BBC article on T2 helped by eating two meals a day

My husband gave me this link. Don't think I could do it...

A few years ago, when I started to limit my daily carbs, I slowly transitioned into eating two meals per day. It started when I got up in the morning and had my coffee and read on the internet. I was not particularly hungry right away so I waited until I had an appetite. I soon found myself eating breakfast a 11:00 a.m. or noon.

Since I don't like eating later in the evening due to digestive problems, I ended eating dinner around 5-6 p.m. This left no appetite for lunch.

I didn't exercise any willpower to make this change, it just kind of happened. Now I think it's the most natural rhythm for eating during the day. I'll often have a snack of an ounce or two of nuts in the afternoon or evening.

Since I eat a low carb, high fat diet, I don't ever feel really hungry. I think the fats in my food leave me feeling satiated. I don't envy people trying to lose weight on a high carb, low fat diet. They're constantly exercising their willpower to limit their calories.

I'm a T1D and this way of eating allowed me to lose weight, cut my total daily dose of insulin, and maintain much better control of my BGs.

Two meals a day works for me and I don't feel deprived. Ever.

A couple of years ago I participated in a weight loss program that was sponsored by my employer. That was one of the strategies that they taught. Eat only when you are feeling hungry, for most people that is twice a day.

I follow the exact same schedule as Terry, coffee for breakfast, lunch at 11:00 and dinner around 5 or 6. It took me a while to distinguish between craving and hunger but now I'm happy with my schedule. I've been at it for two years.

I am T2 and I experienced the same benefits as Terry.

Hmm, maybe I WILL try it! 11am and 6pm might work for me. Will have to see if it comes naturally.

I have read where it could be dangerous for a diabetic to skip meals. Maybe they meant T1 on an insulin pump...IDK. I have noticed that I usually spike up beyond my target range after breakfast and end up going for a bike ride to burn off the calories. If I skip breakfast, and just drink coffee, by mid morning and lunch I am just fine. I eat lunch, and then dinner, maybe a snack at night, and I am doing great! My dietician/nutritionist says that I should eat a healthy breakfast and then go on a bike ride anyway.

articles like this drive me crazy.

If you have a properly working and properly signalling liver, - that is everytime the bg drops sub 70 your liver adds in the correct amount of glucose to take you to 100 plus 20 per cent great. You can do these idiotic stunts and go super low glycemic.

In my case after watching my blood glucose on cgms around the clock; it was self evident that eating small meals 3 times a day on regular timed basis helped keep
the nasty liver caged in the barn so it does not ruin ones a1c and blood glucose control from adding in far too much glucose which mine was prone to do.

Who are the nuts and short sighted commentary that sponsor such looney ideas?

I haven't been around here for quite some time, but I want to thank Infodigger for posting this link. Not to start a row with "jims" or others who find the smaller, frequent meals better for their T2 management, but everyone is different and it looks like some very persuasive clinical data has come out of this study -- not to mention empirical evidence from people who have eaten this way for years and found it works best for them.

Like others who've commented, I have zero appetite for anything but my morning coffee when I first get up. The first fleeting hunger pangs don't arrive until late morning or noon, at which point I have lunch and take my meds. Around five or six o'clock I'm rarely all that hungry, but I can eat something light and be perfectly satisfied. A little low-carb nosh around 9:00 is a treat I enjoy a few times a week, but basically I'm good to go till the following day.

It's a lot more natural for me than forcing myself to eat when I'm not hungry. It seems to me that eating by the clock instead of listening to your unique biological signals is how most of us got into this fix in the first place.


you will get no row from jims. Just glad it works for you, blessings and thank you for sharing!

There is a glaring error in the BBC report that should be pointed out.

In the BBC report it says...

The study compared two meals with six meals - as the latter accorded with current practice advice in the Czech Republic, researchers said.

Each diet contained on average 1,700 calories a day.

My emphasis.

Here's the link to the actual paper...

The actual amount of food consumed daily was capped at 2092 kJ/day. That's 500 Cal/day.

1 Cal = 1000 kilocalories = 4.184 kJ

The average energy content of the food eaten by those in the study group consuming 2 meals a day was actually closer to 400 Cal/day.

The researchers referred to this type of diet as "hypoenergetic".

Another consideration was that at 500 Cal/day max, 50% of the energy came from carbs.

