I wrote a post back in October about the trickiness and confusion around whether or not a calorie is just a calorie is actually just a calorie… if that makes sense! Basically, I have heard so many people say they are (drastically) cutting calories and working out all the time, and still not losing weight! Now, obviously there is the fact that they may not actually be cutting back as many calories as they think or claim and/or they are not working out as hard or as often as they think or claim.
In fact, in a study printed in USA TODAY, it was estimated that out of 1,024 people, 63% can not accurately estimate how many calories a day they SHOULD be eating to lose or maintain their weight, 25% won’t even venture a guess and only 12% can nail it. The article also stated that 77% of people don’t meet the government’s guidelines of 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
So, it is safe to say that EDUCATION is important in weight loss! But let’s say the calculations are pretty accurate and a person seems to be putting in less calories than they are expending…and is still not losing weight!?
This has kind of bugged me for a while. Since I am not a doctor or dietitian, my scope of practice is limited. And I often find myself a bit perplexed when clients claim they are doing everything they are supposed to and still not losing! Granted, like I said earlier and based on experience, MOST of the time people are miscalculating or maybe lying to themselves. But not always!
In a very recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found a direct connection to WHEN you eat and weight loss. We have all heard that we should not eat past 8PM or that breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, but I, for one, have never seen any actually facts proving this.
I love studies so I wanted to share this article from my IDEA Fitness magazine as soon as I read it! You can read the entire article here, but below are the study’s very interesting results:
“To evaluate the role of food timing in weight-loss efforts, researchers recruited 420 overweight participants to follow a 20-week weight-loss treatment program in Spain. The participants were divided into two groups: early-eaters and late-eaters, according to the self-selected timing of the main meal, which in this Mediterranean population was lunch. During this meal, 40 percent of the total daily calories are consumed. Early-eaters ate lunch anytime before 3 p.m. and late-eaters, after 3 p.m. They found that late-eaters lost significantly less weight than early-eaters and displayed a much slower rate of weight-loss. Late-eaters also had a lower estimated insulin sensitivity, which is a risk factor for diabetes.”
I also just want to point out, that while the timing of meals may be important, there are many other factors (that I will not dive too deep in to right now) that may contribute to someone not being able to lose weight quickly and effectively. Some examples include metabolism, hormone imbalance, sleep deprivation, the nutrition content of foods eaten, fluid retention, or certain medications.
Is breakfast your biggest meal of the day? (Mine is not… mainly b/c I don’t make it a priority to wake up in time to make it. I admit, I need to work on that!)
Do you agree with the research? (I do, but I do believe every BODY is different. Some people’s health may be just fine and they eat their biggest meal at night. I would have to say dinner is usually my biggest meal, and while I would be considered ‘healthy’ by most, I am SURE if I ate better I would have even more energy, less fat, and better over all health!)