Infographic: How Often Should You Post on Social Media? See the Most Popular Research and Tips

Feb 25, 2015 Last updated: Apr 1, 2016 6 minutes to read

It seems like a great portion of the social media research we do at Buffer often comes back to a few big questions for social media sharing.

And how often should I be sharing?

Social media frequency is one that we’ve enjoyed experimenting with a lot at Buffer. How many times per day should we be posting? Is it different for individuals versus companies? I personally share to Twitter four times per day, and we share to Buffer’s Twitter account 14 times per day. Do these frequencies make sense?

Fortunately, we’re able to check in with a bunch of great research on frequency to get a baseline for what might be best practice for a social media schedule.

We’re incredibly grateful for our friends at SumAll for placing all this awesome research into a beautiful infographic that makes the question of “how often to post” a breeze to answer.

Infographic: How Often Should You Post on Social Media?

Click to enlarge. And check out the instructions at the bottom if you’d like to embed this graphic on your website.

If you’re interested in the second half of the infographic—with details on LinkedIn, Instagram, and blog posts—visit the SumAll blog to see Part 2 of the How Often to Post graphic.

SumAll is one of our favorite social media tools. They do social media tracking better than anyone we’ve found—all your data, all in one place, for free. It’s been awesome to collaborate with them on this project as well as others.

To recap what you see in the infographic here at Buffer and over at SumAll, I’ve placed each of the best practices for social media posting frequency below.

Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet.

2x per day is the level before likes & comments begin to drop off dramatically.

20 posts per month (1x per weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience

The more often you post, the more activity you’ll get. Users have found a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency wanes, some have experienced drops in traffic up to 50%.

The top brands on Pinterest have experienced steady growth – and in some cases rapid or sensational growth! – by adopting a multiple-times-per-day posting strategy.

Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting.

Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.

Key research for how often to post to social media

The above best practices are super clear and simple if you’re interested in getting started with a frequency framework for your social sharing. As with all research-backed best practices, I’d encourage you to use these as a starting point for your own tests to see what’s best. Your individual scenario may call for more or less than what’s recommended.

Also, I know many are interested in where these recommendations come from (we dig this type of stuff, too!). Here’s a bit more about the research and resources that have helped to establish the baselines for how often to share to social media.

“Engagement decreases slightly after the third tweet”

During the summer of 2013, Social Bakers took a random sample of 11,000 tweets from top brands and found that a frequency of three tweets per day was the point where brands saw their highest engagement.

In the chart below, Total ER (total engagement rate, in blue) and Average Tweet ER (average engagement rate per tweet, in purple) meet in the sweet spot right around the third tweet.

How ofteb

A 2012 Track Social study found that the per-tweet engagement peaks at around five tweets per day.

Does three to five tweets per day seem a bit … low?

Interestingly, in the same Track Social study mentioned above, per-day engagement—the total number of interactions that occur throughout the day, regardless of how many times you post—showed a steady rise all the way to 30 tweets per day. In other words, you could post up to 30 times and still continue to see positive effects on engagement—effects that might not top the maximum per-tweet levels at five tweets per day, but still worth exploring.

2x per day is the level before likes & comments begin to drop off dramatically.

A lot has changed for the Facebook News Feed in the past couple years, so it’s worth noting that the best research on Facebook frequency comes from a Track Social study from 2012 and a Social Bakers study from 2011.

These studies conclude that it’s best to post to Facebook 5 to 10 times per week, or 1 to 2 times per weekday.

From the Track Social findings:

When a brand posts twice a day, those posts only receive 57% of the likes and 78% of the comments per post. The drop-off continues as more posts are made in the day.

20 posts per month (1x per weekday) allows you to reach 60 percent of your audience

As part of the LinkedIn small business guide, the network shared an interesting stat that relates to how often you should be sharing to LinkedIn. Share 20 times per month to reach 60 percent of your audience.

Twenty times per month divided by four weeks per month equals five times per week. Five times per week fits perfectly with a once-per-weekday posting schedule, ideally suited to reach the audience on LinkedIn, which is full of professionals who figure to spend their most time on LinkedIn during business days.

