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User47728

It's not just WHAT you eat, it's WHEN you eat.

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Lately, I've been trying to gain weight. So what I thought I would do is buy a lot of snacks (healthy for the most part), and add calories by snacking throughout the day. And guess what happened? My skin cleared up.

So I was thinking about this, and it makes a lot of sense. For one thing, it keeps your blood sugar levels really stable, and prevents the blood sugar spikes and crashes that really reek havoc on your hormonal system. Another point though is evolutionary. For thousands and thousands of years, people have been hunter-gatherers. That means they went out and collected their food by hand. Have you ever gone berry picking, or apple picking? Have you ever dutifully placed every single one of those berries in your basket, not ever eating a single one the whole time, and not touching them until you got home? I'm betting not. If human's primary means of food intake is gathering food like that every day, for literally hundreds of thousands of years, our bodies would be really built on expecting this kind of steady supply of small amounts of food throughout the day.

Another interesting effect I've noticed, which I wasn't expecting or even looking for, until I noticed it this morning when I was buying some new jeans, is that my cellulite is going away. As long as I've had hips, I've had cellulite, even though I'm thin. And so I've always just assumed that must just be the way my genes are, and there's nothing I can do about it. But my cellulite is nearly entirely gone (I was rather pleased, let me tell you, it was a very pleasant surprise!). This seems to be further evidence of hormonal changes in my body, as hormones obviously play a key role in fat distribution. Some people have acne because of an excess of estrogen, which can also cause a person to be very "hippy", and that may very well have been the case for me. It's weird, I can fit into jeans I haven't been able to wear since I was 16. But I haven't lost any weight. My whole body is changing.

This may explain why some people eat nothing but crap all the time, and have great skin. It's because they eat crap "all the time", literally.

I was watching the show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and he made a comment I found interesting. He said that non-western cultures tend to eat all day long. It's a social thing, feeding each other, tasting this, tasting that, cooking together and tasting while you cook, taking care of family members, etc. The whole idea of sitting down at 3 specific times each day to eat is actually rather unnatural. It's also unnatural from an evolutionary perspective as I mentioned before. This may explain why non-western societies don't tend to have acne.

The whole idea of eating 3 meals a day is really to fit our meals around our jobs. You eat before you go to work (or school), you are given a short break to eat something in the middle of the day, and you eat when you get home. This is so you don't end up wasting your employers time (or teacher's time), but nature doesn't care about your boss or your teachers. This is an unnatural way to eat.

I have noticed that certain kinds of snacks work faster than others, primarily snacks higher in fiber such as granola bars and trail mix, but really just eating throughout the day is the primary point. And it's funny, I've tried this with all kinds of things, junk food, chocolate, McDonald's, it all works. But as soon as I switch to a "3 square meals a day" routine, BAM, acne comes back with a vengeance. Then I start snacking again, and it all goes away.

I've been doing this for a couple months now I think. The single most effective thing for me is trail mix. And I know you're thinking, "Oh no, nuts! Oh no, chocolate!" Like I said, it's not WHAT you eat, it's WHEN you eat. Ordinarily, if I ate almonds, they'd make me break out and get greasy within hours. But my trail mix has chocolate, almonds, peanuts, etc, I eat it all day long, and it keeps me clear. It's really excellent. Other good high fiber snacks are granola bars, coconut macaroons, and chocolate covered dried fruits and nuts. But like I said, I've done this with lots of things, and it all works as long as it's not pure sugar (fruit juice by itself is out). My basic principle is this: Eat 50-100 calories about every hour. Even if it's just a handful of roasted peanuts between classes, that's fine. Sometimes I'll have a Frappaccino or something, whatever works for you really. Just don't let your blood sugar fall.

Hopefully this can help some people. :)

Edited by LiliVG
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This is a cool new theory. Will be fun to test it out. :)

I'm already eating every 3-4 hours. Is that not often enough? By eating hourly, big meals are out I guess. I'd like to add here that when I eat really big meals (after fasting or whenever I've missed a couple of meals) the acne seems to flare up. Maybe eating small meals is the key to good digestion?

Another thought. Since food usually takes 2-3 hours to digest, wouldn't one average meal equal to snacking every hour for 2 or 3 hours? Like eating in advance.

