BODY POSITIVITY + HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE CHANGE

Timing Your Meals

Posted on August 11 2015

For years the health and fitness community preached 

the importance of meal timing and how spreading your meals throughout the day in small portions was the best way to keep your metabolism kicking. The practice of eating small regular meals was initially adopted to boost our metabolism, which in turn, would promote weight loss.

Or so we thought.

Since the small-regular-meal craze, there has been a great deal of research on the body and the way that it reacts to meal timing and the way it absorbs nutrients at different times of the day. This, and many other medical and scientific studies all point towards the same key points:

 

  • When you get your nutrients is less important than whether you’re meeting your daily caloric needs at all.

  • Technically, you can consume all the calories you need in a day in one sitting without it causing weight gain or loss.

  • Your body’s capacity to burn calories during digestion isn’t affected by the amount of meals you eat, but rather the amount of calories you consume throughout the day.

 Simply put, if you eat 2000 calories every day, splitting them between 2 meals versus 5, or even 7 meals, will have no effect on your body’s capacity to burn calories during digestion. The old mentality was “the more frequently you eat, the more calories you will burn during digestion, which in turn, will increase your metabolism.” In actuality, your body will require the same amount of energy to burn those 2000 calories regardless of how you divvy it up throughout the day.

 

Regardless of what past or present research states, my recommendation is to keep your meals relatively small and regular and here’s why:

  •  We are creatures of habit. Keeping your meals small and regular will keep you on a consistent daily timeline. Training your brain and stomach to eat smaller meals will also help you prevent overeating. I find that this is especially useful when I have my cheat meals, as my body isn’t accustomed to eating large meals.

  • Your muscles need protein to grow. Eating protein before and after a workout helps to keep the levels of amino acids (building blocks of protein and our muscles) high in the bloodstream. These circulating amino acids prevent the breakdown of existing muscle when we need energy, and also help to maintain and repair the muscle during a workout. If building muscle is part of your goals, it is important to keep your protein levels regular throughout the day, which means regular meals with protein content.

  • Who wants to feel hungry for half of the day, and then stuffed the rest? Keeping your body properly nourished throughout the day will keep your blood sugar levels regulated. Why is that important? Preventing spikes and drops in your blood sugar levels isn’t just for diabetics. With regular meals, you will remain alert and focused, and prevent weakness and lethargy throughout the day. Staying productive at work or in school is always easier when you’ve had your breakfast, right?

  • It’s good for your digestive system. When you eat a huge meal, your digestive system requires more blood to break down and absorb the contents of that meal. This blood could be used in other places in your body like say, for example, your brain? If you’ve experienced lethargy after a large or heavy meal, this is why.

 

Bottom line?

BEST

  • Small Regular Portioned Meals
  • Did Meet Macros

BETTER

  • Ate One Meal
  • Did meet Macros

OKAY

  • Small Regular Portioned Meals
  • Did NOT Meet Macros

 

 

When it comes to your daily calories, it doesn’t matter when you eat your daily nutrients as long as you get them all in. I still recommend that you space your meals out to promote regularity within your digestive tract, provide constant energy throughout the day and help prevent muscle breakdown. Moreover, I still recommend that you space your meals out in order to prevent feeling lethargic after a huge meal and to help you form a consistent meal schedule.  At the end of the day, keeping my meals small and regular is a matter of preference rather than necessity but it does contribute to meeting my goals.

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