Meal timing is a confusing issue, we’re often told different things, going way back to “breakfast like a king, dinner like a pauper”, all the way through to modern times of eat every two hours, or eat 6 mini meals a day. So what’s the low down on meal timing?
Regular eating is the way to go
Eating three meals a day is important. Our bodies are working constantly keeping our heart pumping, brain active, kidneys filtering etc etc – so we need a constant supply of energy and nutrients to keep these processes ticking along nicely and so we feel at our best. Obviously it’s impracticle and unnecessary to eat every second of the day to fuel our bodies, but eating every 4-5 hours ensures we have a steady supply of energy and nutrients available for you to function at your best.
If you go hours and hours without eating, or skip meals you are asking a lot of your body to try and cope with supplying fuel to your entire body when you haven’t really eaten much. This can make you feel low on energy, tired and slow down your metabolism.
When should I eat my biggest meal?
Exactly what and when you should eat is totally individual and will depend on your schedule. For me, I eat around 5 times a day, with a fairly decent afternoon snack as I am most active in the evening. I go running after work between 5-8km, and when i get home I eat a dinner that is a mixture of carbohydrate and protein, plus plenty of vegetables to help me recover from my run. In the weekends I do a long run, so I eat something small before I go, then have a bigger breakfast than I usually would to help me refuel and recover. So schedule your eating around what works for you.
What to eat?
During the day a mixture of low GI, wholefood carbohydrates with some protein and lots of vegetables is a good mix whatever the meal. Some people cut carbohydrates in the evening. It’s not necessary, but it can help with weight loss as it reduces calorie content. The mix for you will depend on your own nutritional needs.
Want some more help with getting your nutrition sorted? Get an individual plan from our shop here.