had plenty of people going ‘HOW can you eat that much??’ and it hurts – especially for a recovered ED person. But hey – we’re all different, and that style works for me.

    1. Think of it as a good thing when they say that! Usually when people marvel at how much you can eat, it’s because they wish they could too, not because they mean anything rude by it… but really, people shouldn’t comment on others’ eating habits. Everyone eats differently, and that’s perfectly ok!

  34. I definitely eat three ‘medium’ sized meals throughout the day. It’s the only way for me to really do it during the work week — I also have a snack or two and always have a nice dessert at night, more of a healthy dessert, but still, something sweet!

  35. I definitely compare what/how much I eat to others, though I know that I should not. Everyone is different, right? I usually eat 3 small meals and snacks in between.

  36. Leslie says:

    Terrific post, Katie! I am more like your sister, eating very little (and yet I am at a healthy weight). Sometimes when I read blogs, I worry that I should be eating more because everyone else seems to eat big snacks and I just don’t. Thanks for reminding me to stop comparing!

  37. Sarahishealthy says:

    One of the reasons I most love your blog (well besides the desserts, because let’s face it, those are the BEST!) is that you have such an incredible ability to put into words what so many other people are thinking. I am constantly comparing my eating habits to those around me, both in the real world and the blogworld. And I am a slave to the clock as well, thinking I need to eat at certain times. If I’m hungry for lunch at 10am, I will NOT let myself have any, even if I got up really early. I need to do a better job of listening to my body, for sure.

  38. Amber K says:

    I used to eat six times a day, but found that it just made me CONSTANTLY think about food! Now I eat more like four-ish times a day. Three meals plus a snack. And it works just fine. As long as I’m not eating when I’m not hungry, or not eating when I AM hungry, I think I’m doing fine.

    1. Amber K says:

      For the second half of my last sentence I mean as long as I’m not, not eating when I am hungry I’m fine. Ugh, whatever I hope it makes sense!

  39. I guess I’d classifly myself more as a grazer..I mean I eat small meals a day, but more like 10 small meals, you know? I definitely eat A LOT and I love it!!

  40. Abby says:

    THANK YOU! This was a wake up call.
    I’m currently recovering from an ED and I have to eat a lot more than many other people I know. But my mom reminds me that it’s because for so long I ate so much LESS than they all did, and I need to make up for it now.

  41. Ann Claire says:

    I usually eat 3 meals a day plus random snacks and stuff. It really just depends on the day. I really try not to compare what I eat to what others eat, sometimes it’s hard not to.
    Great post!

  42. Love this post! My mom’s convinced I eat like a bird because I’m skinny and I’m vegan. But I don’t! I eat less than some, I often halve recipes, since I’m short and don’t require as much food as someone taller. I’m a definite volume-eater, and a snacker!

  43. I love seeing posts like these that make me feel so much better about my odd eating habits. Until I was about 16, I sed to be able to eat more in a day than most grown men. Then I started gaining weight and getting less hungry, but I kept eating the same way!

    I compare what I eat to others ALL the time, and I find it so hard not to! I still have yet to figure out my true eating style, but I definitely lean towards snacking and feel better when I eat smaller portions more often.

  44. I’ve always been a grazer, even as a child. I definitely eat a lot too, often as much as my boyfriend does!

  45. Emilia says:

    Great topic to touch on! Comparing is such an issue in today’s society as everybody thinks we should be “the same”, which is totally incorrect! You’re so right– our needs are very different depending on age, activity level, weight, and overall metabolism! What somebody does or needs doesn’t mean that’s true for you. That can be very hard to accept often.

    I eat about 6 times a day as I’m active and have a speedy metabolism :) Definitely not a grazer!

  46. YES ppl need dif amounts! thats why i hate how ppl compare how much they eat to others with bloggin!.. I usually eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks!!

  47. Such a good point. Don’t let society define when and how much to eat! Let your body to the talking!

    I like to eat a pretty big breakfast, a light salad for lunch, and a small dinner, that means I can have lots of snacks throughout the day!

  48. Lauren says:

    Great post! I think we need to stop comparing in all areas of life, eating included. It’s much safer to listen to our bodies. I always roll my eyes when magazines give out those celebrity weight-loss plans. I mean, you have no idea about the particular celeb’s metabolism, lifestyle, or if she “cheats” once in a while by going out for nachos. So following a meal plan made for someone else is a very bad idea!

  49. L. says:

    Ha! At first I thought you were serious, like you were going to talk about how we eat too much and need to eat less.
    Great post, Katie :).

  50. Love this post! Most of the tie I eat 4-5x a day, but when I’m in the office I tend to stick to 3 meals – it’s just easier at work. Like many others have said, I can’t stand when people comment on how I eat. Everyone is different AND my daily activity varies. Sometimes I eat a salad and sometimes I eat more than the guy next to me. Post-long runs I am insatiable. :)

  51. Erika K. says:

    I usually eat way more than the other girls I know, and sometimes it makes me uncomfortable, especially since I’m not stick thin. I’m always afraid they’re judging me, like they think I should be eating a salad, or “No wonder she’s a little chubby.” But really, if they’re thinking that, that is THEIR issue not mine.
    Thanks for helping me to remember to worry about myself, not what others will think. There will always be people judging, no matter how I eat, and it’s not my job to please them!