The more often you post, the more activity you’ll get. Users have found a positive correlation between frequency and engagement. When posting frequency wanes, some have experienced drops in traffic up to 50%.

The 50 percent drop in particular was mentioned by Sharkov. He noticed a large portion of traffic coming from Google+ when he was sharing more to the network; when the sharing stopped, so did the traffic.

The top brands on Pinterest have experienced steady growth – and in some cases rapid or sensational growth! – by adopting a multiple-times-per-day posting strategy.

In 2013, visual marketing service Piqora interviewed big-time brands like Whole Foods, Lowes, LL Bean, and more to see what they had experienced on Pinterest. The brands shared the correlation they’d noticed between frequency of pinning and traffic growth, with spikes in growth occurring most between “a few pins a week” and “3 to 10 pins per day.”

Major brands post an average of 1.5 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement for posting more, provided you can keep up the rate of posting.

Social media analytics site Union Metrics spent time analyzing 55 of the most popular, active Instagram brands to learn the best practices for timing, frequency, and more.

Some shared as much as 10 times per day and did not notice an appreciable loss in per-post engagement. This hints that it may be possible to post more often—waaay more often—to Instagram than it seems, provided the quality of the post is still present.

Some of the best research into the effect of frequency on blogging comes from a 2012 HubSpot study of over 7,000 businesses. Among the many interesting benchmarks and takeaways from the study, there was this fascinating note:

Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.

Six to eight times per month would equate to 1 to 2 times per week.

How often should you post to social media?

We’re grateful for all the amazing research out there that gives us some answers to the question of frequency. These answers are great opportunities to start discovering what’s ideal for your unique situation.

Use these guidelines as a jumping off point for your own tests. And feel free to share the results! We’d love to know what works and what doesn’t.

Image sources: SumAll, Placeit, Track Social, Social Bakers, SlideShare, Socialmouths, Placeit

How ofteb

Schedule, publish & analyze your posts across the top social networks, all in one place.

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

While this graphic is slick looking the recommendations are garbage… You can’t spout information out like this to people in early 2015 based on studies from as early as 2011… Come on! Posting just twice to Facebook per day? Only 3 times to Twitter? Please.. These stats are horrible..

What a party poop.

Hi there Scott, thanks for the comment. Sorry for missing the mark with these stats. I can totally understand where you’re coming from here. I imagine it doesn’t feel particularly great or helpful to get advice from a few years back, especially with how fast things move and change on social media!

I’d love to hear if you’ve come across any new research on the topic! Facebook and Twitter in particular seem to be ones that have the potential to change quite a lot. We’ll keep digging on our end, too, and update things accordingly. Thanks for the nudge in this direction.

Well… i have not done a study about. I used facebooka lot and so i have been paying a lot of atention on best practices for me, specially on how to increase likes, shareing and interections of people. And definitly i have found that pisting more than twice a day it doesnt work in terms of getting better results. In fact right now for me pisting something good once a day is what gives me better results. The reason: posting lot of time a day have a negative result in the nexts days. People get “tired” about you if you bomb them with constant post wich usually are about the same topic. Is like they lost concentration on you.

I used to work in social media for an advertising agency and 2 posts a day is the best scenario for brands. Maybe just once a day, and we got the best reach and engagement Yeah, 2015.

every niche is different and NO one is going to be upset if the content is fresh, interesting, entertaining or useful

It’s not so much about the followers, but more about FB. How they decide to show the content.

this is very bad post that needs to be updated

Thanks, Kevan! Does the Facebook number apply at all to personal profiles, or only to pages?

Hi Micah! Thanks for the comment. Great question! My intuition is that the FB recommendation would be mostly for pages. I can see a good strategy for personal profiles being 1x per day (there are quite a few of us on the Buffer team who use this frequency) or quite a bit more than 2x (many of my friends subscribe to this philosophy!).

Kevan, once again, great post! I’m fine with your infographic stats and appreciate you sharing it. Perhaps, Scott will come up with more up-to-date research as you suggest. When people post too much, I find it annoying no matter who it is and what social network it’s on. It really depends on the content. I do like the Buffer blog posts because you and your team post informational type posts that help people like me who are managing other people content. I don’t have the time to do the research you people at Buffer do – thanks!

