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  • Timing is everything...

    There have been a few recent threads that have touched upon meal timing. Seems a lot of people here find skipping breakfast and doing some form of IF a useful tactic. Gorbag has mentioning a meal set up mostly focusing on eating in the evening, with only light grazing in the day. TQP has also mentioned various timing issues with certain macronutrients or types of foods - raw till 4 for example. Then there's the leptin reset, which encourages people to eat a big whack of protein soon after waking. I've also heard it said that protein and fat in the morning makes you less hungry in the day, and then a carb-ier dinner makes you sleepy for bed. On the other hand, "common" wisdom seems to favour the saying "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper". On top of that, I'm sure I remember one forum member mentioning a strategy where you have a "starter" midday, main meal later afternoon and then something sweet in the evening before bed - would love to hear more about this. Basically it's a lot of interesting stuff to think about!

    So, I was wondering if there is much scientific or even anecdotal stuff to back up an "ideal" set up for meal times. Of course, I am sure different people will have a different idea of "ideal". Perhaps it depends on what hours your job gets you out of the house, or when you work out. Maybe women and men differ in their preferences. Social obligations are bound to play their role, as does the custom of whatever country you are in. But what does research suggest is ideal? When are we biologically inclined to expect or prefer food? What have you guys found to work best for you?

    Sorry for such an open topic - I am just interested to hear some different opinions and maybe try out some new ideas for myself!

  • #2
    Greater Weight Loss and Hormonal Changes After 6 Months Diet With Carbohydrates Eaten Mostly at Dinner
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475137
    My opinions and some justification

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Elliot. I don't know if I am being dense and looking in the wrong place but I cannot find much about what exactly the diet consisted of?

      Does carbs at bed mostly have weight loss benefits?

      Found this, which argues for larger meals earlier on: http://caloriesproper.com/meal-timin...cadian-clocks/

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Urja View Post
        Thanks Elliot. I don't know if I am being dense and looking in the wrong place but I cannot find much about what exactly the diet consisted of?

        Does carbs at bed mostly have weight loss benefits?

        Found this, which argues for larger meals earlier on: Meal timing and peripheral circadian clocks | The poor, misunderstood calorie

        ...the full diet is in this link.


        Experimental diet

        Breakfast Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

        Morning snack (1000 hours) Plain low fat yogurt/white cheese (1/2 cup) + vegetable

        Lunch Meat/fish dish (without coating, excluding ground meat) + boiled vegetables/vegetable soup + vegetable salad +
        1 teaspoon of oil/tablespoon of dressing (from the permitted list)

        Afternoon snack (1600 hours) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

        Dinner Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + alternative A or B

        Alternative A:
        2–4 pieces of bread/4–8 pieces of reduced calorie bread + 1/2 cup of white cheese/1 slice of yellow cheese/
        2 tablespoons of humus/egg/1/2 a can of tuna fish/4 slices of pastrami + vegetable salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/
        tablespoon of tehina/1/4 avocado/1 tablespoon of dressing + fruit/fruit yogurt/diet ice-cream/2 biscuits/1 cookie

        Alternative B:
        1–2 cups of cooked rice/pasta/puree/corn/legumes/1–2 potato/1–2 sweet potato + 1 tablespoon of gravy
        + boiled vegetables/vegetables salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/ tablespoon of tehina/1/4 avocado/1 tablespoon of
        dressing + fruit yogurt/diet ice-cream/2 biscuits/1 cookie

        Night snack (upon need) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds + plain yogurt/white cheese
        (1/2 cup)

        Beverages Water/no-calorie diet drinks


        Control diet

        Breakfast Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk +1 piece of bread/2 pieces of reduced calorie bread/2 crackers/
        2 biscuits + white cheese

        Morning snack (1000 hours) Plain yogurt/fruit yogurt + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

        Lunch Meat/fish dish + boiled vegetables/vegetable soup + vegetable salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/tablespoon of dressing +
        1/2 cup of cooked rice/pasta/ puree/corn/legumes/1/2 potato/1/2 sweet potato

        Afternoon snack (1600 hours) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk + 2 biscuits/fruit + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

        Dinner Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk + 1-2 piece of bread/2–4 pieces of light bread/2–4 crackers + 1/2
        cup of white cheese /1 slice of yellow cheese/2 tablespoons of humus/egg/1/2 a can of tuna fish/4 slices of sliced
        turkey breast + vegetable salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/tablespoon of tehina/1/4 avocado/tablespoon of dressing

        Night snack (If needed) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds + plain yogurt/fruit yogurt/diet
        ice-cream

        Beverages Water/no-calorie diet drinks



        Hmmm, seems like an odd article choice, but....

        Comment


        • #5
          In Sofer's study, the control group was 'carbs spread evenly throughout the day,' not 'carbs at breakfast' ...so, I think a more appropriate conclusion is: carbs with only one meal per day is better than carbs in all three meals (not dinner > breakfast).

          Other studies suggest more calories/carbs skewed earlier in the day might be more favorable, but ymmv.
          “Afternoon diabetes” and nutrient partitioning | The poor, misunderstood calorie
          www.caloriesproper.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by hebsie View Post
            ...the full diet is in this link.


