When it comes to healthy eating you’ve likely heard far more about what and how much to eat versus when to eat- in other words, meal timing. Everyone seems to have a different opinion about what the best time is to eat your carbs or when to in at all. If there is one thing in the fitness industry that comes with a lot of misconceptions it is meal timing.
Myth 1: Breakfast
The first myth to know is the breakfast myth. Skipping breakfast will lead to weight gain. Skipping breakfast won’t make you gain weight or fat. Skipping breakfast can actually be a great way to lose some fat, for example, intermittent fasting.
Myth 2: Metabolism
Another common myth is the metabolic boosting myth. The thing to note about meal frequency and your metabolic rate is that it is true that you will experience a metabolic boost when you consume food after a meal. But, that boost is directly related to the total calorie content of the food that you consume. So a smaller meal produces a smaller metabolic boost and a larger meal produces a larger one. So don’t think frequent eating means your metabolic rate will be on fire. While it may help you control hunger better eating that often, it’s not impacting your metabolic rate.
Myth 3: Carbs
Eat your carbs whenever you want, it can be beneficial to eat them before your workout. The reason for this is that your carbs consist of glucose units, the main energy source of our body. Some people even think that carbohydrates or sugar, in general, are bad for you, which isn’t the case at all. Because a piece of candy contains carbohydrates and brown rice does as well, but in the end, your body will be a lot happier if you eat brown rice instead of candy.
Myth 4: Eating late at night leads to weight gain
Eating before bed sets you up for rapid fat gain. Here again, this isn’t accurate. Sure, eating chips, cake, cookies, pizza, or other high calorie, high fat or sugar foods will put you at a higher risk for gaining body fat. If you plan to eat a healthy snack and also make sure that you account for the snack in your total daily calorie intake, you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t going to gain weight from it. In fact, having a light protein based snack before bed can be good as it’ll prevent you from waking up part-way through the night hungry.