June 5, 2017

Meal timing for weight loss and health

What is the best meal timing for weight loss and health? This question comes up quite a bit online. It is one I find very hard to answer in a simple Facebook post, so I decided to dedicate a full podcast episode to it.

What is the best meal timing for weight loss and health? This question comes up quite a bit online. It is one I find very hard to answer in a simple Facebook post, so I decided to dedicate a full podcast episode to it.

I view eating windows as a continuum much like the political spectrum.  There are different approaches and people are very passionate about defending their place.  Few people are able to objectively look at the full spectrum and see the benefits of each.

The meal timing for weight loss and health spectrum is:

  • Six small meals – timing multiple small meals throughout the day to avoid getting hungry.
  • Workout meal timing – having carbs before the workout and carbs and protein immediately after the workout.
  • Three main meals – having three meals with no snacking permitted.
  • Intermittent fasting
    • 16/8 Intermittent fasting – limiting eating to an eight hour window each day.
    • 5×2 Intermittent fasting – eating normally for five days and having two very low calorie days per week.
  • Extended fasting – fasting for 24 hours or more.

Most people approach meal timing for weight loss.  Before you can effectively lose weight, you'll have to manage your hormones.  Understanding your hormone profile will help you decide where you should be on the continuum.  Most of the approaches are focused on managing blood sugar and thereby insulin.

Lifestyle also plays a big role in determining which meal timing works best for you.  I am often on a 16/8 intermittent fasting approach.  I opt to skip breakfast and have a good lunch and dinner because it would be odd to not be eating when my wife is taking dinner.

All this said, being a sugar burner or fat burner will have the biggest role in determining which meal timing approach you can stick with.  Frequent meals spaced throughout the day works best for sugar burners.  Fat burners are often more comfortable with intermittent fast and extended fasting.

Another episode you may enjoy

Fasting for weight loss with Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore

allan

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