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Old 01-29-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Bigger meals earlier in the day COULD help you lose more weight...

Came across this interesting article about how the time of day that you consume most of your calories can make a difference on the weight you lose.


Thought I would share
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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I know for me that eating earlier keeps me from getting hungry. Then, if I'm not always thinking about food because I've fed myself well, then I make more sensible food choices.

I am also a morning person. I'm warmer in the morning, find it easier to exercise in the morning hours, etc. My metabolism is just raring to go then. I find that I eat to fit my hunger, I eat a big breakfast (about an hour after waking), a big lunch and then an early light dinner between 3-4 pm. I don't need to eat again for the rest of the day. I'm not even hungry....

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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I've had to lose weight before eating the majority of my calories in the middle of the night because of my work schedule... And now that I incorporate IF into my plan I just don't believe timing of meals matters... the calories matter... creating and maintaining a deficit matters and finding a way that you can do that... One that you can live with matters... But as far as what time of day you do all of that... Well that's up to you...

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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I could only get the abstract and not the full article, but according to the abstract, total number of calories consumed and expended were the same in both groups, as was total amount of sleep.

So it is seems like it's not just based on the idea that how you structure your eating is what helps you maintain a calorie deficit.

I'll certainly be following this to see if there is further research. For a lot of people, it's less practical to eat the fullest meal for lunch since most people are at work and don't have as much time or ability to prepare a more elaborate or larger meal then.

As someone who typically does have my largest meal at night, at least on weekdays, I might try to work towards a little more balance between what I eat at each meal on the basis that it can't hurt.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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My biggest meal is usually lunch. I don't get too hungry after a decent lunch.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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I'm usually never hungry in the morning. But then I'm not a morning person either.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:23 AM   #7
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I eat my largest meal at night and like it that way. I couldn't eat and enjoy my largest meal at lunch. Also, since the calories/exercise/other stuff that was 'normalized' was self-reported by the study participants, it is really hard to say for sure that people reported calories properly.

I also wonder if there is something cultural going on that might account for differences here - the people in the Spanish study eating their biggest meal at mid-day while dieting are also people who are eating the way people in Spain normally eat. They have adapted their diet to cultural norms. Does that help them consume less or more accurately calculate their calories and result in slightly better weight loss than the other group?
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:03 AM   #8
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I feel like I'm on the cutting edge of weight loss research! LOL. At the end of last year I realized I needed to stop eating at 7pm, which drastically cut down on the amount of mindless eating I do. Then I came across the 8 Hour Diet, which recommends eating just 8 hours a day. I decided to eat a large breakfast, then eat often throughout the day and stop eating around 3 pm.

Well that didn't seem that sustainable so I've gone to a more moderate approach, but I've kept the emphasis on eating a large breakfast and now, dinner is something small, like a sandwich or broth-based soup. I eat that around 6:30 p.m.

Like the 8 Hour Diet (which is not really a new idea as it is essentially Intermittent Fasting), this research goes along with the old adage: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper (or something like that). So the thinking isn't really new or revolutionary, but it is nice to see research on it.

This actually works well for me, because I have 3 young kids. I get to wake up early and actually enjoy a quiet breakfast before they wake up. Lunch is usually something I packed from home but I meet up with my husband to eat out a couple times a week, so it works well for me to eat a decent-sized lunch then. (Again, without the kids distracting us a lot). By the time we all get home I'm usually very stressed because there's so much to get done before bed (I realized that if I eat when I'm stressed I basically don't even chew my food, I'm shoveling it down so fast), and it's nice to know I just need to throw a sandwich together for me and I can focus on the family once I eat that. We do have family dinners on weekends but often the kids don't want a huge dinner either, so for now we mostly just make quick things for dinner.

Last edited by Amy8888; 01-31-2013 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #9
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I agree with this study. When I was single, I ate a big breakfast and substantial lunch...very little dinner. This worked for me because I lived alone and cooking a big meal in the evening for one person was inconvenient. I was more active during the day, being at work, and much less active in the evening, watching TV etc. After I got married, my husband was big on dinner and my weight gradually increased as my meals shifted. This is how it worked out for me...others may have a different metabolism. I do better if I eat more during my active hours and cut back during the time that I'm more sedentary.

I'm less than perfect, and that's OK!
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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I personally don't think the time of day I eat my calories makes a difference in creating an overall deficit in the course of a week.

I am all over the map with eating patterns because in my previous career that is how I had to live.

It has never made a difference.

I think not eating much at night is a good habit because it cuts time I could mindlessly be eating.

I also think that unless hungry, it is useless for me to eat breakfast, so I don't eat at that time unless hungry

I tend to eat most of my calories between 10:30 a.m. & 4 p.m. but sometimes I switch all that around.

It just doesn't make a difference in my weight maintenance or losing if I'm trying to lose some.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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If I didn't have a family to feed, I think I could get into this kind of schedule. I can do great all day, but when DH and DD come home from work and school ravenous, I eat with them even though I'm not hungry. Huge hurdle for me.
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