  52. Katie I break ALL The rules and I blog about it. I drink coffee, I eat sweets, I eat lots of plants, I eat late, I eat a big amount of food very late at night and go straight to bed, I skip a traditional breakfast..and yet this is how I feel optimally.

    When I try to conform to “the rules” or what others think is best (best for them, not for me!), I end up not feeling optimally.

    We are all so different and must follow our own path, period.

    Awesome post, as usual :)

    1. Yeah, I pretty much stopped listening to mainstream media when I started a post-run stretching routine and realized my muscles felt WORSE than when I didn’t stretch at all! Rules are meant to be broken, right? 😉

  53. I eat three meals a day, plus snacks. I have to be able to have snacks!

  54. I tend to need three meals and two snacks or 5 mini-meals per day, but I have friends and family members whose needs are completely different.

    I’m always happy to see someone write about this topic. It’s so easy to be influenced by those around us and what we *think* we should be doing.

  55. Gen says:

    My stomach doesn’t handle large meals too well…so I tend to eat several times throughout the day. I need more calories because I’m really active and have a fast metabolism, but instead of eating a lot at once, I eat smaller meals all day long. 😀

  56. Michaela says:

    I mostly eat 3 big meals and I snack inbetween, but other days I would only eat 2 meals and just have some fruit and there even are days when I work out alot, when I would eat a big bfast, snack, big lunch, snack, dinner and another snack! I hate when people compare themselves or the amount of food they are eating, everybody is unique.

  57. Melissa says:

    Love this post. Like seriously, LOVE.

  58. Moni'sMeals says:

    I like this post a lot. S0 many woman (especailly) compare to what other woman are doing. You nailed it…No one is the same and no one is wrong, it is what works for them.

    I eat all day long, people are always impressed. :)

    I fuel when I need to, I bump up the calories when I need to, (say after tough workouts), and I listen on in to what my body is telling me. :)

  59. Thank you for bringing this up Katie – 95% of the time I think “I’m doing what’s best for me” but occasionally I worry “I should do what she does”. It’s helpful to be reminded that there’s no ‘correct’ way to eat. So thank you!

    I have a big breakfast at around 7, a snack at 10-10.30, a small lunch at 1, another snack at 4ish, a fairly big dinner at 6-7 and a snack at 9-10 after my evening workout. This works for me and fits in around my active day (I walk to and from work and workout after dinner).

    My lunch sometimes gets commented on as being small but this is what suits me – I’d rather spread my food out than eat it in one sitting. I used to worry that I snack too much but what’s wrong with snacking?!

  60. I am a grazer. Which is good when I’m losing weight, it keeps me from starving. But being a grazer when I’m trying to maintain a weight loss doesn’t work for me, I tend to eat too much and put the weight back on. I am trying to find a eating plan that will work for me both during and after weight loss.

  61. Melissa says:

    I eat . . . when I’m hungry. Weird, right? 😉

    I usually want breakfast sometime between 9 and 11, but sometimes I don’t want anything. If I eat a hearty breakfast, I may have a snack in the afternoon, and then be good until dinner. Or sometimes I’m not hungry at all and I just wait and have a bigger dinner. I try to eat intuitively, which for me means, when I’m hungry! It’s the exact reason I don’t post everything I eat on my blog. Everyone is different and you can’t compare apples to oranges. You just can’t. And you shouldn’t!

    1. LOL in this day and age, yes you are an anomaly! 😉

  62. Elise says:

    I tend to eat 3x a day, simply because that’s what fits in with work! I’d rather have time for a snack as well but it’s just not possible in the cafe :( Oh well! I think it’s actually helped me eat more intuitively when I’m not at work.

  63. Melanie says:

    Honestly, it depends on the day. Sometimes I only have 3 meals plus a snack, other times I’m eating every 2-3 hours.

  64. Heather says:

    I think I eat around 8 meals a day….I am not kidding:)

    1. Haha that’s how I feel when I’m doing taste-testing for a particular recipe. I’ll be munching all day!

  65. Erin says:

    I eat too much. And I don’t always eat healthy. Actually, I’m just starting to change how I eat and what I eat (which is how I came across your blog).Unlike you, I’m short with a slow metabolism and I don’t exercise, but like you, I am always eating. Always. Unlike you again, I do not eat healthy things. I’m hoping that eating around 50% raw vegan will help to jump start a more healthy lifestyle.

  66. beccah says:

    I have a problem w binging/binging purging but am trying to get it under control by going pretty much vegan and having healthy meals,the only thing I’m not willing to give up tho is sugar free jello lol it’s so nummy ^_^.I’ve been eating 3x a day and feel amazing when I eat mostly plant based foods esp meals of beans+grains b/c its filling,makes me feel good and I can go for hours.I get supremely annoyed at my mom when she asks if I need a snack or comment on food I eat though b/c I dont want to focus on it since it can be triggering,is just plain annoying and she needs to eat/eats a lot more than I do when I eat normally.I want to be a healthy weight again 😀

  67. Amy says:

    Since coming home from school for the summer I have noticed myself comparing my eating habits to the eating habits of my family, bloggers, roommates, and myself (because I eat differently when I am at school eating in the dining hall.)

    I too do not appreciate it when others comment on my eating habits. I am petite and exercise daily. Additionally, I eat mostly healthy, raw, vegan foods (and no dairy or gluten).

