Eating a healthy, balanced diet is very important. However, depending on your goals, the frequency and timings surrounding your meals will also have a significant impact.
Choosing the correct frequency can help you accelerate your performance and improve your recovery. However, there are a few key understandings that will help you decide when and what to eat.
Understanding your goals matching your diet accordingly.
Goals have a large bearing on your eating frequency as different foods support a range of functions in the body and therefore can be consumed at different times for optimum results.
- Carbohydrates are your body’s source of quick energy. Carbs provide energy for your central nervous system and muscles during movement and exercise.
- Protein is essential in preserving, growing and supporting the function of important elements of the body like muscle fibres, skin and hair.
- Unsaturated fats are the good fats that help regulate your metabolism and promote cell growth and regeneration.
Here are some examples of altering your eating frequency depending on your goals:
If you want to put on muscle mass then it is ideal to consume protein up to 5 or 6 times per day, which reduces your body metabolising your muscle mass and aids in muscle growth and recovery.
If you want to induce or maintain ketosis then it can be good practice to eat breakfast later in the morning or dinner earlier in the evening to allow your body to fast for 16 hours whilst you sleep. If you are planning on following this style of eating, you must do so in conjunction with eating the right macronutrients so you feel satisfied and energised.
Generally, if you are training or have a strenuous physical activity then try to consume carbs at least 1 hour before. Remember, food is fuel and you need to ensure your body has the right level of fuel ahead of expending energy.
Another important consideration, is matching your macros to the time you eat.
For example, if your goal is weight loss, it is important to regulate your calories around training. Avoid eating too much on days when you are less active. When you consume carbohydrates, any excess energy that isn’t used is converted and stored as fat. So, energy balance is an important factor when working to achieve your weight loss goal.
In summary, the frequency of your eating is as important as what you are eating. Try to match the time and food you eat to your daily activities, so you are getting the most out of your meals.
If you want to learn more about nutrition and achieving results, you can check out our Thrive Blog which is packed full of informative, easy to read articles.