Good eating habits

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With our busy lifestyles, I find it difficult to establish good long-term eating habits. I eat a reasonable diet that is (usually) not high in Fats, Sugar or Salt. I don't smoke, drink little and exercise adequately. I eat 3 meals a day usually at 6 am, noon and 6 pm with a few lifestyle variations.

Are there any best times for eating such as not too soon after we get up, before we go to bed or certain times of the day?

Should we be in a certain state such as relaxed, quiet or active for example?

Although I have the occasional bump, I have had no trouble maintaining a diet which is not high in any Fats, sugar, salt or calories. But I am not truly happy with my meal times or not feeling full when I go to bed and usually avoid getting up for the loo.

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  • Posted

    I have heard a lot of different theories on the best times to eat. Most research suggests that eating early is very important. You have to get your metabolism started. If you eat breakfast, your body will burn more calories throughout the rest of the day. It is also important to eat enough. Don't just stop eating and expect to lose weight. If you don't eat enough, your body will go into starvation mode and not burn any calories! I lost 30 lbs in 2 months last year while eating 2300 cal per day, so don't think that you have to use the same number as everyone else. Find what works for your body. Generally, you should take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 15. That is the amount of calories each day you need to eat to stay at your current weight. Try starting by consuming about one or two hundred less per day, and decrease down to maybe 500 or 600 after you get used to it, but I wouldn't go lower than that. You will need your strength to continue exercise, which is what really makes the difference. Studies also suggest that it is better to eat many, smaller meals through the day instead of 3 larger ones. Have at least 3 smaller snacks a day in between meals. These things have always worked well for me! I hope they work for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Luke,

      My weight 13st 2lb (from 14st 2lb), that makes 2760 and you've expressed lots of good ideas there. I'm never sure whether the idea of 3 meals a day is still valid. The powers that be still chant that all the time. Probably because we are so used to that.

      To make it easy for myself I have set meals I have on each day of the week. It may be boring to some but it gives me a stable diet. I Like the idea of an early breakfast. At this time of the year, that means porridge for me at 6 am.

      This is my big problem, staying away from the bread bin. I have removed all forms of biscuits from my meals and I'm happy with that. I don't have so many cravings. Snacking though, does that mean healthy snacks or just ones not too high in calories? 

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    • Posted

      You need to eat snacks high enough in calories or else you'll just be hungry again! Not the size of a meal, but something to take care of your hunger. Try eating something high in protein because your body will digest that more slowly. The trick is to only snack at times that you have scheduled and planned out. Don't just eat whenever you get hungry. As far as timing, I have always experienced good results by eating most of my food earlier in the day and less as the day goes on.

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    • Posted

      Thanks again for that Luke. For me, morning is not a problem. One big bowl of porridge and I'm set for the morning. MY weakness is in mid-afternoon and mid-evening when the toaster comes out. Esp just before bed.

      I really like your calculation for calories. I certainly think 2000 is not enough for me. My only real problem is a filling evening meal. Tonight it is going to be chicken and ya know these days it does not fill the belly like it used to. But I put that down to this darn sensible eating.  I'm off shopping this afternoon so I'll look out for protein-based snacks.

      Thanks for clearing a few things up and putting my mind at rest.

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  • Posted

    When you say you are avoiding fats, are you avoiding even healthy fats? Also, sugar, is that just refined sugar? Or also fruit sugar, starches etc? 

    You say you find it difficult to establish healthy long term eating habits, but from what you wrote it sounds like you already have healthy habits in place. What time you eat doesn’t necessarily matter, just go with what suits your preferences and works around your schedule. 

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    • Posted

      OK, justkel. I should have been precise.  I think I should have said I have had no trouble maintaining a diet which has suitable levels of total Fats, saturated fats, sugar, salt and calories. So you can put your gallows away, I won't be going on the stage anytime soon.

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  • Posted

    Always keep in mind everyone's body is at least a little bit different. if you don't feel satisfied, that to me is a clue that the current regimen needs rethinking. Try one thing at a time to help identify steps forward vs steps back. maybe shift the last meal to 7pm (at what time do you go to bed, vs what time do you feel hungry?)

    The 3 meals a day mantra is a bit old fashion, but still relative, but only if your body responds well to it. Some people respond well to 5 smaller meals.

    Also, don't demonize fats, healthy fats are really essential and good for you. Also, are you getting enough fiber, which would help you feel fuller, longer.

    cheers

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    • Posted

      Hi imdjay. Thank you for some sound and calm advice. I will continue to make slow and small changes and watch out for the effects.
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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your post.

    To make it easy for myself I have set meals I have on each day of the week. It may be boring to some but it gives me a stable diet. I Like the idea of an early breakfast.

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    • Posted

      Hello mariya26812. I know just what you mean. I have my meals at set times and I have set meals at those times. That is what I think gives me stability in the meal and personal habits. Thanks for posting.smile
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