    Since coming home for summer I have been eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t eat snacks in between my meals because I don’t need to. I like to have some form of chocolate an hour or so after dinner. — This is what works for me and I must remember to listen to my body instead of looking to others no matter where I am (school vs. home)

    Katie, thanks for a great post as usual!

  68. I eat when I am hungry. I don’t eat when I’m not hungry. Simple as that! Now that’s not to say that my choices when I am hungry are the best – usually they aren’t. I would like to have pancakes for breakfast, french fries with my lunch and something drown in gooey cheese for dinner. But I don’t :)

  69. I usually eat every 3-4 hours, no matter what I ate :) haha I am always snacky!

  70. Emilia says:

    Thank you for this post!! I feel like I get stuck in the comparison trap all the time, even though I know it’s not good for me, it can be hard sometimes, but I have to just trust myself. I usually eat three meals a day and an afternoon snack, since I usually eat lunch quite early.

  71. Hehe I waited until now to comment because I always LOVE reading everyone else’s comments! Always so many interesting thoughts! :)

    Ok, I did USED to compare, but I don’t any more! I eat a lot and whenever I want and I LIKE that! People do sometimes comment but now I just respond in a jokey way and don’t take it to heart! We are all SO different and I think people can lose sight of that. And I LOVE YOU for seeing that and posting about it!! I hope people learn to stop comparing and just accept that we all need and want different things :)

    1. Hee hee, glad it’s not just me that reads all the comments!

      1. That is my absolute favorite parts of blogging. I can never get over how brave everyone is to share so much personal stuff. It amazes me and makes me smile so much!

  72. im a three meal a day kind of girl
    im usually running around in and out of classes so snaking or having 6 meals is just not plausible for me!

  73. Hmm. Depending on my sched and such, I’ll usually eat three meals a day, sometimes with snacks. If I’m at home all day (which is rare), I graze like it’s my job.

  74. Jessy says:

    I agree – to each their own! I eat when I’m hungry, which usually makes 4 meals, with lunch being the ”main meal”. I hate it when people comment on others’ eating habits, as it’s really none of their business.

  75. Katy says:

    Great post, Katie! Like many of the others who commented, I’m also a recovering (recovered?) borderline anorexic, and still struggle with how much I should or do eat. A typical day for me is breakfast (7 am), mid-morning snack (~11 am if time permits; sometimes just coffee, sometimes a piece of fruit), late lunch around 2 pm, afternoon snack after work (5 pm), and a light dinner with the hubs around 7-8 pm. I probably eat the most at lunch, that’s when I’m typically the most hungry. But I’ve discovered I need to do small frequent meals because large meals make me feel over-full and nauseated. I often feel that I don’t have (or know) a “middle” range between hungry and full, I’m either starving or stuffed. I think it’s due to disordered eating patterns for so many years. On the other hand, my husband (who’s 22) tends to skip breakfast, graze at lunch, and eat a larger dinner… he stays so busy during the day that he forgets to eat, or has learned to “turn off” the hunger signals until he’s free to eat – I’m not sure which. LOL!

  76. Andrew Smith says:

    I could not agree with you more, in the past I was shackled by how much my family would eat and when they would eat. I was also eating six smaller meals a day thinking it was ideal for me, but I felt like I was becoming obsessive over food and feeling hungry and anxious every time one of my smaller meals was delayed. I have since distanced myself from the pressures of family and friends and eat as and when I please often with a huge meal first thing. It seems to work so much better for me now :) You have really emphasised how liberating it can be to forget about other people and do what is right for the person. Thank you for that Katie, you are an inspiration to me and many, many others :)

    1. Aw, thank YOU for such a sweet comment :).

  77. Now that it’s summer I tend to just eat when I’m hungry and I don’t really go by a schedule. Not sure if it’s the best strategy, but like you say, its all about what works for you. :)

  78. Bek says:

    Thank you so so much Katie! I LOVED this post!
    I’m in recovery from an eating disorder and have been struggling like crazy with just how much food is tue right amount for my body. I live a very active lifestyle, generally running 3 times, playing touch football once, boxing twice, and doing light kickboxing and weights 3 times every week! Of course, this amount of exercise requires I eat a lot of food and intend to eat two bowls of whatever it is I’m eating for breakfast, a light lunch, a big afternoon tea (usually consisting of WAY TOO MUCH peanut butter) a big dinner and usually an after dinner snack. I sometimes even wake up hungry through the night!
    I’ve been so worried that I’m eating too much (that old disordered eating voice doesn’t go down without a fight!) and even sometimes try to not listen to my body and eat less than I feel I need.
    While this post obviously isn’t the answer, it did help me see that maybe this IS the right amount for me!
    Don’t stop being amazing!

  79. Silvia says:

    I try to eat 4 times every day (at least), granola with yogurt for breakfast (sometimes it´s just some fruits, but sometimes a piece of cake!), normal- or smaller sized lunch, afternoon snack- some fruit and/ or nuts (from the time i started to eat that snack, I don´t feel that hungry for dinner, what is great, since I used to eat huge dinner), and normal- sized dinner.

  80. Bek says:

    Thank you so so much Katie! I LOVED this post!
    I’m in recovery from an eating disorder and have been struggling like crazy with just how much food is the right amount for my body. I live a very active lifestyle, generally running 3 times, playing touch football once, boxing twice, and doing light kickboxing and weights 3 times – every week! Of course, this amount of exercise requires I eat a lot of food and I usually eat two bowls of whatever it is I’m eating for breakfast, a light lunch, a big afternoon tea (usually consisting of WAY TOO MUCH peanut butter) a big dinner and usually an after dinner snack. I sometimes even wake up hungry through the night!
    I’ve been so worried that I’m eating too much (that old disordered eating voice doesn’t go down without a fight!) and even sometimes try to not listen to my body and eat less than I feel I need.
    While this post obviously isn’t the answer, it did help me see that maybe this IS the right amount for me!
    Don’t stop being amazing!