            Experimental diet

            Breakfast Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

            Morning snack (1000 hours) Plain low fat yogurt/white cheese (1/2 cup) + vegetable

            Lunch Meat/fish dish (without coating, excluding ground meat) + boiled vegetables/vegetable soup + vegetable salad +
            1 teaspoon of oil/tablespoon of dressing (from the permitted list)

            Afternoon snack (1600 hours) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

            Dinner Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + alternative A or B

            Alternative A:
            2–4 pieces of bread/4–8 pieces of reduced calorie bread + 1/2 cup of white cheese/1 slice of yellow cheese/
            2 tablespoons of humus/egg/1/2 a can of tuna fish/4 slices of pastrami + vegetable salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/
            tablespoon of tehina/1/4 avocado/1 tablespoon of dressing + fruit/fruit yogurt/diet ice-cream/2 biscuits/1 cookie

            Alternative B:
            1–2 cups of cooked rice/pasta/puree/corn/legumes/1–2 potato/1–2 sweet potato + 1 tablespoon of gravy
            + boiled vegetables/vegetables salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/ tablespoon of tehina/1/4 avocado/1 tablespoon of
            dressing + fruit yogurt/diet ice-cream/2 biscuits/1 cookie

            Night snack (upon need) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + 1/5 cup of low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds + plain yogurt/white cheese
            (1/2 cup)

            Beverages Water/no-calorie diet drinks


            Control diet

            Breakfast Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk +1 piece of bread/2 pieces of reduced calorie bread/2 crackers/
            2 biscuits + white cheese

            Morning snack (1000 hours) Plain yogurt/fruit yogurt + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

            Lunch Meat/fish dish + boiled vegetables/vegetable soup + vegetable salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/tablespoon of dressing +
            1/2 cup of cooked rice/pasta/ puree/corn/legumes/1/2 potato/1/2 sweet potato

            Afternoon snack (1600 hours) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk + 2 biscuits/fruit + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds

            Dinner Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk + 1-2 piece of bread/2–4 pieces of light bread/2–4 crackers + 1/2
            cup of white cheese /1 slice of yellow cheese/2 tablespoons of humus/egg/1/2 a can of tuna fish/4 slices of sliced
            turkey breast + vegetable salad + 1 teaspoon of oil/tablespoon of tehina/1/4 avocado/tablespoon of dressing

            Night snack (If needed) Coffee/tea + artificial sweetener + low fat milk + 7 walnut halves/7 almonds + plain yogurt/fruit yogurt/diet
            ice-cream

            Beverages Water/no-calorie diet drinks



            Hmmm, seems like an odd article choice, but....
            bread, crackers, artificial sweeteners, 1/2 can of tuna, 7 almonds, boiled vegetables. 1/5 cup is about 1.5 ounces btw. good grief, i'd carve out my own eyes. how many cals is this? doesn't seem like much...
            As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

            – Ernest Hemingway

            Comment


            • #7
              Meant to post this in this thread.

              Read some supportive articles of large morning meal. I have tried to convince myself that morning would work as my breakfast....but it just doesn't. Tried it several times and my body simply rejects the notion regardless of what some have found. Largest meal in late afternoon to evening suits me perfectly.

              thinking this through though...I must say my preference for fasted lifting/exercise probably plays a large roll and I normally do this in the early afternoon. This certainly ramps up my insulin sensitivity for a late afternoon or early evening meal. Exercise frequency and timing likely will change your preferred large meal time.
              Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-27-2015, 05:31 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                although i work "days" now, sometimes i am home at 4 and sometimes not til 8 or 9. so obvz what i eat and how late affects my appetite in the morning.

                in a perfect world i'd eat around noon and then around 5-6. maybe when i retire, i guess, lol.
                As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                – Ernest Hemingway

                Comment


                • #9
                  In countries where there's tradition to eat the largest meal at lunch and a somehow smaller dinner at night is it also tradition to close your business at the middle of the day and take a siesta for a few hours. Years ago I could also be very sleepy and get the urge for a “siesta” after returning to my office after a large “almuerzo”!

                  Nowadays I know better though; that a complete meal at midday will shut me down; make the body switch over to the parasympathetic nervous system that put us in a rest and digest mode for hours afterwards. Interesting enough; I can eat more than 2000 calories in one meal after 6 PM without crashing though.

                  On the other hand; if you are a young person that want to GAIN weight, muscle or whatever, just eat a large breakfast and make sure to spike insulin 3 times a day or more; but remember to train enough and to jump off before metabolic damage!

                  Circadian rhythms or not; I’m pretty sure that humans always have been eating the main bulk of their foods late afternoon or at night, because that’s what make sense evolutionary for as long as humans has been hunter gatherer and cooked their foods.

                  So daytime must have been dedicated to gather firewood and calorie dense foods such as roots, tubers, and to hunt down animals for meat. At day Grok must have been nibbling mostly on raw stuff that he found in nature while wandering around. Then after he came back to the camp and the fire was light up came the time for the big eating - if he had anything to eat at all!