I do have a question. Would a small business under 5 people post as much as a business with 20 – 50 people. For example, would a lawyer with under 5 people at his/her firm post the same as a legal firm that has over 20 people? Many of our clients are tiny with 2 – 3 people – that’s why they have me to manage their social media and email marketing because they don’t have time. Where a company with over 20 people might have in-house resources and do their social media management. When you post the best practices, do they apply to any size business?

Hi Susan! This is a really great question. Thanks so much for asking!

I’ve heard it said that you should post as often as you have engaging or entertaining content to share. I think this would be applicable to any social media account, regardless of the size of the company.

One thing I’ve found useful to consider is where you can get the maximum bang for your stretched buck, so to speak. If it’s possible to post up to 30 times per day to Twitter without seeing a big drop in total engagement, that might be doable for a big company that can devote the time and energy to post so often. For those of us with smaller marketing teams, I think it might be best to discover where maximum engagement happens – is it 5 tweets per day? 3 tweets?

Hope all this helps. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks Kevan! Your answer is extremely helpful. I agree with what you on discovering where the maximum engagement happens and will test and watch the result more closely.

Hello!Please visit http://en.renai.cn/ to know more.

The link to the SumAll post directs to a 404

Thanks so much for spotting that, Caitlin! All fixed up now.

I wouldn’t suggest posting only three times a day to Twitter. With the amount of tweets per day that go out you will get completely lost. Other than that the other stats seem on par with what I have seen.

JOHNSON. I work fr0m comfort of my h0me. by completing various basic jobs that only require a PC and access to internet and I couldn&#8217;t be happier&#8230; Six months have passed since i started this and i had profit so far total of 36,000 d0llars&#8230; Basicly i get paid 80 d0llars/h and work for three to four h daily.And great thing about this is that you get to choose yourself when to w0rk and for how l0ng and you get a paycheck weekly. _ -> JOIN NOW <-

I think they mean &#8216;original tweets&#8217; and not replies

I would still say that number is off.

I agree Kate, 3 times per day seems small. It depends on your audience though as well. If most of your followers only follow under 100 people than posting a huge amount per day will dominate their feed. If your audience follows a lot of people than you&#8217;ll probably be drowned out posting only 3 times per day.

True, although with Twitter I find a lot of people follow many accounts. Twitter allows users to follow up to 2,000 before hitting a limit which says a lot about the platform.

Although Twitter allows a user to follow 2,000 people, that does not mean that most people follow all 2,000.

I think it would be important for us to find out how many people Twitter users normally follow and take that into consideration.

By many accounts, is this more than 100?

Curious to know!

The majority of people on Twitter I know follow over 2,000. Using tools like Followerwonk you can see how many accounts those following you are following: https://moz.com/followerwonk/

What about for nonprofits on Facebook? We fear spamming people and causing them distress and &#8220;unfollows&#8221;, but we also want to stay relevant.

On Facebook I post less, two times a day as content has a longer shelf life.

Many accounts follow over 2,000. You can follow more than 2,000 once your own follow count has hit 2,000. You can find out more about limits here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/66885

Good luck finding good content going over 3-4 tweets per day. I don&#8217;t understand how someone could post that much actual valuable stuff unless they lived at their computer all the time.

Use a social media scheduler like Buffer.

Kate , I agree with you 100% &#8212; On avg I do 25 to 42 posts per day but then again that is my own audience and it&#8217;s a variety of things with a main theme.

I personally promise you all that 3 times per day you will prob not even get noticed besides from your close twitter friends&#8230;.

Yes, Twitter is a fast platform so tweets go by so quickly!

Hey Kevan, I love your work but the some of the conclusions seem poorly constructed. As you showed regarding Google+ in particular, &#8220;The more often you post, the more activity you&#8217;ll get.&#8221; So why do you recommend AT MOST 2 posts per day. There&#8217;s no logic to the maximum limit. And as someone who&#8217;s built quite a bit of knowledge about the Google+ space, I can tell you that 2 posts a day is VERY low if you want to grow your exposure. So is there something you left out that we&#8217;re not seeing?

