My consultant read yesterday’s blog and discovered that I was feeling a bit ‘meh’ and sent me a couple of lovely texts last night! At which point I was in bed reading as I was in the mood where I could quite happily have eaten the take-away menus, let alone the food they could deliver. Although upon reflection though, the menus would probably have tasted nicer! She then also took the time to have a look at my food pics on my blog for the last week or so to see if she could spot anything wrong with my eating, and then called me to have a chat about it. A couple of interesting things cropped up – one was that the bulk of my food is eaten later in the day, and the other was surrounding getting all food groups in at each meal.
As I mentioned last night, I am going to try and have mainly Extra Easy days this week – so that should solve the food groups issue. Although on Green days, I am quite good at making sure I’ve got good sources of protein through either beans, lentils or soy-based products, I am not so great on an Original day with the carbs. Even though veggies and fruits are carb-based, I know that my consultant feels it’s important to have something a little more substantial, so a more complex carb rather than the simple sugar carbs in fruits and veggies. So I think an Extra Easy week should sort that out, and it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference to my blood sugars and how I feel mood-wise as well. I too am of the opinion that all food groups are crucial – which is why I am not a fan at all of plans which cut out some of them!
The other issue, regarding when I eat, was something I wanted to look into again. My old Nan – bless her heart – was a firm believer in not eating after 6pm at night (although a bit of alcohol didn’t count of course!) and so when I have struggled before with my weight loss, I decided to see if anyone else thought that it made much of a difference. And at that point in time the majority of the information I found basically told me that a calorie is a calorie, and that it didn’t matter when it was eaten as long as the calories in vs calories used equation was right for me. So I didn’t really give it much more thought at the time, as that made sense really. But then I tend not to go to bed full of food as I think it feels really uncomfortable and I end up all night with an acid-stomach taste in my mouth and generally can’t get my big old tummy comfortable! It might look as though most of my food is eaten later in the day, but I am usually up quite late and tend to have at least three to four hours without food before going to sleep.
Anyway, in the interest of giving credit when credit is due, and to show my consultant that I appreciate her taking the time to look and see if she could spot any trends, I decided to once again spend some time looking into the food vs time issue. And interestingly enough, there seems to have been a little development…
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity, in January 2013, discovered that people who ate their main meal for lunch lost 25% more weight than those who ate it later in the evening. This study was conducted in Spain – where the main meal is typically eaten at lunch – with 420 participants during a twenty week weight loss programme. Most interestingly for me was the ‘science’ behind the trial. For example it discussed the circadian system – a combination of body ‘clocks’ which run on a twenty four hour schedule…so our fat tissue has a built-in ‘clock’, as do the majority of our cells. This system is controlled by a group of cells in our brain, but the ‘clocks’ in individual organs’ cells can be tinkered with.
For example, it has been discovered that feeding animals at abnormal times can trigger a reset of ‘clocks’ in the liver and pancreas. These two organs are essential for our metabolic processes and if the brain clock and these clocks don’t tally, then this can lead to slower processing – which can result in weight gain or slower weight losses. Our systems are designed to cope with higher glucose levels in the morning – and extracts sugar from our blood to use as energy throughout the day…so if we eat out of sync with this then the same meal – eaten later in the day – may not be processed in the same way.
It was interesting reading, yet the study wasn’t fool-proof as far as I could see. The participants were asked to record what they had eaten and when…and we all know how easy it is to ‘forget’ to record our food consumption…chocolate bar, what chocolate bar?! I would be more inclined to consider findings based on a controlled diet study – where each participant was eating the same meals, with the same calorific intake, at different times of the day.
It was also shown that the later eaters also skipped breakfast, or ate little in comparison to the early eaters…and this links with another study which showed that those who skip breakfast tend to weigh more and have other unhealthy eating habits – such as turning to high calorie snacks and sugary drinks. A panel discussion at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo highlighted that breakfast eaters tend to get about 17% of their daily calories from breakfast as well as a significant portion of their daily recommend intake of several key nutrients, such as Vitamin D (58%), Vitamin B12 (42%) and Vitamin A (41%). Studies also show that young people who miss breakfast consume 40% more sweets, 55% more soft drinks, 45% less vegetables and 30% less fruit than those who do eat it.
