I found this on Yahoo Answers - http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071129070214AAfnAxX - it has to do with bodybuilding but is informative nonetheless - sorry for the massive paste.
When to Eat and How Often
This might sound strange, but you have to eat more often to lose fat and gain muscle. During my transition period, I never ate less than 6 meals a day.
• Try to eat every 2 to 3 hours.
• Do not eat complex carbohydrates after 6:00 p.m. or four to five hours before going to bed.
• Try to eat one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass on lifting days and .8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass on non-lifting days.
• Never eat more than 70 grams of protein in one meal.
When I think of carbohydrates, I think of energy. Carbohydrates supply our bodies with the energy it needs to make it through a workout. Without an adequate supply of carbohydrates, the body goes into carbohydrate deprivation. This is called a state of ketosis (meaning our body is using protein as energy). This is not a good state to be in for long because it will rob the body of muscle tissue in an effort to create energy. On the other hand, if too many carbohydrates are consumed, they convert into stored fat. The idea is to consume just enough carbohydrates to make it through our workouts with sufficient energy. I have broken down carbohydrates into these three categories:
• Simple carbs: These are sugars, or quick energy. They are absorbed very quickly into the body. Ex. Anything with sugar, also fruit
• Complex carbs: This is where you get long-term energy for the day. These are long chained carbohydrates that brake down slower, giving us energy over a prolonged period of time. Ex. Oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, rice, breads
• Fibrous carbs: These are things like vegetables. I think of them as roughage in order to stay regular. Make sure you include them in you later meals when you can't eat complex carbs. They are also a good source of vitamins. Ex. Leafy vegetables like lettuce.
Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles. Without a sufficient amount of protein in our diet, our muscles will not have the raw materials that they need to build up, or even hang on to what is already there.
Net protein utilization: Not all protein is created equal. Different foods are absorbed more than others. For example, egg white protein is absorbed at 88%. That means we get about 9 eggs to our muscles. On the other hand, chicken breast are absorbed at 68%, meaning we get about 7 bre@sts to our muscles. It is imported to eat a wide verity of protein foods though; no one protein source has all the amino acids we need.
• Whey protein (100%): the best source of whey protein is from protein supplements. It is also absorbed very fast by the body, so it is best to take this when your body needs amino acids quickly: like right after a workout or when you first get up in the morning.
• Egg whites (88%)
• Fish (78%)
• Chicken breast (78%)
• Soy protein: My one bit of advice would be to try and stay away from soy protein. It is not absorbed very well by the body.
We normally think of fats as being bad. The fact is certain fats are essential to building muscle and carrying out various functions of the body. There are 2 fat types we need to be concerned about:
• Saturated fats: these are the bad fats. Avoid these fats as much as possible. You will find these types of fats mostly in meats
• Unsaturated fats: these are the good fats. They are a good energy source and help us build muscle. You can find from plant oils. Peanuts are also a good source.
Do not under estimate the importance of water! If you are looking to get lean, water will be your best friend. Drink as much as you can and as often as you can. Also, it is very important to drink lots of water when you're eating large amounts of protein to clean urea from the system.
Vitamins & minerals
As resistance training athletes, we have a greater need for vitamins & minerals. When we workout and bring blood to our muscles it is important that our blood is full of those essential vitamins & minerals if we want to grow.
Supplements are just that, meaning they are used to supplement your diet, not replace it. Don't ever think of it that way.
Hierarchy of supplements:
I developed this hierarchy of supplements based on what I thought were the most important and also by price.
• 1. Proper diet: Without proper diet you are just wasting money on supplements. Start here! Do not think that supplements are going to do it for you alone.
• 2. Multi-vitamin & mineral: It is very important to have all your vitamins & minerals when resistance training. Most of us are lacking in some areas, make it a priority to make this your first supplement.
• 3. Protein powder: It is usually very hard to get all the protein you need from real foods. Powders make it much easier. Also, these powders are absorbed fast by the body making them ideal after workouts or before and after sleep.
• 4. Creatine: This is great for harder workouts. It also makes you muscles hang on to water, giving them a better environment to grow.
• 5. L-glutamine: This is an important amino acid in muscle recovery
• 6. Branch chained amino acid: These are great before and after workouts along with L-glutamine because it gives your muscles all the amino acids it needs to repair and grow.
• 7. ZMA: This helps you release more growth hormone while you sleep, increasing your size and strength.
• 8. Thermogenic: These really help in the fat loss process. They also help you hang on to more muscle while dieting due to the fact you can eat more.
• 9. Meal replacement: Although very expensive, meal replacements make it much more convenient to get some of your meals in. Also, you can get in more meals than if you were to eat only real foods.