Written by Charlotte Campbell
When Should You Consume Most Of Your Calories?
While we know that what we eat plays a vital role in our fitness journey, studies suggest that the times we eat at could also be important factors. You may have heard the adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper”. Well, it could be more than an old wives tale.
Studies have shown that those who consume the majority of their calories earlier in the day (e.g for breakfast and lunch) show better metabolic rates. In a study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, participants that ate more calories earlier in the day lost an average of 3 ½ lbs more than their later eating counterparts.
So Could I Do This Instead of Dieting?
In the study, it notes that all participants were eating 600 calories less per day than normal. So it would be presumptuous to say the time of eating would affect fat loss without any calorie intake controls. However, if you are maintaining a healthy diet and are struggling to get out from a plateau, this could help.
I Don’t Have Time For Breakfast, Is That Bad?
Skipping breakfast can be detrimental to the efficiency of your body’s fat burning ability. Those that skip breakfast are more likely to be obese and suffer from heart problems.
Many people find meal prepping for their lunch or dinner can help them stick to their nutritional goals. Why not try it for breakfast? A jar of overnight protein oats, a fruit salad or even protein pancakes cooked the night before can help kick start your metabolism as you head out the door.
How Does This Affect My Workouts?
You should not miss out on important energy to help you hit your fitness goals. If you tend to work out later in the day, ensure you have a balanced meal around 4 hours before. If you head to the gym hungry, your body will not burn extra fat. This is a common myth. In reality, your body will simply be worse at creating lean muscle, so you will not achieve a toned look.
In addition, you should still make sure that you consume enough protein to help your body recover from your workouts. For those restricting their calorie intake, diet whey from the Active Women range is a good way to get your recovery nutrients without skewing your diet plans.
Will This Mean I’m Hungry at Night?
Participants in the study still consumed calories in the evening, just less than they had for breakfast and lunch. If you stick to balanced meals and snacks, your blood sugar should stay level and release energy slowly. High protein and high fibre foods will help keep you feeling full. So pack your lunch with those foods to keep yourself hunger-free.
Don’t forget, you can also keep some low-calorie snacks handy in case hunger strikes. Carrot sticks, skinny cookies or protein brownies will all keep you satisfied without ramping up your evening calorie intake.