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# How do you divide your calories up during the day?

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AKATHLEEN54
Posts: 531
2/25/13 10:05 A

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 NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,847 2/25/13 9:14 A CLARISSE- as long as you have put in all your exercise into SP to get your calorie range, then you are good to go -- you don't need to stick to 1600 every day. You have a range for a reason -- you can use it. You can eat anywhere from 1430 to 1760 each day. That means you can eat 1760 every day, or you can eat 1430 every day, or you can mix it up as much as you want - 1500 on Monday, 1700 on Tuesday, 1430 on Wednesday, 1760 on Thursday, 1610 on Friday, etc. The range is there to be used as a range.As far as the distribution of your meals, it really and truly does NOT matter. You could even just eat all of your calories in one meal if you want, or split them up into 10 meals. It will most likely be determined by your schedule. I have my largest meal for lunch, because that works best for my schedule and I don't like to eat big meals at night (bothers my stomach) - and I don't like to eat before I workout - so all those things together helped ME figure out how to break up my calories over the course of the day. In my case, I have about 250 cals for breakfast, 650 cals for lunch, 200 for afternoon snack, and 200 for dinner -- on an average day. But it varies, and that's just fine.Something like "strictly follow 1600 kcal a day divided into 6 equal 267 kcal meals" sounds like a truly IMPOSSIBLE task. Literally IMPOSSIBLE. You are not a computer. You ARE allowed to live like a normal person.

 CLARISSEDERAMOS Posts: 3 2/25/13 6:39 A Please help me. Can someone let me know if I am doing the right thing? I have a daily caloric needs between 1430 to 1760. I run everyday from 630AM for 30 mins and workout three times a week. I was told to eat heavy in the morning but I strictly follow 1600 kcal a day divided into 6 equal 267kcal a meal. I start my first meal at 8AM and last at 8PM. Is this OK?

MARITIMER3
SparkPoints: (76,991)
Fitness Minutes: (44,074)
Posts: 4,221
5/11/12 8:23 P

I usually have about 300 for breakfast, 400 for lunch, 2 snacks @ 100 each and 500 for dinner

Eastern Time Zone

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CJKARDELL
SparkPoints: (2,106)
Fitness Minutes: (319)
Posts: 27
5/11/12 7:43 P

I keep breakfast and luch under 500 total then save the rest for snacks and dinner.
Are you using the food tracker. It has really helped me

Stay well. Keep on going. "One day at a time"

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TERRI_PA191
Posts: 202
5/11/12 7:38 P

I try to keep it close to these....

8:00 2 scrambled eggs (70g), 2 coffees w/ milk (115g) = 130 cal.
10:00 snack = 100
12:00 lunch = 300
2:00 snack = 100
5:00 dinner = 500
8:00 snack = 100

I eat the same thing most mornings.

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CEWOLCOTT
Posts: 1,964
5/11/12 5:46 P

Less than 1/4 breakfast, 1/4 lunch, more than 1/4 dinner, other 1/4 snacks and/or treat

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PARKERB2
SparkPoints: (129,515)
Fitness Minutes: (68,075)
Posts: 12,065
5/11/12 2:26 P

1/4 breakfast, 1/4 lunch, 1/2 dinner.

SPARKERS ROCK!!!!

 current weight: 151.6

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RONIGH
Posts: 631
5/11/12 2:23 P

Breakfast 20%, Lunch 30%, Dinner 50%.

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JOHNSONE4
SparkPoints: (24,902)
Fitness Minutes: (21,721)
Posts: 1,228
5/9/12 1:18 P

Breakfast and lunch are half and dinner and a snack are half

 current weight: 160.0

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BIGDOG1969
SparkPoints: (26,713)
Fitness Minutes: (9,743)
Posts: 1,028
5/9/12 1:07 P

Three meals (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) of equal calories ; 2 snacks (plus a third, night snack if I was short on calories) of half the calories/nutrients of the main meals.

"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary." Vidal Sasson

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

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RUTHDEN1
SparkPoints: (87,203)
Fitness Minutes: (64,388)
Posts: 2,445
5/9/12 12:53 P

I try to divide my calories thru out the day. 500 for breakfast, 200+ for snacks and rest for dinner and lunch. I try for 1500-2000 calories a day.

Ruth
-----------------------------May you live everyday of your life.
Jonathan Swift

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RIET69
SparkPoints: (33,633)
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
Posts: 2,253
5/9/12 11:36 A

I too have a problem not eating most of my calories at dinner. I never eat after dinner, but my dinners are too much. I am trying to cut those.