Do you snack before going to bed as well?

Edited by hesitation
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This is a cool new theory. Will be fun to test it out. :)

I'm already eating every 3-4 hours. Is that not often enough? By eating hourly, big meals are out I guess. I'd like to add here that when I eat really big meals (after fasting or whenever I've missed a couple of meals) the acne seems to flare up. Maybe eating small meals is the key to good digestion?

Another thought. Since food usually takes 2-3 hours to digest, wouldn't one average meal equal to snacking every hour for 2 or 3 hours? Like eating in advance.

Do you snack before going to bed as well?

Yes, I do eat before bed. I read in an article in Discover magazine that in most undeveloped countries, at any given time up to 25% of the population is awake in the middle of the night to eat a snack and hang out. Night time is the longest eating fast in the whole day. So I do almost always eat something right before I go to bed (before I've brushed my teeth of course!) Generally, I try to not let myself feel hungry, and that works well for me.

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I am constantly eating, but my skin is still bad. Am I missing something? =P

Without having more specific information, I couldn't tell you. For instance, what do you mean by "constantly?" What is it that you're eating constantly, and at what times? In my case, I have found one exception to my rule, and that is dairy. If I eat a lot of dairy, I start getting jawline acne. That's the only exception I've found so far.

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Happy this has worked for you., although I do have some questions.

It is interesting you say that we were evolutionarily adapted to eating this way. The idea that I have, and have read, is contradictory to this. Yes, HG snacked through out the day, but they really only had 1 major meal which was dinner after the hunt from males and gather from females. What do you think of this? Let me give you an example from the book The Primal Feast: Food, Sex, Foraging and Love. The Hadzas consume 30% of their calories when they are out foraging, while they consume the rest 70% during the night after hunting. The same is true for the Aches (I could dig more numbers from the book but I found these quickly).

About non-western cultures, I completely agree. I was born and raised in Cuba, moving to Venezuela when I was 7, then to US when I was 14. In Cuba you would have three stronger meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In between these meals you would always have something smaller to eat, a piece of fruit (mostly banana) bread, etc. The importance of these meals was so high that in school kids have 2 lunches, one which is a smaller "merienda" around 10-11 am, and normal lunch at around 1 pm. I remember the same pattern in Venezuela. And yes, eating was a highly social event every single time, something that is not as common here in US. When invited to a house the host always makes sure to cook "extra" food, asking for a second serving is a compliment and always done if you want to show your appreciation to that person.

Another problem that I see with this is that I eat when I am hungry, which most of the time leads to 2 or 3 big meals a day. Do you eat even if you are not hungry?

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Happy this has worked for you., although I do have some questions.

It is interesting you say that we were evolutionarily adapted to eating this way. The idea that I have, and have read, is contradictory to this. Yes, HG snacked through out the day, but they really only had 1 major meal which was dinner after the hunt from males and gather from females. What do you think of this? Let me give you an example from the book The Primal Feast: Food, Sex, Foraging and Love. The Hadzas consume 30% of their calories when they are out foraging, while they consume the rest 70% during the night after hunting. The same is true for the Aches (I could dig more numbers from the book but I found these quickly).

About non-western cultures, I completely agree. I was born and raised in Cuba, moving to Venezuela when I was 7, then to US when I was 14. In Cuba you would have three stronger meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In between these meals you would always have something smaller to eat, a piece of fruit (mostly banana) bread, etc. The importance of these meals was so high that in school kids have 2 lunches, one which is a smaller "merienda" around 10-11 am, and normal lunch at around 1 pm. I remember the same pattern in Venezuela. And yes, eating was a highly social event every single time, something that is not as common here in US. When invited to a house the host always makes sure to cook "extra" food, asking for a second serving is a compliment and always done if you want to show your appreciation to that person.

Another problem that I see with this is that I eat when I am hungry, which most of the time leads to 2 or 3 big meals a day. Do you eat even if you are not hungry?

Thank you for your information, that's very helpful :)

The point is not that most of the calories come from snacks, but that you are not going hours and hours with no calories. That's pretty consistent with what I do, and with what you have described. I still have my main meals, I just avoid there being long stretches with no intake at all.