I&#8217;ve tracked this myself and I can definitely confirm (through just my sumall charts) that when I dropped my activity to 2 posts a day I saw significant drops in both traffic, clicks, and engagement.

Hi Dustin! Thanks so much for your comment! That&#8217;s a really great point about Google+ frequency &#8211; thanks for the push for more info there!

You&#8217;re exactly right, and I can see how I made a mistake there. Sorry for the trouble I caused! Much of the data seems to support the idea that there&#8217;s no ceiling to posting frequency on Google+ &#8211; &#8220;the more you post, the more activity you&#8217;ll get.&#8221; It&#8217;s great to hear that you&#8217;ve found this to be true for your profile!

This post from Constant Contact in August 2014 was one of the few places I found that was able to make a definitive statement about G+ frequency as a whole: http://blogs.constantcontact.com/how-often-post-social-media/

The post mentions that 2x per day at most is the best frequency. I think we built the infographic based on this recommendation, and when I went back to dig into the sources, I couldn&#8217;t quite see where this number came from. My own research didn&#8217;t turn up anything more definitive than that, although the individual case studies from Mark and Socialmouths were definitely insightful.

Hope this all helps! Thanks again for bringing this up, and I&#8217;d be super happy to keep the convo going if you&#8217;re up for sharing your thoughts.

(Thanks for the thorough look here, too! I noticed that the infographic mentioned up to 3x per day on G+, so I&#8217;ve updated the text in the blog post to match. )

Totally understandable Kevan. I have done more than enough posts and infographics like this to know that it&#8217;s very easy to overlook something like that or just not have time to dig deeper when you have SO MUCH that you&#8217;re writing/designing about.

Happy to help dig deeper if you like. G+ is sort of my thing.

Hi, NOT all social media metrics are QUANTIFIABLE!

Twitter is kind of a tricky one. While some people say not to post more than a few times a day, I&#8217;ve seen others recommend once a hour. We like to go somewhere in between&#8211;about 5-10 times a day, spread out over the course of 14 hours or so. It really depends on where your audience is, too&#8211;if you&#8217;re global, you need to plan to reach people at hours that might be a little odd where you are. Great article overall, though! seems that, although the stats are older, some of it hasn&#8217;t changed much at all.

I think there is a difference too between brands on Twitter and people on Twitter. A brand may post less than a person and get the same results. You are so right, it depends on the audience!

Hi Kevan, great post!

I don&#8217;t want to be too pernickety, but SumAll isn&#8217;t mentioned in the &#8220;61 best social media tools post&#8221;. Maybe update it to &#8220;62 best social media tools&#8221;?!

Anyway, this and that (61 best&#8230;) has given me more than enough ideas to help develop my blog and social strategy, thank you.

Great to hear from you, Dean! Thanks for pointing out a way to improve the tools article. I think SumAll would be a great fit there &#8211; we&#8217;re big fans!

Awesome to hear that these posts have been helpful for you.

Don&#8217;t forget your intuition. Marketing is magic too.

Great point! Thanks!

Hi Kevan, Nice and helpful post. I will try implementing and will come back to share my experience.

Would you agree to me that posting thrice a day on Google+ will not do much good for you? I would personally would never like to see 3 posts from a same person. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

Hi Rohan! Thanks for the comment. We&#8217;ve seen for our Buffer G+ page that we can post up to 5 times per day without it negatively affecting the engagement on the posts. So my gut is that it&#8217;d definitely be possible to share more, if the numbers bear it out for you!

With so much hype about &#8220;when&#8221; to target social media audience on various platforms&#8230;I think the key point is that your content must be strategiv, interesting and entertaining to get to your audience. That&#8217;s where success lies. Each marketer should know their audience, when they are on &#8230; But industries varies..as do people. Your own research matters more!

Great information! Thanks for sharing!

If the average effective lifespan of a Tweet is 17 to 23 minutes, why would you not Tweet (never the same tweet) every 17 to 23 minutes. Never out of sight, never out of mind&#8230; Would we not be catching them when they are online, regardless of what time of the day or night they are online.