    1. Aww you’re so sweet!!
      P.S. no such thing as too much peanut butter! 😉
      (Oh ok, maybe there is… but in a perfect world we could eat pb all day and not feel sick.)

  81. Megan says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! It could not have come at a better time. I am recovering from an ED and am trying to gain weight…again. I usually eat 5 meals including 2 smaller snacks. I often compare my food to other people’s portions because my hunger signals are all wonky and I have days where I don’t get hungry at all. However, I used to just not eat whether I was hungry or not so I guess that is what I get. Anyways, when I work out I tend to get super hungry for the rest of the day but always try and eat balanced, vegetarian deliciousness! For now, I am not allowed to exercise (IT SUCKS), but eating every 3 hours or so still keeps my metabolism up! It is interesting how God created everyone so uniquely too :-)

  82. I eat three meals a day and graze! My initial thought to the question, Do you eat too much? was yes! I probably do. But I eat three smaller meals a day, definitley a couple snacks, and I also graze.

  83. Katherine says:

    I really, really love this post!

  84. I’m not sure how I missed your other post! Thank you for linking because they’re both great and spot-on. I think there is lots of pressure about, not just from blogs but in general, but it’s the old saying about one man’s meat is another man’s poison – what works for one could be a nightmare for someone else :-)

  85. Jennifer says:

    When I was younger, certain members of my family used to make comments about how much/often I would eat. Although my mom and grandmother used to always defend me pointing out that I was still growing and needed nutrients, the comments always bothered me and made me question whether I did, in fact, eat “too much.” However, I have come to realize that eating when/because I am hungry is never eating too much. In fact, it is always eating just enough.

    Eventually, those members of my family gave up on me when they saw that their comments were not going to make me change my habits or make me eat differently. But, they were really slow learners. I’m glad that I learned to ignore them faster!

    1. When people tell me I eat too much, I just smile and joke that it’s not me… THEY eat too little ;).

  86. Hi Katie,

    I just discovered your fun and gorgeous blog. I can really tell it’s full of love and life. I find it at the best of times for me, well the most fitting of times for me. I’m about to go into inpatient program to finally kick my anorexia and gain a few kilos. I think chocolate-covering everything may help :)

    I’ll continue to visit you for healthy and tasty inspiration!

    1. Oh that’s so great that you’re kicking that sucker out of your life! Don’t give up, and keep going girl 😀

  87. Oh what a Great post, Katie! For me, I feel like I can eat 10 meals a day on some days, and others I only need 3. It really depends on the day and how my stomach feels.

    1. Well…Maybe not 10, but 3 with A LOT of snacks….like every hour….

      1. Yeahh I’m the same way too–So usually what works for me is eating between 5-7 times a day. 3 formal meals, and the rest would be smoothies and a buncha snacks 😀 Very interesting topic Katie!

  88. Sami says:

    I tend to eat about 5 or 6 times a day. I’ll have breakfast,then about an hour later a snack, then an hour after that a lunch/snack, then ill get on the ice( im a competitive figure skater),come off at the ice cut, have something real quick, go back on, then head home for dinner. I normally have a little something something before bed too.

  89. Emily says:

    Great topic to cover! I eat very little in the morning, a medium amount midday, and a TON at night. Definitely “wrong” by social standards but it’s right for ME.

  90. Sophie says:

    This is a brilliant post, really thought-provoking!
    To be honest it’s something I should be more careful of as I often compare myself to my sister who is much thinner than me. Thanks for making me stop and think.
    By the way I’ve been a reader for a while and I just wanted to say your recipes are great :-)

    1. Aww thank you for all your kind words!

  91. Nichole says:

    I eat all the time :X I usually have 3 meals a day and snacks in the afternoon and night. Sometimes I just graze between meals. I sometimesss compare my eating habits to others, but i try not to because its pretty clear different people should have different diets.

  92. Char says:

    Great post, Katie!! I know it took awhile for me to figure out what worked best for my body. I was often comparing my habits to others’ rather than listening to what my body told me. Now, I just listen :) & I eat what Char needs, not what anyone else needs!

  93. meg says:

    Hey Katie, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this post. I often find myself comparing my eating habits to bloggers and thinking that something must be wrong with me because I can’t eat nearly as much as they do. I have to remind myself that: a) they have much more muscle mass than me (i’m working on it!), b) I do not exercise nearly as much as they do, and c) they probably don’t have thyroid problems (which I do). This is just a really great reminder that they way I eat is what is best for me, and me only! Thanks again!!

  94. Too funny, I just posted about this too! I’m all about the 6 meals!

  95. Albizia says:

    I used to participate in small eating contests with my friends as a kid and I was better than some of the boys. I can’t believe I could eat 7 slices of bread with roasted red pepper spread (we call it liutenitsa) and not feel the tiniest bit guilty.

