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Thread: How long to Eat a meal? page

  1. #1
    gopintos's Avatar
    gopintos is offline Senior Member
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    How long to Eat a meal?

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    Sorry if that is elementary or asked before, I could not find it.

    Here is why I ask. I usually need something around 2 or 3pm. I have read some say to push through it. DH doesnt get home for supper until usually 7. By the time we get around to eating and are finished, sometimes it's 8, and I have been trying really hard to sleep at night and therefore like to be in bed by 9. We get up anywhere from 4 - 6am. I try to start eating breakfast about 30 - an hour after that.

    I have read through the thread on when to eat before bedtime. I would like to increase this time in between which means of course, I need to start eating supper sooner.

    The other night, I tried to postpone a snack, and but then I went ahead and started eating supper, almost in courses I guess, starting with veggie soup because I knew he wouldnt eat that anyways. So then by the time he gets home and I am ready to sit down to dinner with him, well here come the teenagers scrounging around for food. So while I fixed theirs, I picked at mine. (I know, make them eat what we eat. I don't mind cooking for them. They wont be here much longer. DS is 18 and usually has 1 - 4 friends eating here and they seem to request mostly primal by default. If I dont cook, sometimes they cook for themselves which is good for them, but many times they just go to McDs. So I really dont mind) So that probably took me 2 hours or more from my soup to the end.

    But then even like this morning. I started breakfast and it probably took me over an hour. And then I wasnt quite full, so I made a flaxmeal muffin in a cup. So probably 1.5 hours from beginning to end.

    I just get sidetracked. Or I get busy like now, researching this stuff. That is why it takes me so long with breakfast. I log my food, etc while I am eating or just go over my log if I pre-logged it. I research this and that. But also I am really trying to enjoy every bite. I also have a tooth that bugs me so I have to eat slower to be careful. I have noticed the past few days that seems to be getting better but I still have gum disease that I just cant get rid of. I have always had it, I just thought bleeding gums were normal for everyone.

    So anyways, is this okay? Initially I am thinking yes perfectly fine since I can't eat all that food at once. Gives my body a chance to register if it is full or if it wants more. Sometimes I am full but I know I need the macros so I dont know if I should keep eating or just wait and eat it a bit later. I guess the whole snack thing and insulin spikes still confuses me a bit.

    I do fine from breakfast to lunch. But I get hungry after lunch about 3, but lunch isnt as much protein as breakfast usually. That is when I usually have a big romaine salad with about 3 oz meat. I probably should switch lunch and supper around.

    I use to think that if you got use to eating smaller portions, it would take less per meal to fill you up and that was a good thing. But then I just get hungry sooner, requiring more snacks. When I started my journey, I was doing 3 meals, 2 - 6 snacks, because I thought I was suppose to. Each snack and/or meal might just be one small thing. Now I am doing these full plate meals 3 times. Maybe one snack.

    So anyways, I was just wondering if this matters? I guess I have sort of asked about 3 different things. Does it matter how long to eat? Does it matter how soon before bed to eat? (which I found that thread) Does it matter how much you eat at one time as far as volume? Use to hear that it would stretch out your stomach so you need to eat more frequent smaller meals. I am thinking that is out the window, but thinking if I ate in courses so to speak, I might do better especially with the evening meal so I can wrap it up sooner, but just wondering how that affects the body and if that is really just snacking over the course of an 1.5 - 2 hours.

    Thanks for any help. I am trying to learn

  2. #2
    Catharsis's Avatar
    Catharsis is offline Senior Member
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    In general, if you're hungry, eat. If you aren't, don't. A few random thoughts.

    1) Are you really hungry that early? (Like, would a couple glasses of water squash it out?)

    2) When you eat breakfast, are you hungry for it? If not, maybe breakfast later in the day will push back your eating schedule to where you don't want to snack. I started pushing breakfast back a couple of weeks ago because I take medicine in the AM that needs to be on an empty stomach and needs to be taken with a ton of water. I too wake up around 4:00 most mornings. What I've found for me is that when I take my medicine around 4:30 or 5:00 with a couple of bottles of water, I'm usually not hungry until 6:30 or so. I typically eat lunch 6 hours or so after that and dinner another 6 hours later depending on when I'm hungry. I typically don't snack unless dinner is small, and even then a handful of nuts usually does that job.