Really Nice post. starting while i am new on twitter, i faced many problem to interact the people and do retweet and fav. But no one interest to give me tweet or fav,, then i start direct interaction to our following they start to fav my tweet.

Nice infographic. It is very informative and easy to read. You should submit it for free at http://infographicplaza.com/. Thanks

I&#8217;d say you need more than that. I&#8217;m already doing those numbers.

This is Excellent content Kevan, really useful!

this is so helpful!

Do interacting with someone else&#8217;s tweet count toward the &#8220;tweets per day&#8221; number? Or is that a separate thing altogether.

Tell THAT to every influencer with 100K followers and growing. I think those stats are way off and some are even silly. 3 Tweets on Twitter won&#8217;t even get you noticed by your mother.

But I still love you, Kevan @ Buffer

I&#8217;m concerned with the number of blog posts per week. I currently post 3x per week. But, if I miss a day, my traffic goes down. So, I don&#8217;t understand how 2x per week is enough&#8230;

Hello! May I have permission to link and share this blog post including infographic to my blog? http://www.woolseyacademy.com/for-providers

how to get traffice to http://www.findertoda.com please help us or send suggestion at [email protected]

Absolutely brilliant infographic! &#8220;Your milage may vary.&#8221; Genius!!

Very interesting perspective. I would argue that it is not enough to post on twitter only three times a day. Facebook can be overwhelming because it is too much of links, videos, photos, but twitter is easier to digest with 140 characters, and therefore I believe with twitter we can post more often.

Thanks for the post and thanks for Buffer we love it. We manage a page on FB that surfaces the best underground concerts to go in SF, everyday! (https://www.facebook.com/crybaby.tv/) Basically we post 5 videos clips of the bands playing every night. One question we have is should we post those 5 videos all along the day or post them all at once at a fixed time (1pm PT for example). Any opinion on this?

Do you have and data about posting to tumblr? My blog has amassed more than 200K followers and I far exceed 2x week. But I&#8217;d like to reduce that frequency, though 2x/week seems pithy.

Hey I really like your infographics! they look amazing. Where and how did you get them? I think my imagery is ok on my site, but it could be improved. Do you think I could make my site better through infographics? http://startearningpassiveincome.com/

Missing from #Infographic are @instagram and @flipboard, not to mention @snapchat, @vine

These Stats are old numbers I can speak for FB, IG and Twitter&#8230;.this is way below. Better practice wold be to post every 3 hrs. on FB less then 10% of your followers will see your post and IG 3-4 post daily makes more sense.

So u guys are the fkn spammers that I end up &#8220;unfollowing&#8221;&#8230;.nice to see the face behind the machine finally

with all due respect, spam is email sent to folks who didn&#8217;t ask to get it. Posting on social media, means you asked to get notifications. Educate yourself in the difference between marketing and spam.

What about for nonprofits? We fear spamming people and causing them distress and &#8220;unfollows&#8221;, but we also want to stay relevant

Good luck finding good content going over 3-4 tweets per day. I don&#8217;t understand how someone could post that much actual valuable stuff unless they lived at their computer.

Any plans to update it now a year has passed? I am curious to see what has changed, if anything? Following these numbers is getting my team results but would love to see if there is anything new.

Can we get an update to this? Thanks

If I post more than twice a day in facebook at different slots, wouldn&#8217;t I be targeting different audiences? If I post only once I have a limited organic reach: most of fans won&#8217;t even see it. Thanks

Because of your views on how to post it has caused a conflict in a great organization that I don&#8217;t think can be resolved. We are limited on how many post. No one can post. Can you explain to me why you would make statement that makes people think that what you says is the only and correct way to post? This person has taken your word to heart and has turned into the Facebook Nazi.

is the total of tweets you recommend include replies to other users and retweets of others?

Good luck finding good content going over 3-4 tweets per day. I don&#8217;t understand how someone could post that much actual valuable stuff unless they lived at their computer.

Wonderful post! this share best article and thoughts and provide best community in all over the world. Special thanks for this post and getting good services of this sites.

Where you said &#8220;SumAll is one of our favorite social media tools. They do social media tracking better than anyone we’ve found—all your data, all in one place, for free&#8221;&#8230; I thought that SumAll was free to use, it is not.