    Now I am trying to eat 3 big meals a day but I usually end up with a fourth meal in the evening because comparing to what other people eat always leads to eating less than I need. It is just hard to eat like a horse when a lot of girls eating in the same cafeteria think it is perfectly normal to have a small piece of tofu and a few spoonfuls of fruit salad for lunch. I am pretty sure this is not the amount they need. Sigh. I must work on listening to my own body and stop caring what everybody else does.

  96. Ali says:

    my mum always says ‘everyone thinks it’s ok to comment on the skinny person’s meal’ and it’s so true. I don’t eat much but I do eat good food. I have a small breakfast, a big salad or soup for lunch (oh my god, the amount of times that I’ve been told soup isn’t a meal….!) usually an afternoon snack at around 4 or 5 (usually fruit in summer or popcorn in winter) and a good sized dinner usually around 8.30 – my boyfriend gets home from work late. I also eat really really slowly and people think I don’t like my meal.
    I wish all restaurants had size options like fast food places do. I’m sick of waiters asking me if there was something wrong with my meal… yes! it was too big! I’m also sick of having to order boring sides when I don’t want to waste money on a proper meal that I know I’ll only eat half of. this is why I’m all for sharing-type meals like tapas and yum cha and sushi!

  97. Aja says:

    How much you eat is completely up to your body and different for every person. I wish more people understood this.

  98. Liz says:

    I’ve recently noticed I only eat “a lot” when I’m upset. All throughout the last week, I ate a lot of junk food. I’ve been pretty stressed trying to find a job and go back to school, so it only makes sense.

    Normally, though, I only eat when I’m hungry. I also like to think I have pretty good restraint. I don’t snack a whole lot, unless I have a craving for something. I eat small to medium sized portions, because I’ve found it just works best for me. I know some people who go all day without eating, and I could never do that. I’m hypoglycemic, so my blood sugar would crash and I’d feel like crap if I went too long without eating.

    I wish society was less adamant on its views of what eating right is and isn’t. Everyone is different, like you said!

  99. VanessaG says:

    I eat probably a lot compared to some, but not much compared to others just like you. I am also a runner and I run anywhere from 8-13 miles a day. So I need to eat a lot. The problem is I don’t always eat the best of food choices. But O’well, I love what I eat, I’m healthy, active, and happy. I try to not compare my eats with other bloggers or people. I cannot wait till tomorrow to get the pancake recipe!!!! Pancakes are in my top 3 foods :)

  100. Nikita says:

    This is such a great topic! I was actually just talking to my husband about something similar because I read in a health magazine that women need about 11 calories per pound of body weight to maintain their weight, while men need about 12. A lot of Americans think that everybody needs 2000 calories a day, but thats simply not true! A sedentary woman could easily only need 1200-1300, while an active man might need more than 3000! But you’re absolutely right in that there is a lot more to it: I actually eat almost as much as my husband who weighs 100 pounds more than me! I’m also much more active than he is, and I eat more frequently, which I think keeps my metabolism revved. But sometimes I feel weird because I think I should be eating much less. I feel like I eat more than most women I know.

  101. Nikita says:

    Ugh, I keep forgetting to change my website… the above link no longer works!

  102. Some days I eat 3 solid meals, and some days 5 or 6 smaller meals! It really depends on my mood and how I’m feeling!

  103. Lisa says:

    this is SOOO true. my best friend eats 3 meals a day and rarely snacks, but I snack CONSTANTLY!!!! She could go without eat bfast all day, and Im starving the second I wake up! Im even guilty of eating in the middle of the night sometimes on days where I do a lot of activity 😉
    it completely baffles me how 2 ppl can eat so different, but its their body and their life- they can eat how they want as long as their healthy!!
    so thanks for this post :)

  104. Vogelstar says:

    Well said. I also have different eating requirements on different days. Some days one meal is enough, other days I can eat and eat all day and I’m still starving. The important thing is to listen to one’s body and not to what the millions of conflicting diet tips tell you. And if there is room that day, eat the lemon poppy seed muffin :)

  105. So true katie! I would say I eat 5 BIG meals a day…….I guess you could call two of those “snacks” but they are probably the bigger than most peoples meals! I eat A LOT. But it works for me because I have a SUPER fast metabolism.

  106. Anzo says:

    Thank you for this post! This is EXACTLY what I needed. I’m training for a half-marathon and I have a sensitive stomach, so I eat a lot, but I also eat very healthy. Do you ever feel pressure from people or get negative comments based on what and how much you eat? I sure do.

    1. I do get negative comments, but I turn it into a compliment, like something to be proud of. If someone says, “Wow you eat a lot,” I say, “Yup! I do! I’m active and young and need the energy to keep up with such a busy life!”

  107. BroccoliHut says:

    I’m a three meals a day kind of girl! I’ve tried mini-meals, but I just can’t get them to work with my schedule.

  108. Tara says:

    I agree that everyone should do what works for them! I usually do 4 meals and one mid afternoon snack. yes, dessert is in fact a meal. I eat dinner super early, so by the time dessert rolls around I am hungry for just about as much as i would have at a meal time!

