I was wondering if anyone could offer any opinions/advice about whether or not it matters when you eat the most. I am a 25yr-old female of average weight ; I eat pretty healthfully and run for 60-90minutes, 6-7 days a week. However, my eating habits probably arenít the best in terms of timing. I always eat a decent breakfast with tons of protein, then a little bit smaller of a lunch, and not many snacks. I would say that I eat the most at night when I get home and can finally relax. For dinner I usually have 3-4oz of lean meat, a lot of veggies, and a sweet potato or some brown rice. It is then after dinner when Iím relaxing that I eat a few light snacks. For years, this has always been how Iíve eaten, as I normally donít have much of an appetite during the day when Iím so busy and stressed. As long as I stay within my calorie range, does it matter when I eat those calories? If this has been the way I have eaten for many years now, could it be affecting my metabolism in a negative way just now? Any thoughts/opinions/advice are much appreciated!
Of course! High calorie food has to be eaten in the morning, thus you will not gain weight. Improving your diet will help you to lose weight quickly. I've read many reviews about weight loss and many people say that not eating after 6pm helped them to lose weight
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If you eat well like you do and exercise your metabolism will be good. As you get older your metabolism does gradually slow as well so then it becomes more important to consume most of your calories earlier in the day. You usually find though that if you eat more during the day including snacks then by dinner time you don't feel like snacking so I think your hunger may be catching up with at the end of the day. Healthy snacks between meals burn up very quickly but they also stop you from getting hungry and eating too much at main meals.
I am a 25yr-old female of average weight ; I eat pretty healthfully and run for 60-90minutes, 6-7 days a week.
I'm not sure what "average weight" amounts to, considering the average person in the U.S. is overweight, average to me means "overweight". If you eat healthfully, why would you need to run as much as you do?
I always eat a decent breakfast with tons of protein......
Just protein? What about some fruit and whole grain? Protein doesn't have any fiber, phytonutrients or antioxidants.
.....then a little bit smaller of a lunch, and not many snacks.
What do your snacks consist of? Are they healthy snacks?
For dinner I usually have 3-4oz of lean meat, a lot of veggies, and a sweet potato or some brown rice.
Your dinner sounds good but I wonder what you mean by "a lot of veggies". I know people who don't like vegetables and they think one or two servings is a lot. After you eat 3-4oz of meat, and a sweet potato or rice, it doesn't seem as though there would be a lot of room for veggies. I would guess that you eat two half-cup servings. That's not a lot.
It is then after dinner when I’m relaxing that I eat a few light snacks.
I take it these are not healthy snacks.
As long as I stay within my calorie range, does it matter when I eat those calories?
I would say eat the calories whenever you feel you need them, but not too close to bedtime. What's more important than the timing, in my opinion, is your selection of foods. If your goal is to be healthy, which would you choose? One hundred calories of fresh fruit or one hundred calories of potato chips? One hundred calories of fresh non-starchy vegetables or one hundred calories of an energy bar. Your selection of food is way more important than just looking at the total number of calories. Unhealthy choices will eventually cause problems, in my opinion.
When you eat has everything to do with hormonal balance (homeostasis) Byron J. Richards author of Mastering Leptin provides all the knowledge behind my statement. If your last meal of the day is a heavy one you should have it six hours or more before bedtime. I'd advise getting his book. It's not a diet but a lifestyle and one that prevents the diseases so prevalent today. I wish they knew about the master hormone leptin that controls all the other hormonal systems a long time ago. I'm 67. Feeling much better than when I was 60 when I followed the advice in the book. It's the most informative book I ever read relative to health, disease prevention, and longevity. You're wise to be building a healthy lifestyle so early in life.
Well to add some mix, there are just as many doctors, research papers, and nutritionists that come out and say food timing is all bunk. They advocate that eating before bed is perfectly fine. Calorie in/ calorie out.
The idea is that if you know your needed daily maintenance calorie needs, adjust for personal needs like weight loss, weight gain, age, or a sports lifestyle and follow your macro ratios (Proteins, fat, carbs), the food timing is a drop in the bucket compared to eating what you need and how much, all day. Insulin spikes, or hormone release is considered fine tuning compared to just eating right day in day out, and should be left to the 1% population of fine athletes.
This is a huge debate in the nutrition world where one doctor's (nutritionist, dietitian, etc..) conclusions is countered by two others.