How Many Meals A Day &#8211; When &#038; How Often Should You Eat Daily?

At this point you pretty much have every major aspect of your ideal diet plan figured out.

You know how many calories to eat a day, how many grams of protein, fat and carbs to eat a day, and you have a good idea of which foods should (and should not) most often provide those nutrients.

So, you basically know the full details of the diet plan that will allow you to reach your specific goal (losing fat, building muscle, being healthy, etc.) as effectively as possible.

What you need to figure out now is how to actually organize your diet and structure your meals.

  • How many meals should you eat a day? (3 meals? 6 meals?)
  • How often should you be eating? (Frequently? Infrequently? Every 3 hours exactly?)
  • What size should each of your meals be? (Big? Small?)
  • When and at what times should you eat those meals? (Early? Late?)
  • Are there certain times you must avoid eating and certain times you must eat? (Night? Breakfast?)

Those are all damn good questions. Let&#8217;s answer them&#8230;

Believe it or not, I can answer every single one of the questions above with one simple statement.

Don&#8217;t think I can do it? Alright then, check this out&#8230;

Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organize your diet.

In all honesty, that&#8217;s the one true answer to every question you have about how many meals to eat a day, when/how often you should eat them, and how those meals should be set up.

Why? Because the thing that matters most in your diet plan is your total calorie and nutrient (protein, fat, carb) intake each day.

Once that has all been set to ideal levels (like we&#8217;ve done throughout this guide), everything else is just a minor detail that should be set up in whatever way makes you most likely to consistently stick to it.

Confused? Skeptical? Think I&#8217;m just flat out wrong? Don&#8217;t worry, it&#8217;s cool.

It just means I&#8217;m going to need to destroy a few common diet and nutrition myths. This is going to be fun&#8230;

Raise your hand if you&#8217;ve ever heard that you need to eat 6 smaller meals a day. Or that you need to eat every 2-3 hours exactly. Or that eating smaller meals more frequently is better than eating larger meals less frequently.

Now raise your hand if you&#8217;ve heard that the #1 reason for eating like this is because it will &#8220;speed up your metabolism&#8221; and therefore improve your ability to lose fat, build muscle, prevent fat gain, and more.

I&#8217;m going to guess that a whole lot of hands just went up.

And that&#8217;s scientifically proven bullshit, I might add.

Virtually every single person in the nutrition field has at some point suggested that eating 6 smaller meals a day (with a frequency of every 2-3 hours) was more beneficial than eating 3 larger meals a day (with an obviously lesser frequency).

Hell, articles I&#8217;ve written prior to 2007 may still contain such recommendations. (Updating them is on my to-do list.)

The thought was that since the process of digestion burns calories (aka the Thermic Effect Of Food), we would burn MORE calories by eating MORE often. We&#8217;d &#8220;increase our metabolism&#8221; and all sorts of wonderful things would happen as a result.

Numerous studies have been done over the last few years looking specifically at meal frequency and its effects on metabolic rate, weight loss, and other similar areas.

In every case, the conclusion is always the same: there is no significant difference whatsoever in terms of &#8220;speeding up your metabolism&#8221; or any similar meal frequency voodoo.

Whether you eat 6 smaller meals a day, 3 bigger meals a day, every 3 hours exactly, more frequently, less frequently&#8230; none of it makes any difference in the end.

As long as your total daily calorie and nutrient intake remains what it needs to be, the manner in which you consume those calories/nutrients just doesn&#8217;t matter.

One study took 2 groups of overweight people and had each person create the same sized caloric deficit and then consume that same calorie intake every day for 8 weeks.

HOWEVER, they had one group eat 3 meals a day , and the other group eat 6 meals a day .

The result? They all lost the exact same amount of weight in the end.

In fact, the study showed that there was no difference at all in fat loss, appetite control, or anything similar. Metabolisms didn&#8217;t speed up or slow down. Meal frequency just didn&#8217;t matter.

The only thing that does matter is eating the right total amount of calories each day and getting those calories from an ideal amount of protein, fat and carbs.

How many meals you eat a day, how frequently you eat them, and how big or small they are just doesn&#8217;t matter. It&#8217;s what you eat, not how you eat it.

