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How important is spacing your meals?

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Old 12-26-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
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Question How important is spacing your meals?

I understand that spacing our meals evenly throughout the day should be a goal but how important is it really? Will it affect ketosis somewhat on a daily basis? I plan out my meals ahead of time but sort of get lost in the day regarding the timing of them. One day I might have lunch before leaving home at noon but on other days I may not get back home till 2:30-3:00 and have lunch. I don't have a problem with being ravenously hungry and can control it with tea or water and I do stay OP but am wondering if I should start timing meals better. I do plan to read more on Dr. Tran and IP in the next few days because I would really like to understand the science of what is going on. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

My first weigh in I lost 5.2, 2nd WI= 3.8, 3rd WI= 6. Now I am in my second week of waiting to weigh in again on the 30th because of the holidays. Opted to wait two weeks instead of one since I weigh in on Saturdays (Xmas eve) and it is an hours drive.

Thank you for any insight or personal experience.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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I honestly never eat at the same time, my days are always crazy. I work from home so I get caught up with work and doing other things. Sometimes I will eat breakfast at 10, lunch at 4 dinner at 7 others breakfast 9 lunch 2 dinner 6. I am sure there is a reason behind the spacing out of your meals so your body doesn't go into starvation mode but I do what works for me and this seems to work
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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I honestly never eat at the same time, my days are always crazy. I work from home so I get caught up with work and doing other things. Sometimes I will eat breakfast at 10, lunch at 4 dinner at 7 others breakfast 9 lunch 2 dinner 6. I am sure there is a reason behind the spacing out of your meals so your body doesn't go into starvation mode but I do what works for me and this seems to work
I also just eat when I get hungry!!
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Well this is good to know. I was under the impression that the meals should try to be more evenly spaced throughout the day. I do have a hard time with getting the snack in before 8pm seeing as we don't eat dinner till 7-7:30. The snack is usually eaten about 9:30 and sort of forced as I am not hungry but know I have to get the third packet in.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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My coach told me not to go more than 4 hours between eating protein as it will affect your ratio between lean muscle and body fat. To be honest for me it's often more like 4 to 5 hours some days. I do know for me personally it's important as the weeks I'm not as good about that I do tend to loose lean muscle (not good) and not loose body fat (terrible for your healthl). Not all coaches check your BMI which I find strange as this plan is all about maintaining lean muscle and loosing body fat.

Basically the science of it is that when your body needs fuel it will go for protein first before body fat. If you go too many hours between protein then the body will go after your lean muscle first (protein). It's the same reason why many coaches recommend extra protein if you work out, or eat protein just before working out and protein right after.

You will stay in ketosis no matter how many hours between meals. Best of luck with your next WI.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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Well this is good to know. I was under the impression that the meals should try to be more evenly spaced throughout the day. I do have a hard time with getting the snack in before 8pm seeing as we don't eat dinner till 7-7:30. The snack is usually eaten about 9:30 and sort of forced as I am not hungry but know I have to get the third packet in.
Thanks.
Sometimes my snack it at 11:30 at night, I have never eaten my snack before 8. Of course again this is what works for me!
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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My coach told me not to go more than 4 hours between eating protein as it will affect your ratio between lean muscle and body fat. To be honest for me it's often more like 4 to 5 hours some days. I do know for me personally it's important as the weeks I'm not as good about that I do tend to loose lean muscle (not good) and not loose body fat (terrible for your healthl). Not all coaches check your BMI which I find strange as this plan is all about maintaining lean muscle and loosing body fat.

Basically the science of it is that when your body needs fuel it will go for protein first before body fat. If you go too many hours between protein then the body will go after your lean muscle first (protein). It's the same reason why many coaches recommend extra protein if you work out, or eat protein just before working out and protein right after.

You will stay in ketosis no matter how many hours between meals. Best of luck with your next WI.
Very interesting.

My meal times vary a great deal. I can get to 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. without getting hungry and then realize I haven't eaten anything since 8:00 a.m. I am going to do a mini experiment and stick to the 4-hour guideline for the next two weeks and see if it impacts my weight loss. My clinic is closed until January 3, so no (official) weigh in for me this week.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:57 PM   #8
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Very interesting.

My meal times vary a great deal. I can get to 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. without getting hungry and then realize I haven't eaten anything since 8:00 a.m. I am going to do a mini experiment and stick to the 4-hour guideline for the next two weeks and see if it impacts my weight loss. My clinic is closed until January 3, so no (official) weigh in for me this week.
If I ate only when hungry then I would never eat, as I'm hardly ever hungry, lol. Actually in the early days of this diet I did just that since we have been trained in the past not to eat if not hungry. Well that may work okay for just loosing weight, but what are you really loosing then? It's the extra body fat that causes us the most harm. If you are trying to maintain or build up lean muscle and loose fat, well then that doesn't work.

I have always lost weight on this plan even if I spaced out my meals too far, but I paid the price that week by loosing lean muscle and thus gaining body fat. So OneGuy, you should really only notice a difference if your coach checks your BMI since as we know the scale doesn't tell the whole story.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:11 AM   #9
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There is no scientific evidence that supports this. When you get to the elite levels of bodybuilding and composition, things like nutrient timing really start to matter, but as far as the average person losing weight, it doesn't matter when you eat.
Interesting. So then how can you explain the weeks I am not as careful about spacing my meals my lean muscle count goes down that week and so then of course my body fat count goes up? The weeks that I am more conscious of my spacing it's just the opposite.

Well either way my goal in following IP is to maintain what lean muscle mass I have and lower my body fat to a healthy level.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #10
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This is good to know because most days I eat at the same time but, many I do not have time or I'm not hungry the same time.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:27 AM   #11
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Here's the thing... on IP we are eating very few calories and the glycemic index is very low. The ideal way to lose weight and take care of your body is to not cause peaks or valleys in blood sugar levels. If you go too long between meals, you are more likely to do this. Some people are more sensitive to this than others.

Also, your body does need fuel based on your activities. If you can feed it the right fuel at the right time, you have a better chance of burning fat than muscle. This is even more true for those of us on IP because we already have decreased glycogen stores. I don't have time to cite articles right now because I have to leave in a minute, but I can look later. The problem with this idea is that it is extremely difficult to know exactly what your body needs and when. Dana, if you have found something that works for you then stay with it. For the rest of us, we are somewhat left with trial and error.

As I said before, some of us are more sensitive than others or more in tune with our bodies. The key is understand the differences in how your body feels when you make changes and do what works the best.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:09 PM   #12
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in my first week one of days i had a big space between my meals and my coach saw that in my journal and said dont ever do that again.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:25 PM   #13
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Thank you for all of the feedback about this subject. The different comments and observations are something to think about. I will definitely ask my coach about it. Trying to do the regular spacing makes sense but it is hard to do sometimes. Eating when hungry makes sense too instead of being on a schedule.
I'd like to have a better routine with this program-it would also help me with the vitamins and supplements (not taking the dinner and the bedtime ones so close together).
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
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My coach also got VERY upset when she saw that I was not always eating enough. Plus, I was eating a restricted for snack at night and she had a cow over that too. She told me to eat earlier in the morning because I get up at 5AM and wasn't having my first IP until 9AM.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:53 PM   #15
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My coach also got VERY upset when she saw that I was not always eating enough. Plus, I was eating a restricted for snack at night and she had a cow over that too. She told me to eat earlier in the morning because I get up at 5AM and wasn't having my first IP until 9AM.
I'm sorry your coach got very upset. She's probably right, but I think coaches should be gentle but firm in the correction and advice and not get upset. I find we can get upset with ourselves just fine and don't really need help with that.
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