Image from EveryMom to IronMom Blog.
Today's nutrition question is from Twitter and Rochell Selvey @karesskrafters
When trying to lose weight is it best to put on my calories for breakfast and reduce calorie intake (for the) rest of (the)day?
Step 1: Determine your caloric needs per day. Here is one that is easy and takes into account a variety of activity levels. then calculates how many calories for maintenance, or fat loss.
Step 2: Now you know about how many calories you need per day for your goal of maintaining weight or fat loss. Now there are a couple of different thoughts about when to eat those calories each day.
OPTION A: One is that you simply divide up your calories between about 5 mini meals per day or 3 meals & 2 snacks. What this does is keeps your body running on fuel all day long without getting too high or too low in terms of nutrition.
OPTION B: The other thought is to be heavier on calories around the time of day that you expend the most energy. So if you are a early morning exerciser or you have very active mornings at work, then you would take in higher calories at breakfast or lunch and then a smaller meal at dinner. Just remember to stay at your previously calculated calorie total for the day. It's easy to eat a big breakfast and then eat too much at night.
So what's the "magic" answer? There's a debate about this in that if you workout right away in the mornings and are more active during the mid day, then you would eat "bigger" during the day and ween off caloric intake later in the day...personal I think it depends on what time of day is your busiest. And also what feels the best for you?
For me, I'm not a morning workout type of person. I have Adrenal Fatigue that requires me to sleep longer then the average person and so I workout in the late afternoon when I feel at my best. Also because of my adrenals, I normally don't feel like eating a lot of food right away in the morning. I have to watch my Blood Sugar levels & Insulin to make sure that I'm fueling my body all day long...even right before bed I have to have protein/low carb to make sure my Blood Sugar doesn't get too low at night. Of course this is not the average for most people.
So I'm not answering the questions, am I? I truly believe that every BODY is different. Before testing make sure to have some sort of Fitness Journal/Calender/Phone AP to take measurements, jot down notes, and most importantly to write down how you are feeling along with your meals/workouts/activities.
STEP 3: Test it out. Determine your caloric needs and test out Option A for one week. Measure your water/fat/weight and write it down. With this option you can workout any time of the day as your calories will be spread out evenly all day long. Write in your "fitness journal" how you are feeling each day. Write down your calories, what you are eating and your workouts/activities.
For the 2nd week, test out Option B. Again measure your water/fat/weight numbers and write it down. You should now know your workout schedule and schedule your highest caloric meal around your workout. If you workout after waking, then your breakfast is your largest meal and it gradually decreasing as the day goes on. If you workout in the late afternoon then either choose your lunch or supper as the largest meal. Keep to a schedule for the whole week and again monitor how you are feeling and when you are eating/working out. Don't change anything for one week.
From here you can either tweek what you've found out from the 2 week experiment or you can try a 3rd week of testing where you try either moving your workout time or try moving your heaviest meal. Just make sure to take your measurements before and after your week test.
STEP 4: So how do you feel? You have either tested 2 or 3 weeks now and should have a good handle on what works for you. Look over your Fitness Journal. Did you feel weak or dizzy at any time? Were you able to get through your day feeling satisfied or were you starving my 7pm and wanting to raid the fridge?
Determining when you eat during the eat is as important as determining what you eat. You need to fuel for your activity level. It just begins with total caloric need, and then creating a workout schedule and then making sure your body is getting the needed fuel for the day AND night. Remember your body can't repair and renew itself during the night on no fuel.
Any questions? Thoughts? Tell me in the comments and we can continue this discussion!
Teri Lang Patterson
Certified Fitness Instructor & Coach specializing in Aqua Power Training, Kickboxing, Weight Training & Yoga.
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