Now that you know there are no magical benefits to eating 6 smaller, more frequent meals a day, you&#8217;re probably wondering how many meals you should actually eat.

Well, the general answer is that anywhere between 3-6 meals a day (hell, even 2-7) is a fine workable option for most people.

But the more specific answer is exactly what I told you at the beginning of this article: whatever will make you most likely to consistently stick to your diet&#8230; THAT&#8217;S how you should eat!

  • If you&#8217;re someone who enjoys eating 5-7 smaller meals a day, or prefers eating every 2-3 hours, and likes eating more frequently&#8230; then by all means&#8230; eat like this! It won&#8217;t &#8220;speed up your metabolism,&#8221; but if it&#8217;s the type of diet organization that you personally like best, then eating this way is what will make you most likely to stick to your diet. And really, that&#8217;s ALL that matters here.
  • But if you&#8217;re someone who finds it inconvenient having to eat so frequently, or finds it annoying eating 6 small meals that leave you constantly unsatisfied and hungry, or feel like you&#8217;re being forced to eat in a way that you don&#8217;t enjoy&#8230; then this is NOT how you should be eating. Instead, 3 (or 4) bigger meals per day is probably more ideal.

Like I said, it&#8217;s all about doing what&#8217;s best for you, your schedule, your lifestyle, and your personal preferences.

Another factor to consider when choosing your ideal meal frequency is your specific calorie intake. For example&#8230;

  • Someone with a lower daily calorie intake will end up having to eat a bunch of tiny unsatisfying snack-sized meals if they try to spread their daily calories out over 6 meals a day.
  • Someone with a higher daily calorie intake might feel like they are about to explode if they try to cram all of their daily calories into 3 huge meals a day.

This is just another example of why diet organization should always come down to doing what&#8217;s most enjoyable, convenient, and sustainable for YOU .

Because when you do that, the chances of you eating like you are supposed to be eating will increase big time, and that&#8217;s the only benefit worth caring about.

The Myth Of Meal Timing Part 1: Eating Late At Night

Have you ever heard that it&#8217;s bad to eat later in the day? That you should stop eating at 6pm, or 7pm, or 8pm, or 9pm? Or maybe that you should just stop specifically eating carbs (or maybe fat) at these times?

Calories, protein, fat, and carbs at 9am are still the same calories, protein, fat and carbs at 9pm. Your body doesn&#8217;t care or know the difference.

There&#8217;s no magical fat-storing switch that flips on at a specific time and converts everything you eat into fat from that point on. It&#8217;s pure nonsense.

This whole &#8220;don&#8217;t eat after whenever-o&#8217;clock&#8221; concept is just a stupid myth that exists because many of the people who eat more calories than they&#8217;re supposed to tend to do a lot of that excess eating at night.

Does that mean eating at night makes you fat? No, it means eating too much makes you fat, and it just so happens that night time is when a lot of people end up consuming their excess calories.

If you consume those same excess calories at 7am, you&#8217;d still gain fat just the same. The time of day you overeat isn&#8217;t the cause&#8230; it&#8217;s the overeating itself.

As long as your total calorie and nutrient intake remains what it needs to be for the day, feel free to eat as late as you want. It won&#8217;t make any difference whatsoever in terms of fat loss or fat gain, muscle growth or muscle loss, or anything similar.

However, if you prefer eating earlier, or if eating later at night tends to cause you to overeat, then by all means avoid eating late at night.

Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for you&#8230; THAT&#8217;S what you should do.

The Myth Of Meal Timing Part 2: &#8220;Special&#8221; Required Eating Times

Have you ever heard that there are certain &#8220;special&#8221; times of the day when you absolutely MUST eat a meal? Specifically, how you MUST eat breakfast? How it&#8217;s the most important meal of the day? How you will never lose fat or build muscle if you don&#8217;t?

Now, I personally eat breakfast every single day because it fits my schedule and preferences. Maybe it fits yours too. However, this doesn&#8217;t change the fact that you don&#8217;t have to if you don&#8217;t want to, and that there&#8217;s absolutely nothing magical about doing so.

