Have a look at the statements above. Which reflects your current eating habits? Are you an apex predator or are you about to be eaten by one?
If you search for nutrition related blog posts on the right hand side of this post you’ll see plenty of mentions of eating lightly through the day and then eating more at night, or carb back loading as it is commonly termed. There are plenty of metabolic reasons why this works and research supports that this style of eating helps burn fat and support or build lean mass. The benefits go beyond body composition though, increased focus, reduced hunger and improved aerobic performance are all perks associated with this style of eating.
Imagine how we evolved to eat when we were hunter gatherers. We’d wake, spend the day seeking food and spend the evening eating it. Hunger in this instance is a sharpener, it reminds you of the need to perform and helps prepare your body to do so.
Critics will argue that there is no way we can definitively know this and it is irrelevant given our modern lives. This is a fair argument but research supports this approach regardless and I feel it is helpful to have a narrative around an eating style, it makes it easier to follow when you understand why it might work and can put yourself in the shoes of those that shaped our bodies to operate in this way.
There are caveats to this approach however. If you have metabolic issues such as diabetes, obesity or other metabolic syndrome indications then it will be helpful initially to structure your meals slightly differently (get in touch with me for more advice here). Likewise if you are a hard charging full time athlete you will likely need to consume more calories through the day to refuel between sessions.
If you are ‘typical’ then this approach is for you. Eat lightly through the day, mainly fat and protein, stay active and resistance train in the afternoon/early evening, then consume the majority of your calories following this. This way you are burning fat through the day and fuelling your muscles in the evening.
Grazing has been made popular by bodybuilders and governmental/charitable organisations for very different reasons. Bodybuilders eat every couple of hours to ensure maximum growth potential – I’ve tried this approach and it is miserable, it requires huge investment in preparing food and trains your body to expect food regularly. If a meeting over runs and you miss a meal then your performance crumbles, this is unacceptable in the Breed lifestyle. Mainstream advice to eat regularly is based on the flawed concept of maintaining stable blood sugar – hence the advice of eating complex carbs at regular intervals. What this advice fails to take into account is that your body is much happier and more stable running off fat and providing glucose from hepatic storage or by creating itself as required. As in the bodybuilder approach above you are tied into this way of eating and are subject to the blood sugar rollercoaster where mood and performance can fluctuate rapidly.
Regardless of your lifestyle I feel there is benefit to using the statements above to inform your way of eating. Even if you need to eat more often through the day you should be a predator – predators carefully select their kills. Prey graze with little concern for the quality of their food.
So decide, are you predator or prey? Let me know whether you find this way of thinking useful and what results you get.