100 lb. Club - Front loading the calories

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05-18-2010, 10:41 AM
Has anyone ever tried this?

I'm a natural back loader. I'm not all that hungry through the day and I like to save my calories as a sort of safety net for the evenings. But I decided to give it a go and I've been losing again here lately. I don't know if it's that or if it's the running. Probably a combination of both. But front loading makes sense from a metabolism point of view. By getting most of my calories in earlier, I'm able to burn more of them off. I don't think my evening snack was helping my weight loss. So I moved that last snack to pre-workout instead. So now I have:

Pre-work out meal
mini meal
mini meal

That's still six equally caloric meals, but nothing after about 6:30.

05-18-2010, 11:15 AM
I think whether you front-load or back-load depends a lot on your schedule, and whether you're a morning or evening person. I do a bit of both, and I definitely prefer front-loading.

On work-in-the-city days, I'm up at 5:45 and out the door in about half an hour, so eating a big breakfast isn't an option. I actually prefer a heavier breakfast, which I enjoy on the days I work at home and on Saturdays. When I eat more in the morning, my lunches and dinners are smaller and I'm satisfied with less (and usually don't need an evening snack).

05-18-2010, 11:19 AM
See, I prefer back loading. Front loading makes it harder to go out to dinner and then ice cream with friends. :D :rofl:

05-18-2010, 12:44 PM
Eliana, I tend to front load unless I know that I have an event to attend that could throw my schedule off.

I work out in the evenings, and hate a) tasting my dinner again while I'm working out or b) working out and then eating a significant amount, eg dinner. Frontloading works better for me in terms of my workouts.

05-18-2010, 12:53 PM
I definately don't front load, and only occasionally back load.

My goal is to stay under 1,800 cal a day, I have been averaging 1,200 to 1,400, but I have that extra cushion in case something pops up I guess.

05-18-2010, 12:57 PM
Oh yeah.. I guess workout time might have an influence.

My cardio is always done in the AM, usually before I eat anything, sometimes if life is crazy in the morning (like the kids get up before they "should") then it's about an hour after I eat.

I do weights in the evening and family walks, nothing that gets my body riled up enough to make me want to re-visit a meal.

If I did cardio at night, I would have to stop eating well before it (I have even learned my lesson about more than a sip or two of water before I start in the AM).

05-18-2010, 03:07 PM
I think it really just depends on what works in your life.

I back-load because I can easily be up until one or two in the morning. Try eating your main meal of the day at 9am and stay awake until 2am the next morning. I'll eat the whole kitchen. I also have my mornings just to myself, whereas I'll go out in the evenings. I'd rather back-load to be able to fit in dinner with friends or the occasional fro-yo trip (ok, more that occasional. I need to stop this!)

But if front-loading is working for you, I'd say go for it. But what I will say is you seem to switch things every three weeks. Is it possible you're letting go of weight right now because of the change and it wont work for you long-term?

05-18-2010, 03:22 PM
Ducky it's working for me in terms of weight loss, not in terms of life. ;) Like you said...I like the trips out to restaurants and then DQ with friends. Fortunately my DQ buddy is dieting too! She actually tried the sugar free fudge bar last trip. Blech! I'm thinking my next high calorie DQ treat is going to be a dipped cone in a bowl. I'll scrape off the top ice cream into the bowl, crunch up the chocolate and ditch the cone and extra ice cream within. That should bring it down to maybe 300 calories? :D

It's such a rare treat! But if I'm front loading, I can NOT do that.

05-18-2010, 03:28 PM
I eat a lot of calories in the morning, because I eat around my workout. My natural pattern and preference would be to not eat quite so much, as I am not a natural morning person, but since I have made a commitment to work out first thing in the mornings, then that's what I need to do to make sure that I don't get reactive hypoglycemia.

I still also have something after dinner--generally hot chocolate made from skim milk, cocoa, and sucralose. Reasonably low-calorie, and it gives my my chocolate/sweet fix for the day.

Then on Friday evenings there is often a more elaborate dessert, because Friday is when I have my special dinner and eat a lot more calories total that day.

I'm not going for a super-fast rate of loss, either--I'll be happy with 3 to 5 pounds this month.

05-18-2010, 07:34 PM
I see one problem with backloading: it rewards "not eating healthy food" with "getting to eat unhealthy food" and can be a "boom and bust" cycle that is hard on your blood sugar and your emotions.

Someone who doesn't spend money on clothes and housing and lives in the back of their car and wears rags to that they can afford to play the ponies has an unhealthy lifestyle even if they are living "within their means". In the same way, someone who hordes their calories all day and then blows them at the end on junk on a regular basis is also not living a healthy lifestyle. I think it is a pattern that is doomed to fail because you aren't stopping the bad behavior--binging on junk food--just trying to find a way to pay for it. But the starving yourself all day will eventually catch up with you and you will go back to eating normally during the day and binging at night.

Obviously, not everyone who backloads does this: MOST eat sparingly during the day and a healthy dinner/evening snacks most of the time. But I have seen it happen.

05-18-2010, 11:26 PM
I try to maintain equal throughout the day but I definitely eat more later than earlier.

05-19-2010, 11:13 AM
I have always been a night eater. Because I am a busy homeschool mom it's always easy for me to go all day without eating and then 4:00 would hit and I'd realize I hadn't eaten and was starving. The days that weren't like that I spent the day grazing. I make a point to eat breakfast because it was never my strong point unless I was making eggs and bacon, otherwise only the kids got fed. I still struggle in the evening because it is when I get my quiet time and I catch up on my shows with the DVR. I do tend to save some calories for the evening so I can enjoy at least one snack with my shows and not feel like I am missing something. If I am feeling too "hungry" then I just turn off the tv and go to bed as I don't want to risk it.