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Eating Early: I Must Remember This!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Toronto Globe and Mail reports today that recent Spanish research indicates eating earlier in the day helps with weight loss: even if calories in/calories out remain the same.

That old adage about "eating breakfast like a king . . . supper like a pauper" seems to be borne out. "Chronotherapy" is a relatively recent field of medical treatment linking time of day to many different aspects of health care: including the timing of blood pressure meds and chemo cancer treatments.

My biggest meal of the day (both by volume and by calories) tends to be lunch: those big salads! And certainly I eat lunch closer to noon than 3 pm, the Spanish cut-off point for optimum weight loss (of course the Spanish typically eat dinner about 10 pm as well . . . ). My suppers tend to be pretty light: soup and yogourt with berries. Breakfasts vary: sometimes just coffee (I know, I know) and sometimes a low cal omelette made with half egg white, half Omega low fat eggs (in the cartons) plus low fat feta and a whack o' spinach. Oatmeal less often these days . . . Spark Trivia tells us it doesn't matter what time of day we eat but my experience suggests . . . . eating heavily late in the day doesn't work well for me. Hate that food hangover feeling the next morning anyhow.


Related short short in the Globe points to the effect of hunger on memory performance: it's possible that hunger activates a protein in the brain which helps us remember better.

OK, gotta remember this! What I really believe . . . experimenting with different techniques of weight management helps me keep it fresh and relieves a bit of the tedium of the "eternal vigilance" necessary to MAINtain. Which is the main thing!!
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  • KANOE10
    I have heard that study also. I tend to eat big breakfasts so it is not a problem. Thanks for sharing.
    1815 days ago
    Good idea to feel a bit of hunger for memories sake. I must remember that. emoticon
    1816 days ago
    When I am unable to eat my usual big protein packed breakfast (400 cals or so) I end up feeling hungry all day!
    I'd love to eat my biggest meal mid-day but can\'t manage that right now.
    1816 days ago
    Interesting. I always eat a good breakfast, but I eat a good lunch and dinner, too. Maybe that's my problem.
    1816 days ago
    Yeah, I don't like a late and heavy dinner, I can't sleep with that much food in my stomach. I need a good 3 or 4 hours between dinner and bedtime - and DH loves to have a late dinner and then sleep with a full stomach - so we compromise in places like Spain, and have dinner about 8 or 9 - then I only have to stay up til midnight or 1 AM, LOL!

    We also try to make lunch the big meal, and have appetizers or tapas for dinner - less expensive, too!
    1816 days ago
  • _LINDA
    My breakfast has always been the biggest, highest calorie meal of the day. I am always hungry for it, but that is because I get in a good workout first. I prefer light dinners as I don't want a full feeling going to bed. I can't say if it helped my weight loss one way or the other as it was very slow anyway. But I sure agree with the experts you need this boost of fuel to help carry you through the day, especially if your lunch is rushed or smaller due to time constraints. I feel this is what keeps my energy level really going in spite of the lack of sleep..
    Let us not hear about liquid breakfasts again, you can do it!!
    It takes me like 2 minutes to cook two poached egg whites in the microwave! I sprinkle on some garlic and Asiago cheese on them to perk them up and give me a little fat. With sides of veggies of course.
    Have a Wonderful Wednesday!
    1816 days ago
    You're always a rich source of info and intriguing ideas! Thanks for this input!

    For me, it is easier to eat lightly or not at all in the evening. My hunger surge is much earlier in the day, peaking about 2 or 3 pm. If I eat "dinner" then (actually somewhat practical with family activities at night) I can usually drink some tea in the evening and be satisfied. I also find I sleep much better. Now your research says eating earlier is effective. Cool.

    1816 days ago
    Here's to anything that improves memory!
    1816 days ago
    Big breakfasts always work for me, combined with a couple of snacks, a smaller lunch and a decent sized dinner. If I miss the morning meal everything gets messed up and I tend to gorge in the p.m.
    1816 days ago
    I like your last paragraph about experimenting. I'm never hungry first thing in the morning. Even after a workout, just a "little something" is plenty for me. The appetite kicks in afternoon & evening. Eating more earlier never changed a thing, just a big increase in calories for the day.

    You just got to try different things and find the one that works for you.
    1816 days ago
  • NANCY-
    BC (Before Children) Hubby worked second shift and lunchtime was our main meal of the day and we both felt great. (we were also much younger, but I digress) Now that retirement is around the corner we will revisit that.
    Thanks for sharing.
    1816 days ago
    I'd love to eat more earlier, but previous experience says I'd feel hungry in the evening and at night if did. I fight a feeling of deprivation if I don't have about 100 calories left for an evening snack. My largest calorie meal is dinner - at 5-5:30 pm. I seem to be able to put off eating more calories as long as I know I COULD eat them later.

    Maybe I'll have to try this when I reach maintenance and have more calories to play with. Thanks for sharing!
    1816 days ago
    Just caught that piece of news too...generally not a prob for me, but now & then...!

    1816 days ago
    I saw this on the news....I'm working to eat more of my calories earlier in the day, but I'm always worried I'll "run out!" Good for you for having a light dinner.
    1816 days ago
    I read that article. I have always eaten on the good old American schedule. I was in South America a few times and their main dinner seating was 11pm. I'm long asleep by then. I can't even imagine it!
    1816 days ago
    I wake up hungry! Therefore big breakfast for me? No surprise. You KNOW I love my steel cut oats... sip coffee 'til they are ready. And they see me through my mornings.

    Supper is modest, and I have a light evening snack. Bottom line, you have to find what works. This seems to work for me. But I'm always open to research!
    1816 days ago
  • SWAZY33
    I would prefer to eat early. LOVE breakfast. My problem is hubby and family love dinner and want a big full meal. I'm never really hungry at dinner time but end up eating some to join in the family time. Lately, I made myself a cup of broth to have while they are eating and that seems like a better choice for me
    1816 days ago
  • BOSS61
    I fully concur.
    1816 days ago
  • 1935MARY
    Very interesting. Good ideal about experimenting with things ,it will keep you from getting bored and you may find something that works great for you. Different things work for different people. I too have a hard time with eating breakfast . Good luck.
    1816 days ago
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