                  Yeah, anecdotal I know; there are animal studies out there that indicate that intermittent fasting or periodic restricted eating may have benefits for overall health and longevity but I’m too lazy to dig them up today…
                  "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                  - Schopenhauer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                    Largest meal in late afternoon to evening suits me perfectly.
                    IIRC the Wiley Lights Out book suggested the hormone configuration during deepest sleep (3~4a) is the poorest for intake metabolism and thus the 12-hour offset (3~4p) is ideal, due to some labyrinth of serotonin conversion parasympathetic something something that went over my head. Maybe placebo but I feel best on weekends when this is possible--wish my workplace had a kitchen so I could make it daily.
                    37//6'3"/185

                    My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow thanks for some really interesting replies guys!

                      Hmm that experimental diet looks awful and I am struggling to see how the test subjects weren't starving from eating so many tiny meals!

                      Thought I would add my experience. Personally eating breakfast makes me hungrier. However, skipping breakfast for days at a time does seem to reduce my energy and mood. I absolutely love eating a large meal late in the day when I have nothing left to do afterwards, but too late in the evening and I am bloated and uncomfortable before bed. Perhaps a late afternoon main meal would solve this issue, and instead of eating absolutely nothing before then, I could have some light snacks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mattson, M.P., et al., Meal frequency and timing in health and disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2014.111(47): p. 16647-53.
                        Although major research efforts have focused on how specific components of foodstuffs affect health, relatively little is known about a more fundamental aspect of diet, the frequency and circadian timing of meals, and potential benefits of intermittent periods with no or very low energy intakes. The most common eating pattern in modern societies, three meals plus snacks every day, is abnormal from an evolutionary perspective. Emerging findings from studies of animal models and human subjects suggest that intermittent energy restriction periods of as little as 16 h can improve health indicators and counteract disease processes. The mechanisms involve a metabolic shift to fat metabolism and ketone production, and stimulation of adaptive cellular stress responses that prevent and repair molecular damage. As data on the optimal frequency and timing of meals crystalizes, it will be critical to develop strategies to incorporate those eating patterns into health care policy and practice, and the lifestyles of the population.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          i think people forget that the rec's for 3 meals a day plus snacks came about only a few decades ago -- when we were told to eat high-carb, low-fat -- and people were eating piles of wheat and corn. you needed the constant feeding to keep insulin relatively stable and not crash.

                          now, at 5:00, nobody's mom tells them "no snack, it will spoil your appetite for dinner", because everybody eats all damn day and night. few westerners know how "hungry" actually feels. my friends with small kids feed them breakfast, have to pack TWO snacks, PLUS lunch for school (that is eating 3 times in 6.5 hours) and then still expect the kid to be hungry for dinner.
                          As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                          – Ernest Hemingway

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                            Meant to post this in this thread.

                            Read some supportive articles of large morning meal. I have tried to convince myself that morning would work as my breakfast....but it just doesn't. Tried it several times and my body simply rejects the notion regardless of what some have found. Largest meal in late afternoon to evening suits me perfectly.

                            *snip*
                            I'm the same way. A cup of espresso with some, but not a lot of fat (coconut oil (1 tsp), or butter (1/2 tbsp), or an egg) in the morning, and I don't feel a hunger pang generally 'til about 3 or 4pm.

                            But, and it's a big but, what works is what a person can stick to. Anytime I've tried to be an early eater, my body also rebels and still wants a late night substantial meal. Which leads to being overfed, which leads to that big butt. I imagine that an early day eater could feel the same the same way by trying to eat later in the day, though maybe just switching up timing of carbs would be easier.

                            In the end, getting hung up on minutia of any kind can be detrimental to well-being. Both the control and the experiment diets were terrible. Eating six times a day? There are extenuating conditions/circumstances, but by and large, we are not cattle nor small babies and we don't need to graze or suckle every few hours.

                            It's really so simple. Eat the best quality animals and plants (and bugs) that you can. Don't eat poisons. Move and lift. Get some sun and sleep. If you're trying to lose weight, and you're not by eating ad libitum, track you food intake accurately (that means weighing and measuring) to see if you can pinpoint what the problem is.
                            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                            B*tch-lite

                            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by picklepete View Post
                              IIRC the Wiley Lights Out book suggested the hormone configuration during deepest sleep (3~4a) is the poorest for intake metabolism and thus the 12-hour offset (3~4p) is ideal, due to some labyrinth of serotonin conversion parasympathetic something something that went over my head. Maybe placebo but I feel best on weekends when this is possible--wish my workplace had a kitchen so I could make it daily.
                              I used to experiment a lot, but I found that the main meal of the day should not be taken before 5 pm and that the optimal for me is around 6 – 6.30 pm to secure enough hours of digestion before sleep. A more modest or easy digestible meal can also be taken later without any problems. So nocturnal eating with the heaviest foods first is what I would suggest.

                              According to this cicadian cycle chart it seem like endurance and muscular strength is highest in the afternoon and that’s the time when I go to the gym with very little food in my stomach;

                              "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                              - Schopenhauer

                              Comment

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