I think it depends on what your definition of "hungry" is. I know that seems like a weird statement, but hunger is not like a light switch, it's a sensation that starts out very mild initially and grows in intensity. Now imagine if you're in a social situation where there's always something around to snack on. Are you really going to wait until you're really hungry, until you suddenly start wolfing down a huge amount of food, or will you be more likely to casually grab a bite here and there as you feel the urge?

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If this was such a big cause wouldn't you think more people would have acne? Not everyone eats all day. Most people just eat the three meals right? It's an interesting theory though, I think I'll give it a shot. I have light acne since I cleaned up my diet but I eat a few big meals instead of snacking.

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@LiliVG - constantly meaning like I eat something every hour. I'm always snacking on things like fruit, chips, crackers, or making meals like chicken, steak, bagel bites, etc. I'm just always eating something. It also seems like this idea is the exact opposite of the warrior diet, which focuses on only eating once a day which has also worked for people. So now I'm pretty confused!

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@LiliVG - constantly meaning like I eat something every hour. I'm always snacking on things like fruit, chips, crackers, or making meals like chicken, steak, bagel bites, etc. I'm just always eating something. It also seems like this idea is the exact opposite of the warrior diet, which focuses on only eating once a day which has also worked for people. So now I'm pretty confused!

You'll find that kind of thing a lot on these boards. There are no-water before-or-after-you-eat regimens, and there are drink-water-all-day regimens. There are B vitamin regimes, and there are avoid-b-vitamin regimens. There are avoid-fat plans, and there are eat-a-lot-of-fat plans. I could go on and on. The point is, you have a lot of people saying that a lot of things have worked for them, and a lot of people saying those same things have not worked for them (or made them worse). You'll just have to find what works for you. Without knowing your specific medical history, condition, etc, I cannot tell you. That's the thing about acne, it's really a trial and error thing, and it's a very individual process.

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I thought you were clear from Virastop?

Though I can't say I agree. When you eat may be important for some, but it's a very small piece of the puzzle for most people with acne. I used to eat tons of small snacks throughout the day - some good, some not so good. I did this because I thought it was healthier. It never cleared my skin up - ever.

I've also eaten just a couple of larger meals in the day. This also never mattered.

Eating smaller portions throughout the day may stabilize blood sugar, but intermittent fasting will also raise insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure (and I'm not talking about super long periods of time). Eating constantly forces your body to put so much energy into digestion that it has little time to worry about other healing functions. When your body doesn't have to digest foods, it'll focus it's intentions on healing other organs - including the skin.

It doesn't explain why people eat like crap and have good skin at all. Some people are simply not predisposed to acne and are genetically unlikely to develop notable cases of it despite what they eat.

Eating 3 meals a day is not unnatural. The ancient Romans practiced 3 meals a day - their biggest being dinner. The ancient Egyptians had 2 and sometimes 3 meals a day.

As far as people from early man, I doubt they ate that often. They ate what they found and they didn't always find food to eat, so they most likely went longer periods without eating. However, there's really no proof of their dining customs - whether they had meals or not.

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I thought you were clear from Virastop?

Though I can't say I agree. When you eat may be important for some, but it's a very small piece of the puzzle for most people with acne. I used to eat tons of small snacks throughout the day - some good, some not so good. I did this because I thought it was healthier. It never cleared my skin up - ever.

I've also eaten just a couple of larger meals in the day. This also never mattered.

Eating smaller portions throughout the day may stabilize blood sugar, but intermittent fasting will also raise insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure (and I'm not talking about super long periods of time). Eating constantly forces your body to put so much energy into digestion that it has little time to worry about other healing functions. When your body doesn't have to digest foods, it'll focus it's intentions on healing other organs - including the skin.

It doesn't explain why people eat like crap and have good skin at all. Some people are simply not predisposed to acne and are genetically unlikely to develop notable cases of it despite what they eat.

Eating 3 meals a day is not unnatural. The ancient Romans practiced 3 meals a day - their biggest being dinner. The ancient Egyptians had 2 and sometimes 3 meals a day.

As far as people from early man, I doubt they ate that often. They ate what they found and they didn't always find food to eat, so they most likely went longer periods without eating. However, there's really no proof of their dining customs - whether they had meals or not.

