Nutrition - Meal Timings

CrossFit Chiltern
Nutrition - Meal Timings

Transcript of the VLOG below.

Today I want to talk about meal timing. If you're following the spring nutrition challenge, you'll know that I've introduced four phases into the challenges so far and I've introduced these in order of importance. The most important part was phase one, and that was the tracking part of the challenge and that's when we started weighing, measuring and logging food. Having a good, accurate awareness of what you're consuming is crucial to ensuring that you're going to get into good dietary habits. Many people in a consultation will say to me’ Oh, I've got a pretty good diet. Pretty well, eat quite healthily’. Their perception isn't accurate as to what they're actually doing. So they may think that certain foods are healthy, but once they start tracking those foods, they realise that the macronutrient balance isn't good or they're not getting what they need from that food, or maybe their calories from that is much higher than they expect.

Also, people don't necessarily realise the quantity that they're putting onto their plate. So once you start weighing and measuring and quantifying that and putting that into your calorie tracker and your, your macronutrient tracker, you see that what you thought was a realistic portion size is actually much larger or if you're trying to gain weight, maybe much smaller than you need to achieve your goals. Once you start accurately logging everything that you are consuming, and that includes drinks and all of those little snacks as well, that people often forget when they're thinking about their healthy eating, they forget that they're having, a flapjack that he picked up from the garage or dessert after dinner or on the weekend. they'll have copious amounts of alcohol. Once you start looking at and seeing that effect on your numbers, generally you will make better decisions.

If you have done nothing else in this challenge apart from starting to track your food, you've made a huge step into improving your dietary habits. The second part of the phase was introducing that planning element into that. By planning breakfast and dinner, a really important factor because then you can then you start getting to habits of building shopping lists based on what you're going to be eating.

This takes out a lot of those bad decisions that people make when they're hungry. If you can get in the habit of planning at least a couple of meals a day that's going to make a big difference.

The next challenge was tracking and looking at your calories for that week. So we started making sure that we're hitting a calorie target and therefore we had to plan all of our meals to stay inside that calorie number. Once you start putting calories into the equation and you start weighing measuring and logging on a regular basis, you can then make much more informed decisions when it comes to your calorie intake.

If you're not seeing results you can look at changing that calorie intake slightly to make sure that you're hitting your results that you need.

In phase four we wanted you to start making sure you're hitting your protein, fats and carb numbers.Doing this you have a big influence on your performance as well in terms of your ability to get stronger, faster, recover better. In addition you’ll get better results with your aesthetics.

Next up in our challenge is meal timings. The key thing to understand when we're trying to lose body fat is that we need glucagon, which is a hormone that is produced to release energy from the fat cells in the body and glucose is produced via the intake of protein.

he other thing that iwe need to understand is that if we have glycogen in the body. (When you eat carbohydrates, it is stored in the body as glycogen. Glycogen is incredibly important because it is our instant energy source.. Glycogen is instant access account. You can just cash it out and it's ready to go.

Fat is more like a savings account. We need to actually work a little bit harder to get the energy from the fat cells.

We need glycogen whenever need energy instantly, especially if we are performing workouts that require a high level intensity like we see in a CrossFit workout. During that workout, you will need glycogen. If you're looking to optimise performance, you definitely need carbohydrates in your system.

But if you're looking to burn fat outside of those workout windows, you need to be depleted of glycogen because your body will always go to the easiest source of energy. I there's glycogen in the body, your body will use that energy first. If you have loads of carbohydrates throughout the day, you're never really going to be able to lose fat because you're always topping up those levels of glycogen. I'm simplifying here, but if you have glucose in your body, why would your body go through the extra process of breaking down your fat cells to get energy out. Whenever glycogen the instant energy source is available your body will use that before burning fat. That is the key thing to understand.