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SOAPSANDROPES
Posts: 339
5/9/12 11:30 A

I have a bad habit of eating most of my calories at dinner. So recently I have been trying to divide it up a little better, Breakfast 300, lunch 400, dinner 400, and one snack 100-200. I find that snacking during the day makes me more likely to keep eating and that one snack around 2pm is really all I need. I don't think that there is anything wrong with feeling hungry before a meal.

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PURPLETEACHER06
SparkPoints: (33,341)
Fitness Minutes: (40,162)
Posts: 1,845
5/9/12 10:28 A

Breakfast- Around 200 (cheerios and milk)
Snack- banana 100
Lunch- Sandwich, apple, and cottage cheese. Around 400
Snack- Yogurt and Strawberries- 200
Dinner- Around 400-500
Snack- 100 or under. (unless I have a protein bar before I workout then around 200)

I was always told to eat most of your calories before dinner and have a light dinner. This has worked really well for me.

Stasha
Kansas City, MO
Sapphire Sergeant
BLC20 Lost 23.9lbs
BLC21 Lost 14.6lbs

ingStrengthLikeStasha

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 AMALLECO SparkPoints: (10,856) Fitness Minutes: (1,782) Posts: 746 5/9/12 9:53 A A nutrionist once told me it goes Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack. It doesn't have to be strict but the guidelines are there.I shoot for 300 (B) 100 (S) 400 (L) 100 (S) 2-400 (D) 100 (S)Depends on how much I worked out for dinner... Ange Changing My Lifestyle, One Day at a Time.

RYANB1982
SparkPoints: (4,484)
Fitness Minutes: (1,132)
Posts: 229
5/9/12 9:19 A

I like to keep breakfast around 300 cal, lunch around 300 cal, and have my big meal (around 600cal) at dinner, I know right before bed. I work weekend nights, most everyone I know works Mon-Fri 8-5, so really dinner is my only social outlet!

"Sometimes you have to hang on to Heaven with Hell on your back"

"If God be for us, who can be against us"

 current weight: 180.0

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CITYCLK
SparkPoints: (998)
Fitness Minutes: (375)
Posts: 60
5/8/12 1:50 P

I like my breakfast to consist of protein and maybe a small bowl of cereal. I usually take in around 300 for breakfast. I have a mid-morning and afternoon snack which consists of an apple, almonds, yogurt, or some hummus w/ crackers. My morning and afternoon snacks generally total up to around 300 for the day. Lunch is around 500. Dinner is usually 500. I feel I do better by having several small meals and snacks throughout the day. Currently, I'm allowed up to 1,750 calories per day. I would like to start eating more earlier in the day so I'm not taking in so many calories at my evening meal, but I just started this a week ago so I'm taking it slow.

 current weight: 230.0

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SKYELIZ525
SparkPoints: (4,144)
Fitness Minutes: (1,090)
Posts: 72
5/8/12 10:39 A

Thanks for all of these great opinions! I really appreciate it. I only used 1200 calories as an example (seemed to be a nice round easy to divide number). I was having a conversation with a co-worker who had me all up in arms about my calorie distribution. I agree with you all, though. Break it up to what fits your body's needs the best. She was carrying on about how I HAD to only allow x number of calories for this meal and if I had to have a snack, no later than this time...and while I think it would be great if I could be programmed to automatically eat at a certain time everyday, I have a life and sometimes I'm not home or near food at that time...anyway. I just needed some reassurance that the way I am approaching things is on point with the Spark way! (BTW, I don't know why I let her get in my head like that...she thinks Slim Fast and tuna are the only decent diet foods out there!)
Thanks again!

Edited by: SKYELIZ525 at: 5/8/2012 (10:39)
"Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference."

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FITNESSFOODIE
Posts: 3,234
5/7/12 11:21 P

I like breakfast 300, lunch 400, snack 100, dinner 400. Because I make dinner after work we sometimes eat at 6:30 or 7 pm, even later in the summer or on weekends. I shoot for snack around 4 pm before leaving work.

Karen - Seacoast New Hampshire

Do or Do Not. There is No Try. Yoda

 current weight: 255.0

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Posts: 4,900
5/7/12 11:09 P

I usually do 250, 300,100,500 - I find I always want a snack in the afternoon around 4pm and sometimes late in the evening.

