WHEN, WHAT AND HOW TO EAT

When it comes to dieting and eating right there are SOOO many different fads and diet rules that you SHOULD follow? But should you? The short answer is NO. The long answer… well grab a cuppa and keep reading! The motto of this post is … Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organise your diet.

Here is the dirty truth on the 4 most common diet and health myths.

1. DON’T EAT AFTER … O’CLOCK

If you are a frequent reader of health and fitness blogs or magazines then I am sure you have read somewhere or another one of the following;

– don’t eat carbs after 3pm…

– don’t eat fruit at night …

– don’t eat dairy on an empty stomach  …

Well I did some digging and it is all (excuse my French) BULL S#!T !! What you consume at 8am in the morning is still the same calories if it were eaten at 8pm in the evening. Your body does not know the difference and quite frankly doesn’t care. Your body does no flip on a switch when you sleep and store ALL the food you didn’t use up as energy as fat << that’s a popular one right?

The only thing that ‘don’t eat carbs at night’ does is decrease your food intake or quantities for those that eat nothing all day and the entire contents of the fridge at night-time. Having a ‘do not eat‘ category means that at least one food group isn’t abused in the space of 30 minutes. However congratulations to those who thought your ‘carb free’ block of chocolate will prevent the weight gain that your dangerously high carb (yet nutritious) brown rice or banana would cause (Sense the sarcasm tone here)

The best time to eat carbs is in the morning or post workout. Not because these times of the day means the carbs will make you loose weight – BUT in the morning they will stop you from binging at the office morning tea and after a workout, your body is using the carbs to restore the glycogen used in your muscles and your energy systems. So the excess carbs will not be stored as fat, they will be used to replenish your body. This is the best time to eat carbs!

If you consumed the same ‘low carb’ block of chocolate at 7am for breakfast no matter how active you were throughout the day your body would still store the highly processed sugars as… well… fat! Just as it would at night time irrelevant of the angle of the sun. It is not the TIME you eat it but WHAT you eat. Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organise your diet.

2. DON’T EAT LATE AT NIGHT

I wrote a blog post on some after dinner snacks that wont keep you tossing and turning all night >> HERE. This is based on the digestion of food types and comfort of the stomach when sleeping NOT the calories or fat storage which I have clearly stated above doesn’t depend on the time of day.

Does eating at night make you fat? No!  But over eating will and if you are someone who tends to over eat at night then you should try best to avoid it. BUT if you are hungry – EAT! Doesn’t matter what the time is. Sometimes I have an early dinner around 6.30pm and when I am up late watching an episode at 9.30pm my stomach starts to grumble (hello 3 hourly clock work hunger) so I eat. Something small and normally exactly what I feel like. ie yoghurt and berries, protein balls >> recipe HERE or some trail mix/nuts. This late night snack WILL NOT be stored as fat or treated differently to if I ate it pre-dinner. I have also had a few of those sleepless nights when I am WIDE awake at 3am and my stomach is GROWLING at me for food. My go to snack at this hour of the morning (or night if you wish) is a spoon and a half of peanut butter or coconut oil and a glass of coconut water or whatever milk I have open. Don’t ask why – like I said – I eat what I want when I want. The healthy fats in the peanut butter help fight the hunger and the coconut water is refreshing and I find I tend to fall back to sleep fast! Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organise your diet.

peanut-butter

3. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST

This is another well spoken about and debated topic. However there is a little bit of the B word behind this too. Generally speaking those people who do not eat breakfast or eat within 30 minutes of waking up are those with a poor diet, minimal daily activity and crappy nutrition. (I said generally speaking…) They eat more junk food throughout the day and eat therefore all of their calories at night. They are not overweight because they didn’t eat their breakfast that day – they are overweight because they over eat in an uncontrolled fashion for the rest of the day. A lot of overweight people often skip breakfast as a means of ‘loosing weight’ but end up hungry and eating more calories than they would if the didn’t skip their oats. Again resulting in weight gain. I eat breakfast because I have either just worked out or am completely ravenous. Yes sleep is like a time machine to breakfast for me!! I personally cannot go an hour or so after waking without food. I get fungry or hangry!! Making sure you eat a large and substantially nutritious breakfast (ticking those carbs, fats and protein boxes) will keep you full and nourished for longer and avoid that mid morning cake sweet tooth. So once again – Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organise your diet.

fig toast

4. DON’T EAT PRE WORKOUT

Okay so this is probably THE ONLY time of the day when what you eat or how you eat should be given any special attention and can have benefits. BUT not necessarily for weight loss. What do I mean? Well if you eat peanut butter and banana on toast BEFORE you hit the gym your body wont lose weight from the meal/snack but you can use the energy from the healthy fats and carbs to push yourself harder in the gym and THAT will cause you to lose weight. It is not the food but the energy the food gives you to work harder which makes a difference. So as far as WHAT you should eat pre workout – I suggest something delicious that will give you energy ie peanut butter and banana on toast! As for after a workout you want something to restore all of your energy levels and help replenish your muscles so you can workout again soon and take care of your body. Again healthy fats and carbohydrates are perfect. Blog Post on Carbs >> HERE and fats >> HERE . Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organise your diet.

sweet-potato-fries

SUMMING IT ALL UP; WHEN, WHAT AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD I EAT ?

Everyone is different and everyone has their own routine that works for them. My advice, trial and error what you like and listen to YOUR BODY!!! It will tell you when you are hungry or when it requires more energy than usual. But most of all …

Whatever will make you most likely to consistently eat the way you are supposed to eat, THAT’S how you should eat. Whatever is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for YOU is the exact way YOU should organise your diet.

K

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