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Old 12-22-2012, 01:40 PM   #1
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How the carbs are spread through the day

Does this matter? I mean if you have set your diet as 40g of carbs per day. Does it matter even the carbs are evenly spread through the day. Ie. 10g a meal for four meals. Or could you do it 25g at one, 5g for each of the others.

What are the pros an cons of an even split vs. one carb heavy meal with the rest being light.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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I think it's an individual thing. For myself I have coffee with hwc in the morning and eat one main meal a day which is dinner and if I am hungry later on I will have a snack if not I don't. I know there other people on the board that eat smaller meals through out the day, some that just eat two meals a day. Do what works for you and your personality. I don't think it effects weightloss one way or the other. I think the amount/type of carbs we consume is more important to weight loss than if we consume them in one meal or 4 meals, other people may disagree but that's how I feel about it.

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Old 12-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
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If I get too many carbs at once, it tends to cause an unpleasant blood sugar spike... which kinda defeats what I'm trying to do, over here! I like to keep it well under 6 or 7g per meal, and often much lower than that. (Basically because otherwise, I tend to feel less satisfied, even if I'm "full", and to get hungry sooner.)

That said? If I've decided I'm going to allow myself a "cheat", I get it all eaten within an hour. (SEE: DANDR, section on "in the real world", "dealing with temptation". Apparently, this minimizes the damage for various reasons. I've been able to have, say, a piece of cake at a baby shower this way, and have it NOT knock me out of ketosis or throw me off plan.)
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10/26/2012: 39.0% 10/27/2012: 39.2%
10/28/2012: 39.3% 10/30/2012: 38.5%
10/31/2012: 38.6% 11/02/2012: 36.5%
11/03/2012: 39.1% 11/04/2012: 39.3%
11/05/2012: 39.3% 11/07/2012: 38.5%
11/10/2012: 38.9%
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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I don't worry about the carbs thru the day....but my heaviest meals are mostly early in the day, then kinda heavy lunch, then lighter dinner. I just prefer it that way. I like going to bed with a lighter tummy. heavy foods at night have a tendancy to make me icky.

hubby comes in late from work so dinner is the 7 pm range. because of that I like it lighter plus heavy meal right in the morning means I am content fast. because come dinner I am either hungry or not so much, that way I can add food or subtract food if needed.

works for me

I eat very low carb. No more than 20 (25 max)....even tho I am in phase 2 atkins. so how they are spread thru the day doesn't matter to me.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger828 View Post

I eat very low carb. No more than 20 (25 max)....even tho I am in phase 2 atkins. so how they are spread thru the day doesn't matter to me.
Same here. If I'm being effective, my carbs are below 20/day.

RIGHT NOW, my levels are probably well below that! I can account for maybe 15g carbs today... MAYBE.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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I also agree that it is a personal matter. I have never read any science behind the idea that "eating no carbs at night will help you lose weight faster" - although people seem to recommend that idea like it is scientific!

To determine when I should eat carbs, I looked at:

a) How carbs affect my daily energy levels
b) How carbs affect my cravings
c) How carbs affect my sleep

For me, carbs during the day bring down my energy levels and make me crave more food. So, I typically stick to protein and fat. But, carbs improve my sleep - so at night I'll have some boiled beets, blueberries, a sweet potato, or a handful of nuts.
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:22 AM   #7
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I also agree that it is a personal matter. I have never read any science behind the idea that "eating no carbs at night will help you lose weight faster" - although people seem to recommend that idea like it is scientific!
Haven't heard that one, though it seems to me it might be related to "not eating at night will help you lose weight faster". Whether or not it's true, it "feels" true to many of us. The logic goes, "I need food when I'm up, alive, and being active, because that's when I use energy. I do NOT need more energy when I'm sleeping!"

Personally, early in the day, I eat lots of FAT, to prevent hunger throughout the day. So my carbs are more likely to occur in dinner -- usually in the form of vegetables. Though, to be fair, I'll snack on nuts throughout the day if/as needed.

If, however, I know I'm going to be putting in some intense exercise, I'll try to get my carbs in BEFORE that workout -- because I know the workout will largely "cancel out" the carbs by pulling that energy.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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In Protein Power the Drs.Eades say to eat no more than 10 net grams carbs per meal because it will raise blood sugar. At least I think that was the reason given but my memory may be incorrect on the reason.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:28 AM   #9
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Yes, the Drs. Eades spread the carbs out over the course of the day, much as Dr. Richard Bernstein does for diabetics. The idea is to avoid insulin spikes.

So if you were eating 30g a day, you might eat 6/12/12 to keep blood sugar steady and avoid insulin spikes.

Personally, I try to stay below 15g of carbs at any given meal, and I'm usually much lower.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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I try and never eat more than about 10 carbs per hour ... as a general rule of thumb and never more than about 30 a day ... total.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unna View Post
To determine when I should eat carbs, I looked at:

a) How carbs affect my daily energy levels
b) How carbs affect my cravings
c) How carbs affect my sleep
Very true! I find that I like a zero carb or VLC breakfast, moderate carb lunch, high carb mid-afternoon snack and a moderate to LC dinner. I am not LC as about 40% of my calories are from carbs but I agree that whatever carbs you do eat, you must find what distribution levels work best for you. Many who are insulin resistant do better with a level amount of carbs at all meals while those who aren't find piling all their daily carbs into 1 meal allows them some flexibility.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
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I've found that I personally do best eating a zero-carb or super-low-carb breakfast. I assume that this is because of the dawn phenomenon: your body raises your blood sugar levels when you wake up, to give you the energy you need to procure your breakfast. So if I eat carbs in this state, it does a real number on me. It sets me up for possible hypoglycemia and definite cravings for the rest of the day.

I then split the remainder of my carb allowance pretty evenly between lunch and dinner, with a teency bit set aside for a mid-afternoon snack.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:30 AM   #13
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As a former intermittent faster and the fact that I eat very low carb, I have not noticed that consuming my carb limit in a single meal or over an entire day has made any notable difference. However, I would think that carb allowances that are higher would make a difference because it is going to increase an insulin response.

So I would think it really depends on how many carbs are being consumed.
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