    Personally, I find a chicken breast on top of a gigantic salad with olive oil more filling than a chicken breast with the same amount of olive oil. A dry salad with olives, cucumbers, bell peppers and broccoli doesn't have a lot of caloric content, but it will fill your stomach. Bear in mind too that leafy greens take a while for your body to digest. As far as speed goes, I typically down a meal in about 5 minutes and get back to the business of doing whatever it was I was doing. But that's just me.

  3. #3
    gopintos's Avatar
    gopintos is offline Senior Member
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    Well, it's funny. Use to be all I could think about when I woke up, was eating. Then when I heard you should eat breakfast, then I wasnt so hungry anymore ha. And then I heard eat within 30 minutes of waking, so then I didnt really want to ha.

    If I waited until I was truly hungry, I could hold off like you said and that would sure help my spacing. I take some supplements and when I drink that with water, I really am not that hungry anymore. If I eat breakfast at 4 or so, I am ready for an early lunch like 11 so that makes for a long time before supper, (or so it seems, but I guess the same as breakfast to lunch) but I really need the afternoon snack.

    I am thinking as the weather gets warmer and I get my garden going and yard work, etc I will want to get in and get out back out also. And the kids are in the pond every afternoon in the summer and that is what started my weight loss last summer. But inside work... ugghhh. I would rather sit at the computer and drag out my meal than do housework :P

    Thanks for the reply. I get confused reading so many different philosophies that I am just not sure what to do sometimes.

  4. #4
    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Does it matter how long to eat? Yes, due to satiety signaling to the brain taking time to register you as "full"
    Does it matter how soon before bed to eat? Not really
    Does it matter how much you eat at one time as far as volume? Yes....stretch receptors in the stomach signaling the brain. This actually is why eating a bunch of startchy or sugary foods may "fill" you up, but leave you hungry again a couple of hours later. They may activate the volume pathway, but not some of the other satiety pathways I think.

  5. #5
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    sbhikes is offline Senior Member
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    I have been packing my breakfast in a thermos and eating it around 11am or so. Just coffee in the earlier morning. I am not sure I would ever feel satisfied just nibbling away all day at my meals like that.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  6. #6
    gopintos's Avatar
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    Ok I am seeing focus on the task at hand. Just eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full. And then if hungry at some other point, eat. Good choices of course. Hardly rocket science huh? I always try to make things more difficult than they need to be.

    I know calories arent the main thing, but I am always low, so not worried about that. Maybe not worried. I have been doing good with carbs if I keep track of it. Usually around 50 net, but did have 80 net the other day. I was losing on 150 for the first few months of the year but then learned about carbs drives insulin drives fat so I tried to cut back even further. I dont pay alot of attention to protein and fat, although just glancing at the past week, protein was 87-130 and fat was 30-98. Calories 1100 - 1598 (the 1598 was the 98 fat day)

    Havent slept as well this week, but I did last night. But my weight loss has stalled this past week, but maybe because I am doing more physical work outside. I had quit doing my Strength training tapes, I just didnt have the energy but then I started doing physical work once my energy picked back up because the weather was nicer outside. I know not to trip on the scale, but I just wanted to make sure I was doing all I could so not to see a trend back the other direction because I have gained almost a pound this week since Sunday and that has not happened since I started in January. So I was afraid of things like maybe the 80 carbs was too many which was weird because the 150 was okay but maybe my body only wants 50 now, or maybe not enough calories so now my body only wants 1100 now ... uggghhh. I just want to maximize my efforts, whatever that should be.

    Sorry to babble on.

  7. #7
    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    Ok I am seeing focus on the task at hand. Just eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full. And then if hungry at some other point, eat. Good choices of course. Hardly rocket science huh? I always try to make things more difficult than they need to be.
    Paralysis by analysis . It can be fun to get on the forums and hash out the minutia, but really thats just to waste some time (least in my case). Primal is actually quite simple if you just read the book and follow that advise. If you wish to delve into the current state of the literature regarding nutrition, health, and how certain physiological states react to different lifestyle adaptations......well now that stuff is really fun, but lets face it.... absolutely unnecessary for like 99% of people.

  8. #8
    gopintos's Avatar
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    Oh I know it. It got to the point where I didnt know what to eat, when to eat, and I was tired of trying to figure it out. It was easier to just not eat. Then I built up the courage to post on here, and it really helped me alot. It was a huge weight lifted and things were working for several weeks. And then I started thinking more....... uggghhh It is best if I just stop doing that

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