  109. Great post! I’m usually a snacker/ grazer… but I’ve been trying to listen to my body and have legit meals instead of snacking all day. meals are more satisfying to me

  110. Colleen says:

    Amazing post! I read all the comments and felt lead to comment…something I never do. I DO NOT compare my food intake to anyone else’s whats the piunt?! We are all internally different with different energy requirements I am a hard-core athlete, personal trainer, aerobic instructor, and marathon runner I eat about 2500-3000 calories daily, but they are CLEAN calories. This is an estimate…I do not waste time counting calories. I am 5’7, 10 lbs, with 8% body fat. Between my training and my job (trainer and aerobic instructor) i workout 6-14 hours a day!!! Its my passion i fuel my body as it requests and do not rely on a clock nor other people to tell me when or what to eat
    Also, I just discovered your blog,Katie, and was shocked to see all of “my” recipes in your blog. :). We are both quite the creators in our kitchens.

    1. Aw I’m so excited you commented! I always love hearing from other people who eat high-calorie clean diets… many doctors don’t understand that it can be done! You don’t have to eat steaks and milkshakes 24/7 if you need to gain weight or take in a lot of calories to maintain energy levels!

      1. beccah says:

        raw food esp raw desserts,additions of honey,etc are still healthy esp things like avocados and coconut/coconut milk,etc you really shouldnt listen to the gov or anyone else how to eat,its your body,your genetics and it probably wont work for you. plus,if you ate really unhealthy food you’d feel worse/heavier so you wouldnt feel like youd be able to be active,etc which would make you unhealthy little by little.

  111. Colleen says:

    110 pounds…oops!

    1. Melissa says:

      Did you mean 8% body fat, too?
      I thought 10-13% was essential for life and good health for women.
      Unless I’m gendering your name incorrectly? If so, sorry!

      Are you currently doing figure work/competitions? I know body builders or those doing figure work will drop that low for competition but don’t tend to stay that low since it is not great for your body/reproductive system.

      1. Anonymous says:

        I have unintentionally held 8% for years. I’ve been tested by many doctors and my health is perfect. My extremely active lifestyle and need to fuel myself with clean energy calories somehow works for my body. We are all different.

  112. I don’t really have a certain amount that i eat or set times for meals as such. I probably tend to eat more than many, and somewhat more than the supposed ‘recommended’ amounts but I’ve never really paid attention to any of that. I eat pretty healthy foods, and eat as much as I feel I need when I’m hungry. Some days it’s more than others, but I figure in general that so long as I’m aiming for healthy and listening to my body I can’t go wrong. The odd times I’ve had someone comment in my eating habits I’ve just said “hey, if I”m hungry I’ll eat. Worry about your own food, not mine :)”.

    I’ve always been fairly active and therefore needed more fuel. I do tend to eat very slowly so I know when I get full enough and will stop before over eating since I’m eating so slowly haha. The days that I get hungry again I snack between meals. I just figure I’ve not had enough – especially since those days tend to be near more physically active periods. Most days though it’ll be 3-4 meals with snacks between when and if I need them (unless it’s something particularly delicious and then it may well be snacked upon just because I enjoy it :))

  113. Ashley says:

    Thank you so so sooo much for this post!! Im constantly looking at others skinnier than me and analyzing how much they eat or when they eat. Somehow i feel like if i eat exactly like they do, i too will be skinny like they are. Thank you for reminding me that we are all so different and I just need to eat the way MY stomach tell me too!!

  114. Amy C says:

    I just wanted to add that I have multiple nutrionist and even my own parents tell me that if I would just eat a certain way i could weigh up to 20 pounds less. Unfortunately eating they way they want me to leaves me hungry and tired all the time. It took me a long time to figure out that just because I COULD weigh less, doesnt mean I should if it causes me to feel miserable!! I know eating my late night snack isnt exactly ideal but i feel the need to eat right before i go to bed…it makes me happy :)

    1. I get so frustrated when others tell you (in an authoritative way) how YOU should eat. It’s one thing if it’s a nutritionist telling someone who asked for his/her advice. But if no one asked, don’t give it out!

      Good for you for doing what’s right for YOU!

  115. Emma says:

    This is a great post!
    At work I get my fair share of condescending comments about my lunch (it’s usually about as big as my head!) ‘wowww Emma you eat so MUCH etc etc yadda yadda’. I once had a giant salad (it was mostly spinach leaves and raw cauliflower or something and I ate every last little bit and someone said ‘enjoy that did you??’. I’m quite thin, have an active outdoor job, I exercise on top of that and I have a super fast metabolism, so eating lots is the right thing for me to do. On the other hand, people who don’t see my meals everyday think I’m starving. Hm.

    Usually I go for a big breakfast to last me til morning tea at work, have a snack then (fruit usually), a big carby lunch and a snack after work then dinner a couple hours later :) It works for me and if people can’t handle that then that’s their problem.

    1. beccah says:

      what people dont get…is its salad! since its raw veggies/fruit,etc it looks like a lot volume wise but isnt high cal atall and you were most likely eating a lot less than they do,and a lot healthier than they.

  116. Nathalie says:

    I’ve vacillated between “want to feel full” and “lots of little meals” many times. Sometimes I just feel one way or the other. Nowadays, I’ve fallen into the pattern of 5 food “sittings.” Something small like half a banana and coffee before my run, the other half after, breakfast at my desk at work, lunch, then dinner. I rarely get hungry between meals. In fact, I often feel on the verge of overfull after dinner, but I know I have to keep my energy intake up. I eat a ton of vegetables which equals a ton of volume. Because I eat two meals of the day at work, I have to prep them beforehand, so condensing intake into two meals (instead of spread out over like, 4) saves me time in the kitchen.

