Much has been written about meal timing and fat loss. Some of it good information but most of it either misunderstood research or complete bunk. Meal timing isn’t magic despite the claims of many to the contrary. Meal timing is simply another tool in your tool box to help you with your fat loss goals it isn’t a magic bullet. Truth be told there is no such thing as a magic bullet when it comes to fat loss (or really anything good for that matter). Unless of course you consider exercising, eating the right foods, and sleeping enough a magic bullet. Because that’s as close as you’re going to get when it comes to health.
There have been a variety of different things recommended throughout the years to lose weight and in particular fat. Things such as not eating at all (foolish) to eating six to eight times a day to “rev your metabolism” or some such nonsense (also foolish) believe it or not but the best thing you can do is have three or even two meals every day. Different people have different protocols but you have to do what works for you. I’ll lay out here what has worked for me, those I’ve worked with, and what has worked for others. You read it, digest it, and then apply it how it’s applicable to you.
Three Meals A Day
I know in a book about fat loss you’re probably expecting some convoluted obscure high level math like equation as far as an eating plan goes but sorry to disappoint but mines going to be simple, effective, and to the point. Nothing that new and nothing that fancy. Just the tried and true good stuff that leads to fat loss and good health. I’m also going to touch on intermittent fasting a little bit. It’s not something that I think everyone should do but it certainly has worked for many including me and those I work with. If you’re someone who has a busy morning and skips breakfast then you’re probably doing it anyways.
Intermittent fasting can help with reducing insulin resistance (remember the key component of fat loss) as well as making it simple to eat everything you need at one time. Intermittent fasting is where you don’t eat for sixteen hours of the day (including sleeping in here obviously) and fit all of your caloric intake into an eight hour window. Some choose 2-10 others 12-8 remember do what works for you and your schedule. This is a viable option just make sure when you do eat that you’re eating good amounts and not like a bird. And of course good amounts of the right foods but you already knew that. Again not required but can certainly help and I know this fits with those who have to zoom off somewhere upon waking’s schedule very well. An option (and a good one) but not required.
Composition Of Meals
Your meals are going to be made up of meats, fats, and greens I’ll give you some examples here soon so you can get an idea. Meats the fatty cuts over the leaner cuts (because of the insulin response), plenty of good butter and oils, and then green leafy vegetables (have cruciferous vegetables every day). For breakfast I recommend something heavy to give you energy for the day. I’m a big fan of bacon, eggs, and olive oil drizzled over greens. As a matter of fact those four things right there (with the exception of maybe steak and broccoli) make up the majority of my diet. Get in lots of calories, especially from fat. For lunch same general composition with maybe a little more protein. And then for dinner you’re free to do as you please. Lots of calories in the morning is important for energy and wellbeing (breakfast meaning literally when you break the fast from sleeping, so if you’re doing IF breakfast is whatever your first meal is even if it’s at 2 o’clock in the afternoon).
I’ll do what I did when I first started out, since then I’ve increased my calories and what I eat but the basics remain the same. In the morning for breakfast I always had eggs, olive oil, and then a meat of some sort say sausage (like I said since then I’ve added in a “salad” with tons of olive oil on it). For lunch I generally made a salad consisting of a potent healthy green (kale was and is my favorite) topped with anywhere from six to ten slices of bacon and then of course drizzled in olive oil. Then for dinner it varied from night to night but I always had a meat, a cruciferous vegetable, and then doused them both in lots of grass fed butter. You’ll notice that drowning whatever I’m eating in either oil or butter is a common theme. I also generally had a tablespoon of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar sometime during the day.
The Workout Myth
There are many myths regarding meal timing but the most prevalent ones all revolve around what to eat before and after a workout. Many have been convinced that this is a magical point in time that if ignored will result in no results from the gym. After all that’s what the studies (which as we all know are infallible (wink wink) say). However reality and how nutrition actually works have a much different picture to paint. While this will hurt the bottom line of the protein powder industries it’ll do good for your body and your overall fat loss and muscle gain. So let’s address the two most prevalent myths regarding eating before and after you’re workout.
The first one goes if you don’t eat right after you’re workout with a quick digesting protein powder you’re muscles with shrivel up to nothing this is usually followed by a quick link to a protein powder. However you’re body believe it or not can survive without protein powder (gasp) and not only that but build muscle without taking it right after or before you’re workout. You see your body can use protein taken within 24 hours of the workout to do all of the effects that taking it right before will do and even better if it’s animal protein compared to manmade protein. As long as you’re getting overall adequate protein you’ll be fine the timing doesn’t matter.
The next one is that if you don’t eat X amount of carbs (it varies from myth to myth anywhere from 30-130) right before you’re workout then you’ll performance will suffer. When it comes to carbs there are more myths than any other macronutrient out there. There are many reasons for this that book after book could be written about but we won’t address them here. First off your body doesn’t need carbs for fuel, it can fuel itself (and as a matter of fact more efficiently) through fat. Your muscles won’t shrivel up and die either. Again as long as you’re eating enough calories and fat you’ll have more than enough energy than you need.
So your “meal timing” is going to be pretty simple. Simply eat three times a day (two if you choose the intermittent fasting route) making sure to get lots of good fats, proteins, and greens into your diet. Nothing fancy and all things that are doable. Remember above all else the most important thing is what type of food you eat and in particular the effect that this food has on your insulin levels. Fix your insulin levels and losing fat will be far easier. As always be sure to test things out on yourself and then (shocking as it may be) do what works for you. If you do something and it works but some “expert” tells you it’s not supposed to work, so what? Listen to your body and always experiment testing out what works for you and why.
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