I stopped taking it, along with just about everyone else, because it seemed to extend cold symptoms in people, including myself, and that concerned me.

I am not, and I have never, suggested that anything I have ever proposed was a one-stop solution for everyone.

Egyptians are not ancient by the longer human history. Egyptians are pretty recent in that context.

We are dealing with an unnatural situation because we have refined processed foods in our diet, and this causes requirements that people on a 100% natural diet would not, and did not, have.

95% of all people in western societies have experienced acne to some level at some point in their lives. That is just about everyone. In contrast, 0.5 percent of people in non-industrialized societies experience acne.

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In contrast, 0.5 percent of people in non-industrialized societies experience acne.

Although I do believe you, do you have a reference for this?

Also, What exactly is "non-industrialized"?

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I disagree strongly with this topic. I eat two meals a day, and feel and look way better than when I used to snack on whatever I could find all the time.

I'm not suggesting it doesn't work for you, it's interesting to think about, one good part of constant small meals is that you'd never overload your body with too much to handle at one time, but then you also aren't giving it time to rest! Constant digestion could tire your body out and lead to more / better sleep thus indirectly helping acne.

Another thing to consider is that constant eating never gives your body time to DETOX, therefore you'll see less toxins through your skin and appear healthier while accumulating them inside.

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Hey LiliVG, I was just wondering if this has helped you gain weight. I've been trying to gain weight, too, with little success. I eat a lot of protein and fat, and pretty limited carbs (the latter for skin health). But I only eat when I am hungry, which varies from day to day. I've also noticed that my hunger varies with my cycle. If I'm not hungry, I'm really not that interested in eating. I've occasionally snacked from boredom, but it's rare for me. However, if it will help me gain weight, I will do it! I'd love to have a more womanly figure ;) .

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Lately, I've been trying to gain weight. So what I thought I would do is buy a lot of snacks (healthy for the most part), and add calories by snacking throughout the day. And guess what happened? My skin cleared up.

So I was thinking about this, and it makes a lot of sense. For one thing, it keeps your blood sugar levels really stable, and prevents the blood sugar spikes and crashes that really reek havoc on your hormonal system. Another point though is evolutionary. For thousands and thousands of years, people have been hunter-gatherers. That means they went out and collected their food by hand. Have you ever gone berry picking, or apple picking? Have you ever dutifully placed every single one of those berries in your basket, not ever eating a single one the whole time, and not touching them until you got home? I'm betting not. If human's primary means of food intake is gathering food like that every day, for literally hundreds of thousands of years, our bodies would be really built on expecting this kind of steady supply of small amounts of food throughout the day.

Another interesting effect I've noticed, which I wasn't expecting or even looking for, until I noticed it this morning when I was buying some new jeans, is that my cellulite is going away. As long as I've had hips, I've had cellulite, even though I'm thin. And so I've always just assumed that must just be the way my genes are, and there's nothing I can do about it. But my cellulite is nearly entirely gone (I was rather pleased, let me tell you, it was a very pleasant surprise!). This seems to be further evidence of hormonal changes in my body, as hormones obviously play a key role in fat distribution. Some people have acne because of an excess of estrogen, which can also cause a person to be very "hippy", and that may very well have been the case for me. It's weird, I can fit into jeans I haven't been able to wear since I was 16. But I haven't lost any weight. My whole body is changing.

This may explain why some people eat nothing but crap all the time, and have great skin. It's because they eat crap "all the time", literally.

I was watching the show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and he made a comment I found interesting. He said that non-western cultures tend to eat all day long. It's a social thing, feeding each other, tasting this, tasting that, cooking together and tasting while you cook, taking care of family members, etc. The whole idea of sitting down at 3 specific times each day to eat is actually rather unnatural. It's also unnatural from an evolutionary perspective as I mentioned before. This may explain why non-western societies don't tend to have acne.

The whole idea of eating 3 meals a day is really to fit our meals around our jobs. You eat before you go to work (or school), you are given a short break to eat something in the middle of the day, and you eat when you get home. This is so you don't end up wasting your employers time (or teacher's time), but nature doesn't care about your boss or your teachers. This is an unnatural way to eat.

