The very short answer to this question is …… NO.
Tightly controlled metabolic chamber studies have failed to detect differences in 24hr thermogenesis in isocaloric comparisons from nibbling and gorging patterns which is 6-7 meals and 2 meals a day.
This means that it doesn’t really matter if you eat 2 meals a day or 7 meals a day as long as you consume you calories in a 24hr period. It comes down what best suits your lifestyle, personal presence.
What about protein distribution?
80g of protein consumed over 4 meals throughout the day were superior to 2 or 8 meals or feedings for raising muscle protein synthesis over a 12 hr period. One researcher, Mamerow et al, found that a moderate amount of protein at each meal, roughly 30g in 3 meals, stimulated 24hr muscle protein synthesis more than skewing the majority of protein intake towards the evening meal.
Leucine regulates muscle protein synthesis and the leucine threshold for initiating muscle protein synthesis is 1g in younger people and 2g in older population. Maximising the acute anabolic response in trained subjects may require 2-3g of leucine which is around 20-40g protein.
So aim to get at least 3 serves of 20-40g of protein throughout the day to maximise muscle protein synthesis and meet the leucine threshold necessary to elevate MPS.
Your main focus should be first on primarily hitting your daily macronutrient targets and if maximising muscle gain or retention then opt for 20-40g serves of protein 3 times per day.
The research out there on carb distribution does not lean strongly in favour of any particular direction. Carbs should be structured according to the individuals preference.
So carbs before bed WILL NOT make you fat.
There is NO significant difference in body composition changes to Fed vs Fasted cardio as long as macronutrient requirements are met.
You do not need to get up early to do fasted cardio to see results.
Looking for some guidance with your training and nutrition head to my website www.ellamartyn.com