If you’re looking for one specific answer that fits all, you’ve come to the wrong blog. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you already know that ‘it depends’.
First, you really cannot know the true answer as to what eating pattern is best for you unless you’ve got a few other things nailed down first.
Namely, those three things are: that you know how to eat properly for your body type; that you eat food, as opposed to things that are not food; that you understand the difference between hunger and cravings.
None of those three are givens by any means, and each one would be a topic for another, separate article.
However, if you have put in the work to get a good grasp of those things already, then you are more than halfway there.
You already are more in tune with your body than most other people.
You can start testing out some different patterns, and find out what works best for you.
Just be sure to keep the tests consistent. Don’t make any other significant changes while you are changing the number and timing of meals. Run the tests for the same number of days, preferably a whole week or two at a time.
Take note of what were you doing and feeling during each test, because you won’t remember later. How often were you hungry? On a scale of 1-10, how hungry were you? How did you perform in the gym, or at work? What was your mental clarity like? How was your sleep (if you track that)?
It’s not as complicated as it may sound. A simple food journal can do the job.
Just don’t assume that three meals a day works best for you because that’s what they told you in school when you were seven.