The myth of breakfast being a borderline requirement for losing fat or preventing fat gain once again exists as a result of misunderstood research.

You see, studies do show that many fatter people do indeed skip breakfast. So, based on this, people like to come out and definitively say &#8220;skipping breakfast makes you fat!&#8221;

However, the actual truth is that people who skip breakfast tend to be people with poorer overall eating habits in general. They eat more junk, less healthy stuff, and of course&#8230; more total calories.

Skipping breakfast is just one of the many common dietary occurrences among people with crappy eating habits.

They aren&#8217;t fat because they skip breakfast and &#8220;their metabolisms weren&#8217;t jump started&#8221; or any similar nonsense. They&#8217;re fat because they eat in an uncontrolled fashion that leads to too many calories being eaten.

Another huge flaw in the research is that overweight people tend to skip breakfast as a way of eating less so they CAN lose weight. Meaning, they skip breakfast because they&#8217;re overweight, not the other way around.

As long as your total daily calorie and nutrient intake ends up being what it needs to be, it really doesn&#8217;t matter. So, do whatever is best for you&#8230;

  • If you&#8217;re like me and you prefer to eat breakfast, then you should definitely eat breakfast. Maybe you wake up hungry. Maybe it helps you come to yourself and get moving. Maybe it helps control the way you eat for the rest of the day (meaning you may overeat later if you don&#8217;t eat now). Whatever the reason, if you like eating breakfast&#8230; do it!
  • If you&#8217;re someone who&#8217;s super busy in the morning and don&#8217;t have the time, or just aren&#8217;t particularly hungry that early in the day, or just feel inconvenienced by having to stop and eat breakfast every morning, then feel free to skip it and have your first meal of the day a few hours later when it IS convenient for you. As long as you still eat the right total amount of calories/nutrients for day, it&#8217;s perfectly fine.

This same concept applies to any other times of the day you&#8217;ve heard you must or must not be eating.

As long as you get your totals right for the day, all that matters is doing whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for you.

The Myth Of Meal Timing Part 3: PRE & POST Workout Nutrition

Have you ever heard that it&#8217;s beneficial to eat a proper PRE and/or POST workout meal? That what you eat in the meals before and after your workout can play a positive role in the recovery process and your overall ability to build or maintain muscle, increase strength or improve performance?

Now that I&#8217;ve disproved the most common myths related to diet organization, I figured I should mention the one aspect of meal scheduling that actually does have real benefits.

I&#8217;m of course talking about the meals directly surrounding your workouts.

I&#8217;ll explain this aspect of your diet in detail a bit later, but for now all you need to know is that if there are any times of the day that are truly worthy of getting any special attention in your diet, it&#8217;s your PRE and POST workout meals.

They definitely won&#8217;t make or break your diet&#8217;s success (only failing to hit your ideal calorie/nutrient totals for the day will do that), but getting these meals right will most definitely help. More about this later.

Other times of the day though? It just doesn&#8217;t matter.

Summing It All Up: When and How Often Should You Eat?

Well, just like I said way back at the beginning of this article, everything you need to know about diet organization and meal structure can be summed up in one simple statement:

Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organize your diet.

Whether that means eating 3 big meals or 6 small meals a day, frequently or infrequently, early or late, breakfast or no breakfast, or anything in between&#8230; that&#8217;s up to your own personal preferences.

There&#8217;s nothing magical or special about doing it one way or the other.

All that truly matters is that you eat the right total amount of calories, protein, fat and carbs each day and get those nutrients from mostly higher quality sources.

Whatever way you need to organize your diet and structure your meals to consistently make that happen&#8230; THAT&#8217;S how you should do it.

Now it&#8217;s time to get even deeper into the specifics your diet plan.

I&#8217;m talking about exactly what foods you should and shouldn&#8217;t eat and exactly what adjustments you can (and in some cases, SHOULD) make to your diet.

Basically, how to make sure everything in your diet fits your exact preferences perfectly. Let&#8217;s do it&#8230;

(This article is part of a completely free and amazingly awesome guide to creating the absolute best diet plan possible for your exact goal and preferences. Check out the entire guide here: The Best Diet Plan)