  117. Excellent post, Katie! When I told my wise older brother about some restrictive eating concerns that I have struggled with in the past, he simply advised me to “do what feels good.” Not in a hedonistic, irresponsible sense, but in terms of perceiving eating as neither pain nor pleasure, but as a simple, deep necessity. The process of responsibly yielding to the needs of my own body and resisting comparing my dietary needs to those of others is enormously liberating and energizing.

  118. Amy says:

    It seems like lately I constantly think about food…not because I’m super obsessive about what I eat, but the more I learn about my body, proper nutrition, and fitness, the more I think about it. My husband worries that I’m developing a bad habit of worrying if I’m eating enough or too much or even just eating the right things, but I can’t help it. I actually enjoy thinking, reading, and discussing nutrition. I definitely look at what other people eat and think about what I’m eating in comparison, not because I’m judging, but because I think about health and nutrition all the time. I hate when people comment on what others eat; it’s none of their business. Sometimes we all need to eat a piece of cake and should feel good while we’re doing it!

  119. tasha says:

    I love this post, especially as I continue the process of re-shaping my body after delivering twins a few months ago. So many people ask my “how” I do it, and while I share, I’m always quick to tell them that this is just what’s working for me. I’m not a nutritionist or a trainer; I’m just learning my body and I encourage them to do the same. I personally like to eat 5-6times a day, but there are days that are so busy that I can only fit in 3-4 and I roll with that. But I do LOVE LOVE to eat, so the more opportunities I can get, the better. 😉

  120. Great post and I definitely agree! I eat 6 times a day, small meals and people look at me like I am crazy, but i’m relatively active and often get hungry (:

  121. Lorin says:

    This is such a great post. I think I do sometimes catch myself comparing to others, but then I realize on that day maybe they needed more or less calories than me because of their activity level. I’m trying to eat more when I’m hungry and not when I think I should. It can be annoying when I hear other people comment about another person’s eating habits. Also, when I go out to eat I want to enjoy the meal and it can be annoying when one of the people you are with says something like, oh this is too rich or this is too many calories. I understand people want to balance but they can think that in their head. I like enjoying myself when I go out to eat and don’t want to hear people’s oh this is going to make me fat type of talk. Also, because I am a nutrition major, people are always think I’m judging them on what they eat and they ask “oh that’s not a good choice is it?” and I don’t really want them to be so obsessed about it, food is for enjoyment too. Okay, rant over :] Awesome post.

  122. Lately I have been trying really hard to “listen” to my body. I realize that I might be hungrier on certain days, like when I go running. So if I am super ravenous, you betcha I eat all day until I feel satisfied. If I am picky one day, I of course eat enough to keep me going but I in no way try to force myself to eat. I think our bodies are such a good indicator if we are eating right. I know I have eaten to much if I can’t move (happens with brownies haha), and if my tummy is a-rumblin’ I know I gotta eat more.
    Only took me 20 years to figure that out!

  123. beccah says:

    wow,I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way/has problems…thank you katie!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. Lacey says:

    thank you for posting this katie. I am in the midst of overcoming my labeled ‘pre-eating disorder’, and I often find myself comparing how much I eat to others. I often find myself worried that others will think I am eating too much, even if they are eating more than me, or less healthy food. I know that what I am eating is healthy, and what my body needs to grow, but it is hard for me to remember this when eating next to somebody who is eating less at that particular moment. Thank you for reminding me that I shouldnt be doing this, and that I need to just pay attention to what my body needs to fight the negative thinking and learn to love me for me:)

  125. Grace says:

    I tend to eat 3 good size meals a day, along with another 3 snacks and more if I go running in the morning. This post was such an eye-opener! I wish the media/society thought the way you do Katie, there would be a lot less people who would have to struggle with eating disorders and body image.

  126. Berrymouse says:

    Thank you so much for posting this!:) Lately I have been thinking that I eat too much. And I’ve been worrying about it. But then I thought about it, I bike/run and/or lift weights about 5 or 4 days a week. And I am running around doing arronds like a crazy woman most days!! I am very small and petite, I am actually trying to gain weight, but I think I also have a fast metabolism. I eat 3 good sized meals plus 2 good sized snacks (between lunch and dinner, and after dinner). Plus taste testing some days when I am experimenting with new recipes:P But I have learned to listen to my body and to not compare myself to others around me. Thanks again!! P.S.- I absolutely love your recipes:)

  127. Kiriel says:

    I’m a grazer. It always drove my parents nuts when I was growing up because they lived by the “clear your entire plate” rule and insisted on buying the all-you-can-eat salad bars when we went out to eat! When I tried to follow those rules, I would literally get sick! Thankfully, they finally realized this and stopped trying to make me eat so much. I do get enough to eat and while I probably don’t eat enough of them right now, I love fruits and veggies, so at least I’m not always eating junk food that I baked. 😀

  128. Marianne says:

    I don’t know if I can even quantify my eating patterns since going back to school. Classes interfere with eating times. Having a 1.5 hr commute each way interferes with eating times. Working shift work interferes with eating times. It’s a struggle to figure out how much to pack with me on a daily basis, and then when I might be hungry or able to eat. Add in a messed up sleeping schedule, and sometimes my first meal is lunch simply because of when I got out of bed. Sometimes I’m a grazer, sometimes I have 3 square meals. Sometimes I’m famished all day, sometimes I just nibble. But it’s all good – I just go with the flow.

