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Interesting: meal timing vs circadian rhythm

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  • Interesting: meal timing vs circadian rhythm

    Bill Lagakos has written a very interesting article: “Afternoon diabetes” and nutrient partitioning | The poor, misunderstood calorie

    Basically, unless you are diabetic or have a crappy circadian rhythm (like shift rotation due to work, etc), the gist of the article is that:

    - our muscles are more insulin sensitive in the morning, while adipose tissue more insulin resistant
    - this sensitivity is reversed in the evening: fat tissue more sensitive, muscle more resistant (if no aggressive resistance training work-out that will selectively increase insulin sensitivity in some muscles even in the evening).

    So for normal people who don't really work out, the conclusion is:
    - eat your carbs in the morning : muscles will store glycogen, fat storage will not really take it
    - eat your fat in the evening : the fat will probably mostly be burnt during the night fast.

    (eat proteins no matter what though)

    That's quite the opposite of what you hear from leangains, carb back loading, etc.

    So, because I am always in for experimenting simple stuff like that, I decided to reverse my eating habits:
    - main meal in the morning
    - low carb light meal later in the day
    - no food after 5-6pm.

    Let's see what happens.

    I am already 2 days in, and I must say, it is hard to eat in the morning for me. I'll get used to it though, I'm sure
    So far, I don't experience anything different in terms of energy or sleep quality.

    To be continued. But I recommend the article, it is very interesting.
    Last edited by FrenchFry; 09-27-2014, 12:29 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post
    it is hard to eat in the morning for me. I'll get used to it though, I'm sure
    this is my experience, too: I'm rarely very hungry in the morning, but when I have a big breakfast, I'm rarely very hungry later in the day... it takes some getting used to.
    www.caloriesproper.com

    Comment


    • #3
      This is the opposite of what has been observed:
      Greater Weight Loss and Hormonal Changes After 6 Months Diet With Carbohydrates Eaten Mostly at Dinner - Sofer - 2012 - Obesity - Wiley Online Library

      I know of a study on rats that also found carbohydrates to be better in the evening
      My opinions and some justification

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bill_Lagakos View Post
        this is my experience, too: I'm rarely very hungry in the morning, but when I have a big breakfast, I'm rarely very hungry later in the day... it takes some getting used to.
        Aha! The guy himself

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Elliot View Post
          This is the opposite of what has been observed:
          Greater Weight Loss and Hormonal Changes After 6 Months Diet With Carbohydrates Eaten Mostly at Dinner - Sofer - 2012 - Obesity - Wiley Online Library

          I know of a study on rats that also found carbohydrates to be better in the evening
          Yeah, I remember this study. That's why I find Bill's article intriguing ...

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the Sofer study was more about carb frequency, not timing per se. The control group received 3 carb meals daily whereas the intervention got only 1.
            3 vs 1, not AM vs PM.
            Had the control group been "AM carbs," then I could see your point.

            Further, there are many other studies which show skewing more total calories earlier in the day is better for body comp...
            www.caloriesproper.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill_Lagakos View Post
              I think the Sofer study was more about carb frequency, not timing per se. The control group received 3 carb meals daily whereas the intervention got only 1.
              3 vs 1, not AM vs PM.
              Very good point. So the real question is : if taking one meal a day, is it better in the AM or in the PM ? I am loosely eating one main meal a day. For convenience, it has been in the early evening (around 6pm). I am now reversing it. I don't know what to expect but I like changing habits once in a while

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post
                So the real question is : if taking one meal a day, is it better in the AM or in the PM ? I am loosely eating one main meal a day. For convenience, it has been in the early evening (around 6pm). I am now reversing it. I don't know what to expect but I like changing habits once in a while
                theoretically, AM.... at least my research has been heading in that direction, but I don't recommend going to bed hungry... maybe include a small snack in the evening? ymmv
                www.caloriesproper.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bill_Lagakos View Post
                  theoretically, AM.... at least my research has been heading in that direction, but I don't recommend going to bed hungry... maybe include a small snack in the evening? ymmv
                  Depends on hunger. Once I am done eating, I usually don't care about foods for a good 18 to 20h, unless I work out, in which case I load up on proteins (no shakes, no powders, real foods).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bill,