I have noticed that certain kinds of snacks work faster than others, primarily snacks higher in fiber such as granola bars and trail mix, but really just eating throughout the day is the primary point. And it's funny, I've tried this with all kinds of things, junk food, chocolate, McDonald's, it all works. But as soon as I switch to a "3 square meals a day" routine, BAM, acne comes back with a vengeance. Then I start snacking again, and it all goes away.

I've been doing this for a couple months now I think. The single most effective thing for me is trail mix. And I know you're thinking, "Oh no, nuts! Oh no, chocolate!" Like I said, it's not WHAT you eat, it's WHEN you eat. Ordinarily, if I ate almonds, they'd make me break out and get greasy within hours. But my trail mix has chocolate, almonds, peanuts, etc, I eat it all day long, and it keeps me clear. It's really excellent. Other good high fiber snacks are granola bars, coconut macaroons, and chocolate covered dried fruits and nuts. But like I said, I've done this with lots of things, and it all works as long as it's not pure sugar (fruit juice by itself is out). My basic principle is this: Eat 50-100 calories about every hour. Even if it's just a handful of roasted peanuts between classes, that's fine. Sometimes I'll have a Frappaccino or something, whatever works for you really. Just don't let your blood sugar fall.

Hopefully this can help some people. :)

I don't like the idea of this. Because who ever tries this, will lack of vegetables, fruits, and water... etc.

^^I know many people in here would do anything to remain clear, or to discard this monsters. At least you wrote frankly of what you have experiences. You've been here long enough for people to rely on you. Therefore, many of them are going to do this. =]

Good luck =]

Edited by EddieE
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Hey LiliVG, I was just wondering if this has helped you gain weight. I've been trying to gain weight, too, with little success. I eat a lot of protein and fat, and pretty limited carbs (the latter for skin health). But I only eat when I am hungry, which varies from day to day. I've also noticed that my hunger varies with my cycle. If I'm not hungry, I'm really not that interested in eating. I've occasionally snacked from boredom, but it's rare for me. However, if it will help me gain weight, I will do it! I'd love to have a more womanly figure ;) .

Carbs will make you gain weight. It's why the Atkins diet works so well for fat people, they cut carbs. Be wary though that you'd also be inviting numerous diseases this way. I don't understand the fascination with gaining weight, fat cells are no good to anyone. Just appreciate what you've got!

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Hey LiliVG, I was just wondering if this has helped you gain weight. I've been trying to gain weight, too, with little success. I eat a lot of protein and fat, and pretty limited carbs (the latter for skin health). But I only eat when I am hungry, which varies from day to day. I've also noticed that my hunger varies with my cycle. If I'm not hungry, I'm really not that interested in eating. I've occasionally snacked from boredom, but it's rare for me. However, if it will help me gain weight, I will do it! I'd love to have a more womanly figure ;) .

Carbs will make you gain weight. It's why the Atkins diet works so well for fat people, they cut carbs. Be wary though that you'd also be inviting numerous diseases this way. I don't understand the fascination with gaining weight, fat cells are no good to anyone. Just appreciate what you've got!

No, a caloric surplus is what makes you gain weight, whether it is from carbs, fats, protein, or alcohol.

If you want to gain weight, eating whenever you're hungry isn't going to cut it. You need to eat all the time and in big quantities. Eat when you are full. Eat foods that are dense in calories (a donut is denser in calories than a salad for example). Drink more calories. A homeade weight gain shake is a good idea. Eat before bedtime, another great way to sneak in 1000 calories.

I dunno about the OP's theory. I bulk up for 4-5 months out of the year and my skin is almost always the worst then. The again, maybe there is a difference between the OP's idea of eating all the time and mine. When I'm eating all the time, I'll put on 25 pounds in 4-5 months.

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Hey LiliVG, I was just wondering if this has helped you gain weight. I've been trying to gain weight, too, with little success. I eat a lot of protein and fat, and pretty limited carbs (the latter for skin health). But I only eat when I am hungry, which varies from day to day. I've also noticed that my hunger varies with my cycle. If I'm not hungry, I'm really not that interested in eating. I've occasionally snacked from boredom, but it's rare for me. However, if it will help me gain weight, I will do it! I'd love to have a more womanly figure ;) .