For me personally, my danger time is the evening. And what I mean by this is that I like to have snacks whilst relaxing in the evening, and this is why I tend to save some syns to allow for this. My concern would be that if I switched my food intake – more earlier on in the day – then I would still end up grazing in the evening and ultimately would take in more calories. And this would probably counteract the good I was trying to achieve. So I am going to be more conscious of when I eat, and I have increased the size of my breakfasts…but I won’t worry too much.
Ultimately, I am on a long weight loss journey and I know that there will be ups and downs. I am not going to panic about a poor result for a week…but if the losses stay at the 1.5lb level then I will have to rethink.
I have mentioned, ‘Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dine like a Pauper’ before, but I will leave it up to you to decide what you feel is best!
The usuals today were good…
I slept in a little whilst my other half headed off to muck out – again, we had a lift in a car full of little people with car seats, so no room for me and I am not yet able to muck out four stables and do all of the associated chores…or at least not within a few hours! So he told me to say put and I did exactly that…but not before he had accidentally whacked me in the face with a mobile phone…nice bruise just under my eye! I then got up and had a lovely breakfast and had a long chat with my consultant, and then decided to try and see how long I could make my hair look! After the haircut, I am feeling a little bereft without my long locks, and so I thought if I washed and straightened my hair, it might feel longer…it didn’t work! But it looks okay and it will grow back. By this point in time I was getting behind schedule and had to walk down to my sisters carrying my plate of lunch to eat there whilst she headed to work! The children were most interested in the spinach and tomato combo but managed to leave me alone to eat…I was grateful for this, as I am not at all a food sharer and could not be held responsible for my actions if they took a chunk out of my cheesy Marmite toast! We then had some colouring fun, some Play-Doh fun, some hand trapped in stairgate fun, some dinner fun – my nephew will not eat any dinner that isn’t covered in breadcrumbs or accompanied by chips – and so I had a food battle of wills…but WLB won in the end! I think I may be given dinner duties a little more often! He quite happily eats fruit, and will eat veggies if they are in pasta sauce, but a cottage pie was a little too much for him to cope with. He even tried the ‘it’s too hot’ trick, crying when I put the spoon in his mouth and trying to spit it out…I had already let it go cold and had stuck my finger in to check…so we quickly got over that issue. He was then trying to slide off the chair, cover his mouth with his arms…it was fun – but we were done and dusted within twenty minutes, and he was wet-wiped and put into PJs and looking like an angel by the time his Dad came home! I then headed home for my dinner and a nice relaxing evening – although the TV tonight is pants, so it will be a new ‘Rebus’ book as ‘Strip Jack’ was finished last night, as was the last episode of ‘Plebs’…I really hope they do a second series as it was so funny…Grumio is a genius character.
Breakfast: Omelette with mushroom, onion and spinach – and a banana.
My food today was lovely. The omelette was a bit of challenge for me – I love them, but really overdid them for a few years and could quite happily never eat one again. But I promised to try and vary my breakfasts and so made the effort. Lunch was delicious – so quick, but the Marmite and cheese combo, topped with hot superfree tomatoes and spinach meant a melty loveliness for lunch! Dinner was good too – very quick and convenience like, but tasty and quite filling.
Exercise: I have been getting all sorts of aches and pains and experienced a few awful back spasms today…so that’s my excuse today. I actually think that part of my mood can be attributed to the lack of exercise. I am a big believer that exercise is a huge mood-booster and feel that I am missing out, but I also know that I have to listen to my body. The bonus is that I can lose weight on Slimming World without exercising, but for me, exercise is really important and I want this to be a healthy habit that I continue for the rest of my life…so I need to shift my arse soon!
Thank you for reading – I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with the timing of food…do you think it makes a difference to you personally?
Weight Loss Bitch xxx