  129. Laura says:

    Hi Katie!
    I loved your post. I recently found your blog but haven’t commented before. You are so inspiring; I wish I were as strong as you. I made your cookie dough baked oatmeal for one and it was yummy. I plan on trying the snickerdoodle dip soon. :)
    Like many of the others, I am also a recovered anorexic and I do often compare how much I eat to others. When I used to eat in the dining halls with my friends, I would eat a large lunch and dinner because I was trying to get my money’s worth ($12.50 for a meal swipe! can you believe it?). It wasn’t a big deal then because everyone ate a lot, even though they were probably consuming a lot more calories than me. I actually lost a lot of weight in my first year of college because the only vegan food available was usually the salad bar. Now this summer I have a job which forces me to eat lunch with my coworkers. My boss always eats the same lunch: 1 large grapefruit and a tiny piece of fish. So now I have been eating smaller lunches because I am embarrassed to eat a lot in front of her and the others. She is super skinny too. One day she made a comment like “I can’t believe you ate all that!”. Mind you, my lunch that day had been about a cup or so of barley salad and several cups of lettuce topped with some roasted carrots. It kind of bothered me even though I know it was not that many calories and I am very active and I need the calories. It’s also hard for me because my mom is always dieting (or failing to) and my dad eats like a bird, always leaving a few bites on his plate. People never seem to take into account the fact that the healthy vegan foods I eat are usually pretty low in calories! I feel much better when I eat smaller meals (no blood sugar crash) but I can also go for a long time without getting hungry. Sometimes I eat even when I’m not hungry just because I know I need the calories. I usually have a small breakfast because a large breakfast makes me tired. When I come home from work, I am often hungry and snack a lot for the rest of the day, sometimes eating too much. It was a bad habit I picked up but the only way I could gain weight when I was recovering from my eating disorder. Do you ever find that you get physically bloated from eating a lot? And does your heart race if you eat a lot of sugar/carbs at once?
    Sorry this is so long!

    1. Hi Laura!
      I’m sorry about your co-worker :(. It sounds like maybe she is going through her own issues and probably is a bit jealous that you can eat so much more than she can and still be trim… but obviously I am not a therapist, so that’s just a guess!
      I don’t really know about the heart racing thing, but yes I do sometimes feel icky if I eat too much bulk. That’s why calorie-dense foods like nuts or oils are so important–because they give you calories without all the bulk. I sometimes have to watch myself and not eat too much of foods like cauliflower or cabbage… but sometimes they taste so good that I risk the tummy ache afterwards!

  130. Kathy says:

    I’m totally a grazer. I graze so much that I can’t even eat dinner (sometimes, let alone lunch).
    I’ll eat breakfast, lunch at 11-2 then snack. Snack until I’m full then dinner time rolls around and I’m not hungry!

  131. Christina says:

    Today, I eat three small meals a day with one snack in the afternoon. Despite my efforts at eating a certain amount, I tend to go a bit out of control. (Especially with dips!) Luckily, I’m trying my best to keep my grazing to a minimum.

    The funny thing is when I was a kid… I would eat a lot. No, seriously, I could easily eat the giant-sized plates of pasta in restaurants when I was eleven! However, the interesting thing was that I didn’t gain too much weight, I was only “a little bit heavier” than normal. I find this really interesting because I grew up in a time when food wasn’t manipulated as it is today. Whenever I see news reports on obesity and especially childhood obesity, it makes me think about the overall quality of food in this day and age.

  132. Emily N. says:

    When I was a little girl I was always hungry. I was a super active kid, so I had a big appetite. People always used to say “wow you’re such a good eater, you eat everything!”, or “how are you already hungry, you just ate an hour ago!”, or “you eat all the time!” Eventually the comments got to me, and I ended up with an eating disorder come middle school. My athletic performance was severely weakened because I didn’t have enough energy to give it my all, and I lost a lot of years where I could’ve been having fun instead of worrying about my weight. I guess people need to understand that side remarks can go a long way, and if we all just appreciated that we have different nutritional needs, there wouldn’t be so much judgement involved.

  133. Katie says:

    My problem is I eat all my calories before the afternoon even begins! Although I wake up around 5 every morning to work out. I struggled with anorexia and once recovered from that had (and somewhat still having) an episode of binge eating. But my doctor says as long as I get my days worth of calories and nutrients it really doesnt matter WHEN I have them! Thanks for the post Katie, it was very appreciated! (:

  134. Emily says:

    What If I’m unsure on how I am suppose to eat?
    I jog, not run… not that good yet lol.
    Around 3-4 days a week. I walk a good chunk of the time, and mondays I do zumba.
    :\ I’ve got no clue on how to eat. I under eat or I over eat… Theres no middle ground

  135. vale says:

    this is so true!!!!
    when people look at me eating they says ” you are not eating nutritious food” only cause i prefer vegetables,fruit and whole carbs to any refined carbs and meat… and then they ask me why do i have a beautiful skin EHEHEH
    I really eat something like 1 kg of vegetables and fruit per day… and my body is ok with that!
    last time i ate some oily white noodles (due to major reason) i felt SOOOO SLEEPY.
    :) :) vegan fight <3

  136. Christy says:

    is usually eat a normal sized breakfast, a very small luch, sometimes a snack in the afternoon, a dinner thats alittle smaller than a normal size and usually a bedtime snack. i think i eat around 1,300 cal a day and i dont think its quite enough because im going on 2-6 hrs of sleep and i get light-headed sometimes. i should think about changing my diet…