Carbs will make you gain weight. It's why the Atkins diet works so well for fat people, they cut carbs. Be wary though that you'd also be inviting numerous diseases this way. I don't understand the fascination with gaining weight, fat cells are no good to anyone. Just appreciate what you've got!

No, a caloric surplus is what makes you gain weight, whether it is from carbs, fats, protein, or alcohol.

If you want to gain weight, eating whenever you're hungry isn't going to cut it. You need to eat all the time and in big quantities. Eat when you are full. Eat foods that are dense in calories (a donut is denser in calories than a salad for example). Drink more calories. A homeade weight gain shake is a good idea. Eat before bedtime, another great way to sneak in 1000 calories.

I dunno about the OP's theory. I bulk up for 4-5 months out of the year and my skin is almost always the worst then. The again, maybe there is a difference between the OP's idea of eating all the time and mine. When I'm eating all the time, I'll put on 25 pounds in 4-5 months.

Good point. I think the best, and natural way to gain weight is by making protein shake with oats.. in Milk ( I only use water )

Eating every 2 hours work best. :)

Edited by EddieE
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I thought you were clear from Virastop?

Though I can't say I agree. When you eat may be important for some, but it's a very small piece of the puzzle for most people with acne. I used to eat tons of small snacks throughout the day - some good, some not so good. I did this because I thought it was healthier. It never cleared my skin up - ever.

I've also eaten just a couple of larger meals in the day. This also never mattered.

Eating smaller portions throughout the day may stabilize blood sugar, but intermittent fasting will also raise insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure (and I'm not talking about super long periods of time). Eating constantly forces your body to put so much energy into digestion that it has little time to worry about other healing functions. When your body doesn't have to digest foods, it'll focus it's intentions on healing other organs - including the skin.

It doesn't explain why people eat like crap and have good skin at all. Some people are simply not predisposed to acne and are genetically unlikely to develop notable cases of it despite what they eat.

Eating 3 meals a day is not unnatural. The ancient Romans practiced 3 meals a day - their biggest being dinner. The ancient Egyptians had 2 and sometimes 3 meals a day.

As far as people from early man, I doubt they ate that often. They ate what they found and they didn't always find food to eat, so they most likely went longer periods without eating. However, there's really no proof of their dining customs - whether they had meals or not.

I stopped taking it, along with just about everyone else, because it seemed to extend cold symptoms in people, including myself, and that concerned me.

I am not, and I have never, suggested that anything I have ever proposed was a one-stop solution for everyone.

Egyptians are not ancient by the longer human history. Egyptians are pretty recent in that context.

We are dealing with an unnatural situation because we have refined processed foods in our diet, and this causes requirements that people on a 100% natural diet would not, and did not, have.

95% of all people in western societies have experienced acne to some level at some point in their lives. That is just about everyone. In contrast, 0.5 percent of people in non-industrialized societies experience acne.

Ancient Egyptians may not have been an empire of cave men, but they weren't eating processed foods, either. They WERE on a 100% natural diet as far as I know. Foods were initially only canned for soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars. Foods weren't heavily processed until the 19th and 20th centuries, meaning people before those times typically ate natural, unprocessed foods.

So basically, your answer to an unnatural situation regarding processed foods is to eat more processed foods throughout the day? (ie, trail mix) There's simply no logic in that.

How can you be certain it isn't just some sheer coincidence with your skin?

I don't personally care for the idea of constantly eating and stressing out your body's digestive system. If it works, it'll probably only work for a very small portion of the people on here.

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Good post! I have also been trying to gain weight, and my skin also looks a lot better. I've been eating a lot throughout the days.

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my theory on this is that when you are eating constantly during the day your body has zero time to heal things inside because it is constantly digesting. For example when I fast I break out but then after the fast I feel amazing and am acne free for weeks. I believe with this eat all the time diet you just are not seeing the symptoms of your internal probelms (acne)

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my theory on this is that when you are eating constantly during the day your body has zero time to heal things inside because it is constantly digesting. For example when I fast I break out but then after the fast I feel amazing and am acne free for weeks. I believe with this eat all the time diet you just are not seeing the symptoms of your internal probelms (acne)

I get clear immediately when I fast. Doing this kinds seems the exact opposite, I wonder if it's the exact opposite acne wise too...

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