Sunday, January 1, 2012
JANUARY - TIMING
Goal: This one is pretty simple - eat something within the 1st hour of waking (some studies show protein is best for this meal) and then - STOP eating within 2 hours before you go to bed.
Example: For breakfast/snack grab a small handful of almonds with an 8oz (or more) glass of water. This will not be too heavy for a morning workout and will give your body a quick source of energy to kick start your metabolism.
At night try to get on a schedule for bedtime (easier said then done, I know) this way you can have your last little snack (like a quick orange and water) at least 2 hours before sleep.
Why should we care about when we eat? Isn't weight loss all calories in, calories out? Well, first off our goals shouldn't be merely weight loss, but overall heath and happiness. But that aside, there is strong evidence that suggest it is not just WHAT we eat, but WHEN we eat that contributes to both, weight and health.
Researchers at Northwestern University wanted to test whether the timing of meals could influence body weight. To test whether time of feeding alone can affect body weight, the researchers studied two groups of mice who were fed identical diets of food that contained 60 percent fat. They fed one group the majority of their meals during their usual waking period (since mice are nocturnal - this meant at night) then the other group was fed one of their meals during the morning hours, or right before the mice would go to bed. At the end of the six week study period, mice in both groups had consumed about the same amount of calories and performed the same amount of exercise. However, the mice who ate when they normally would have been sleeping hours posted an average 48 percent increase in body weight. The mice who ate on a regular schedule only had an average increase of 20 percent of body weight.
Sure Doctors and Nutritionist alike discuss timing with their patients to help them reach optimal health and weight loss. And in the Athletic world, no trainer would EVER allow their athlete to skip breakfast, or eat late into the night. Anyone else pushing a schedule for eating early and late? Oh yeah Mental Health professionals push this same mantra on their patients too...so what do the Doctors, Nutritionists, Trainers and Therapists know that we don't?
Well for starters, we essentially fast every night, right? So when we wake up we're low in blood sugar, our chemicals are not balanced and we are in a drought. So it's pretty simple really, to get the body shifted over from catabolism to metabolism we need to eat something right away. It gets our levels, both chemical and sugar back into the norm. It starts our bodies into a focused 'producing' mode instead of the foggy 'rest' mode. And at night the opposite is happening, we need to give our bodies time to finish metabolising our last meal so that when our heads hit the pillow, we are out of 'producing' mode and 'rest' mode can begin.
Truth is, it's not as hard as we make it, breakfast doesn't need to mean a huge meal - grab something with a little fat/protein and you're good to start. Granted you will need a real meal at some point in the morning, but if you're like me - that means AFTER a workout. And at night, you should be eating your dinner around 5-6ish so that means if you hit the pillow at 11, you can still squeeze in a quick snack at 8 and be fine till morn.
More reading on the subject:
Does it matter when you eat?
Does it matter how late we eat?
Benefits of eating breakfast.