Dot - Florida - B/day l/28/32

For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
Winston Churchill.

 current weight: 151.0

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3RDTIMEISACHARM
SparkPoints: (11,734)
Fitness Minutes: (4,316)
Posts: 1,418
5/7/12 5:23 P

100 starter
300 breakfast
450 lunch - often two snacks
400 dinner
150 oh yea, I like skinny cows

or for a long away from home day

450 larger breakfast
450good lunch or snack, snack
300 light dinner
150 I still want the skinny cow

if I go light in the morning it'll turn into

100 juice and coffee
200 something light
800 huge dinner
150 yes, I still want dessert...it's a bummer when I am out of desserts.

Life is difficult - Peck

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MEGAPEEJ
Posts: 608
5/7/12 5:10 P

It's going to be a very personal decision - you'll have to play with it and figure out what works best for you. I save a lot of my calories for dinner because then I won't get hungry in the evening (there's the most amount of time between dinner and breakfast), and earlier in the day since I eat every 2 or 3 hours I'm happy with smaller amounts of calories at a time. Dinner is also the only meal I eat with my husband because of our schedules, so I like that we can eat a big meal together and I don't feel like I'm on a "diet" compared to his meal.

So for my 1700ish calorie target, I may aim for:
300(b) - 450(l) - 150(s) - 800(d)

Other people may do the exact opposite and load up on breakfast to fuel their day. I say identify where you are the hungriest and the most likely to take extra calories because of hunger, and allocate your calories there. Play with it a little bit!

Edited by: MEGAPEEJ at: 5/7/2012 (17:11)
Do something everyday that your future self will thank you for.

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07SOJO
SparkPoints: (64,652)
Fitness Minutes: (71,791)
Posts: 1,608
5/7/12 4:55 P

I try to have the most calories earlier in the day and have a light dinner. You just have to find what works for you.

You NEVER regret a workout!
Love Sojo

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 LORTHOM2001 Posts: 3,676 5/7/12 4:54 P i allow 200 cals per meal, per day, but i eat 6 meals plus 2 in-between snax

ELENGIL
SparkPoints: (14,456)
Fitness Minutes: (7,002)
Posts: 608
5/7/12 4:50 P

1,200 is only the bare minimum. Even if you have three 400 calorie meals, you can still have 50-100 calorie snacks once or twice a day and be within your 1200-1550 range. Your body is unique, you may lose better *not* sticking to the minimum, so don't think that you have to stick to the low end of your range. Do what works best for you personally. The entire range is your weight loss range, not just the low end.

On *average*, though not daily, I generally look at about:
Breakfast: 300 cal
Snack: 100 cal
Lunch: 400-450 cal
Snack: 0-100 cal
Dinner: 400-450 cal

I try to shoot for 1250-1400 depending on how heavy I worked out that day (1250 if I pretty much did nothing, 1400 if I did an hour-ish.)

Now I didn't sit down and plan this out, this is how my normal meals were generally falling. Smaller breakfast because that's all I can usually eat first thing, but then I'd be a bit hungry by my first break so bring a filling snack as well to get me through to lunch. Lunch and dinner just naturally tend to be my larger meals, and the meals I prepare that fill me up and give me enough energy tend to fall in the above ranges.

I have a smaller snack at second break if I'm feeling hungry, though I don't always. I pack one just in case but don't eat it if I'm not hungry for it. Then dinner tends to fall around the above range as well.

Track yourself for a while and note how you feel after your meals and use your body's natural hunger cycles to figure out what your meals should be. Some people don't eat snacks at all, some people eat more than 5 small meals in a day. It's really up to your own needs to determine what you have to do.

Edited by: ELENGIL at: 5/7/2012 (16:55)

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BRIANNA1331
SparkPoints: (8,688)
Fitness Minutes: (3,315)
Posts: 303
5/7/12 4:34 P

I usually try to do 300-400-500, though if I do that for a few days I'll find myself not being very hungry in the mornings and saving up for a bigger dinner.

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SKYELIZ525
SparkPoints: (4,144)
Fitness Minutes: (1,090)
Posts: 72
5/7/12 2:56 P

How many calories do you allot for each meal or snack? I'm trying to figure out if I should split my calories equally - for instance, if I'm on a 1200 calorie diet, do I eat 400 calories for three meals with no snacks? Or do I need to have a 250 calorie breakfast, a 500 calorie lunch and a 450 calorie dinner? Or is there some other method you use? What helps you feel fuller for longer? I basically only drink one cup of coffee in the morning and then after that it's all water and I say that to say, most of my calories are in the foods I eat.

Edited by: SKYELIZ525 at: 5/7/2012 (16:41)
"Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference."

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