Not trying to throw cold water on this idea, but just wanted to point out some obvious concerns that we in this community might have.

Interesting analysis. I'm grateful for the link to the paper. I'm glad that the BBC article states that there's to be more study on this. I'd also like to see a much larger test goup than 27 people. But I do applaud the search for a better way of handling a complex disorder like diabetes. It's too complicated for a one-size-fits-all approach.

It's telling that a number of people have commented that the two meal a day strategy works better for them than the standard advice to eat three meals plus two snacks. I wonder how many people would fare better on a two meal a day regimen, but force themselves to eat -- hungry or not -- according to the standard diabetic dietary wisdom. I also wonder what the composition of those meals are. As a low carber, I know my appetite decreases substantially when I'm on the straight and narrow. Two meals a day is plenty. Throw a pizza and some ice cream at me, and I'm the Beast With a Thousand Teeth. My endocrinologist says, "I tell my patients, being diabetic doesn't mean you can never have pizza or cake or bread again, but you do have to limit your portions." Hey doc, if I could limit my portions I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you now. For some of us -- maybe most of us -- saying, "Just have one or two cookies" is like telling an alcoholic, "Just have one or two drinks." Addiction is addiction.

Yeah, I didn't offer an analysis as much as just correction of the information summarized in a pop article. I'm a firm believer that if you really want to understand the research, go to the source whenever possible. It's dense reading, but worth the effort, especially when mistakes as glaring as this one are reported as fact.

I'm sure a lot of people do better on various numbers of meals a day including 2. I'm just not sure that this is really the research to be looking to if you want to convince others that 2 is the number. Depending on the day's activities, I might eat close to 3000 Cal/day. It would be really tough to shoehorn that much energy into two meals.

Two meals per day may turn out to be a best practice to normalize BG.

I have tentatively concluded that my attempt at very tight BG control (under 90 mg/dl) is failing because I am eating three meals a day. The reason for this is that I am eating lunch before my breakfast is digested.

As an example, after eating my usual breakfast (carbs 5g, protein 20g, fat 75g) I took hourly readings and did not eat anything else until evening.

I got: 66, 84, 75, 79, 82, 71, and 71 mg/dl at one hour intervals starting just before breakfast.

You can see that there are two peaks. The first occurred an hour after breakfast and the second occurred 4 hours after breakfast. And after the second peak it took another hour to return close to my fasting state. From what I know about digestion, the first peak is due to the carbs and the second peak is due to the protein. Overall, it took 5-6 hours for my BG to come back to baseline after breakfast.

More to the point, I was eating lunch just as the second peak was occurring. So lunch was being added to to a partly digested breakfast. This increased BG well beyond 90 mg/dl (my max target).

I suspect that I simply am not making enough insulin to handle that additional carb load. So the solution for me is to make sure I keep my carb loading's at least 5-6 or more hours apart. In practical terms this means two meals per day without snacks and that is what I will be trying in the coming days.

I am not here to get into a riot.

First off watching my cgms for a year and a half; I found empirically that 3 meals a day, no snacks and on a railroad schedule helped stop the wicked liver dumps on my bad signalling liver. Apparently this article was comparing 6 to 2 meals and drawing typical unintelligent white house sound byte conclusions.

I am fed up with this unscientific claptrap from hades.

Yes, I hate eating to a schedule, would rtaher be normal and let my liver do its job but the effort to clamp back down a liver dump that swung up to 511 peak and rolls back to 278 to 311 BG is a great pain in rear.

So for me, I was watching my blood glucose 24/7 and found I could run 3 meals a day timed with 300 calories for breakfast, 300 for lunch and 600 for dinner and keep my system contained with no major lows. You bet , I do not want to run my body on railroad schedule but sometimes one has to do what one has to.

The lack of proper science, instrumentation and related data is a disgrace making far too many sweeping assumptions!

Now that I have experimented with two meals, I am back to 3 meals. Eating two meals did not result in lower postprandial readings. And skipping a meal does not seem to prevent my BG from still going up slowly during the day. It then heads back down after dinner and close to fasting levels by bedtime (typically 5-10 mg/dl above fasting).

I am now trying resistant starch to see if it will help lower my maximum postprandial reading (currently 100-110 mg/dl).

I also see that the source paper for the BBC report had patients that were eating a high carb diet (50-55% carbs), so it might not be that relevant to those of us that are on a ketogenic diet.