The fat cells are like their reserve energy. If you have glycogen, your body is going to use that energy first. So this comes into play in terms of your meal timings. Glucagon (not glycogen!), is what's going to break down and use the energy from the fat cells. Glucagon cannot be present in the presence of insulin. This means when you've just eaten carbohydrates your body will release insulin and therefore it won't release glucagon. You cannot use energy from fat cells without glucagon.

We need to make sure that we have periods in our day where we have low levels of glycogen and no glycogen in the system. So our body will start tapping in to those fatty reserves. What that means is that the old adage of eat little and often does not work in losing weight.

Three meals a day option is good for most people in that we have breakfast, lunch and dinner, and as little snacking as possible. That's what I would recommend to most people. Snacking throughout the day is not going to help you in terms of fat loss. We need to be keeping that space between the meals, which is why people achieve a lot of success with the intermittent fasting, time restricted eating and 5:2 diets. They are giving their body like windows with which they have either have no glycogen and therefore the body will tap into those fatty reserves. Make sure that you have spaces in the day where you may feel a bit hungry and your body will be tapping into those fatty reserves.

When you're working out, you need to make sure that you've had carbohydrates prior to that if you're looking to maximise your performance. It's important to have some carbohydrates around that workout. That being said, if you have carbohydrates the night before and you're not a breakfast person your not going burn off that glycogen while you were sleeping. Your body's not going to require instant energy while you're lying in bed. Don't think that you must have carbs first thing in the morning if you're training because you will have glycogen from the night before. It’s just important that you have some in the system for those workouts.

There is some evidence suggest that having someone that carbohydrates with your proteins after workout as well can help for that protein muscle synthesis. I know that's helped you to grow muscle and get lean tissue. So there can be a small intake when you're having protein after a workout, then having some carbs with that is also a good idea. Generally sticking into the 33% of each macronutrient is a good philosophy to have for all of your meals because you're going to get that good blend throughout the day. But yet, in terms of meal timing, just think about spacing your meals out. Create periods of the day where you're not eating and not grazing throughout that day so your body isn't constantly producing insulin and you’ve burned off stored glycogen so your body can actually require to tap into those fat cells and you can burn those off.

That's really all you need to know about meal timing in that you need to make sure you have carbohydrates in the system for around high intensity workouts. You need to make sure that you are sticking with your macronutrient blend, but you need to make sure you have spaces in the day for your body to burn fat. If you're looking to get lean, which the vast majority of us are, if you're looking to get bigger than little, and often can be the answer.

The rest of us two to three meals a day, if you do need a snack, keep it small and also keep that same blend of macronutrients or even if you want to be even more effective, have a, have a lower carbohydrate snack, have a snack that of mainly of fats and proteins. There is an individual element to this in that you have to find what works best for you. Depending on how you're training and what results you're getting people may require some variance. But because you try it two days and you feel hungry in those times doesn't mean it's wrong. It just means you're getting used to that.

If your body's used to eating, nine or ten times a day and you suddenly say, right, I'm going to eat at 7:00 AM 1:00 PM 6:30 PM then yes, your body may well feel very different, but a lot of that is a psychological need for food.

Add meal timing into your thoughts when you're planning your food, but don't overcomplicate it. But remember to get the important parts of nutrition right first. Make sure you're doing is number one, tracking your food and weighing and measuring. If you do that alone and nothing else, you're going to get better results than if you miss that phase out. So that base is the most important thing. You must always make sure you're doing when you're looking to make a change to your body composition or maintain it at the same rate. Second most important is to start planning your meals and producing a shopping list, so make sure that you're doing that as well before you start worrying about anything after that, then you can start thinking about the calorie numbers.

Making sure you're hitting those calorie numbers but remember if you're not weighing and measuring your food you're not going to get accurate numbers. So number three, your numbers. If you've done all those first three, then great. Then you can add the fourth element of starting to think about macros, proteins, carbs, fats

If you've done all of those correctly. Then you can start thinking about meal timings as well, but not at the expense of everything else.

I’m happy to answer any questions you have and I wish I speak to you all very soon.


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