                    Something is really screwed up with your website ... I read that some people experienced viruses. I can't say because I use linux. But the website layout looks strange and unusual. I see the articles but can't see the comments when your blog is displayed in this strange layout.

                    here is how it looks:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post
                      I see the articles but can't see the comments when your blog is displayed in this strange layout.
                      that looks like a problem with the mobile app... odd, I can see the comments on my mobile. I'll look into it. Thanks for the heads up!
                      www.caloriesproper.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This sounds like the opposite of what is true. I actually agree with Elliot on this one, despite his obsession with lab rats.

                        Carbs in the evening is good for your sleep and keeping your stress hormones down.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by God View Post
                          This sounds like the opposite of what is true. I actually agree with Elliot on this one, despite his obsession with lab rats.

                          Carbs in the evening is good for your sleep and keeping your stress hormones down.
                          I don't know if you've ever seen a melatonin / cortisol correlation with the time of day ? There is a circadian component to the level of each: you wake up when cortisol is highest, melatonin lowest, and you fall asleep when cortisol is lowest, melatonin highest. Something like that (courtesy of the paleomom):



                          So you don't necessarily need carbs in the evening to sleep better provided that your circadian rhythm is not screwed up. I had a perfect night sleep myself, 8h, and dinner was light and carbless at 5pm yesterday.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FrenchFry View Post
                            So you don't necessarily need carbs in the evening to sleep better provided that your circadian rhythm is not screwed up. I had a perfect night sleep myself, 8h, and dinner was light and carbless at 5pm yesterday.
                            Well, Mr Pleasant Dreams, good for you. You seem like a very relaxed carefree person in general though. Do you drink coffee at all? Just wondering if this factors into your serenity or not. Maybe it's just your Frenchness.

                            For many people adrenaline and cortisol tend to spike between 2am and 4am, causing them to wake up. OR, they keep sleeping, but have extremely action packed scary dreams. Carbs before bed can help stop this.

                            That graphic you posted only applies to people who are perfectly healthy and have perfect ciradian rhythms and don't drink caffeine at all. Which is....how many people?
                            Last edited by God; 09-28-2014, 12:02 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by God View Post
                              Well, Mr Pleasant Dreams, good for you. You seem like a very relaxed carefree person in general though. Do you drink coffee at all?
                              Haha, Mr I-Am-Abducted-By-Aliens-Every-Night
                              I have been drinking a couple cups of black coffee every morning for years. However, since I am experimenting with swapping meals around, I find that coffee is not appealing with foods. So for 3 days, I've had tea instead.

                              Just wondering if this factors into your serenity or not. Maybe it's just your Frenchness.
                              French people are known for their temper. I am not really french actually. I descend from mountain peasants of North-Africa, their temper is much more grounded than that of the dramatic French

                              For many people adrenaline and cortisol tend to spike between 2am and 4am, causing them to wake up. OR, they keep sleeping, but have extremely action packed scary dreams. Carbs before bed can help stop this.
                              Never heard of that but if that helps, why not ?

                              That graphic you posted only applies to people who are perfectly healthy and have perfect ciradian rhythms and don't drink caffeine at all. Which is....how many people?
                              More than you think.
                              But listen, my sleep was just fine before I started to experiment with morning eating. So I would not be so concerned by all this.
                              Maybe one factor that contributed to my sleeping well is that I am not stressed about my day job. I have 0 concern about it. I don't give a crap. I show up rather late and leave rather early (I stay about 6 hours at the office). I do what I have to do and that's it. Once I am out of there, I don't think about it.

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