So all this talk about not snacking and waiting 4-5 hrs between meals, WHAT exactly is considered snacking?
#1 CLASIFICATION OF A SNACK
–> Not enough protein to reach leucine threshold of 3.2g-4.4g leucine. Any “meal” that does not reach this leucine threshold IS A SNACK!
Whenever protein is consumed in quantities less then needed to reach this threshold, the protein is used as simple calories. However, by reaching this threshold you trigger Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). Triggering MPS calls on energy similar to exercise as its a very energy demanding process in the body.
#2 How long since you last ate?
–> Time between meals is significant for many reasons & in my mind “meals” less then 4hrs (5 is better) apart is a snack, EVEN if leucine threshold is met! Why? Well if you do not allow sufficient time between meals for plasma leucine levels to fall & ATP (energy) levels to rise MPS will not be triggered & the protein will be used as simple calories same as if not enough protein was eaten in the first place!
For optimized fat burn, lbm gains & blood sugar control eat meals with no snacking, as defined above!!
Further study and sources:
Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon