(Note: Does not include intermittent fasting)
Scheduled eating being necessary for a diet is a myth. A person can train themselves be hungry certain times of the day that are convenient, but it doesn’t provide any real benefit for weight loss. Calories are still calories, no matter when you eat them. Your body doesn’t care what time it is.
Hell, there have been times I knew I would be crazily busy all day, to where I knew I wouldn’t have time to eat. So my solution would be to eat all my required 2,300 calories in the morning before I had to leave. Normally in the form of a dense protein shake. While my stomach’s stretching ability is seriously tested, I do not have any consequences.
I do not gain weight.
I do not lose weight.
I maintain the same weight.
It only matters if I get the appropriate number of calories.
Athletes and pro bodybuilders might have awesome reasons for an eating schedule because of games or shows, but the average person doesn’t need to strictly adhere to one. I can’t remember the exact article name, but Bret Contreras made his own post about this same topic.
Also, I tend to approach health/fitness holistically and simply, thus I find scheduled eating is counter intuitive to easy wellness.
The human body also doesn’t adhere to every schedule set before it. Eating three meals a day and three snacks are day is a reasonable guideline for a person. Planning out the time for each meal or snack can be a convenience for time, but an inconvenience to your body. Are you too famished to stick to that meal’s calorie allotment? Are you even hungry? If you get too hungry because you were determined to stick to your schedule, it’ll be harder to stick to your meal plan. If you simply aren’t hungry — why were you going to eat anyways? You should gauge when to eat by your hungry levels.
Hunger levels are a better timer of when to eat than a clock. Feeling hunger isn’t a bad thing. It’s merely a cue from your body that you need a bit of fuel. Allowing yourself to feel moderate hunger before eating is what nutritionists tend to recommend (http://pilatesnutritionist.com/how-to-know-if-youre-truly-hungry/). Just eat when you’re moderately hungry, even if that means carrying a snack with you.
As long as a person eats when they’re hungry and tracks their calories, there’s not much of a point in scheduling meal times.