Meal Timing for When to Eat Carbs, Fat, and Protein
Nutrient partitioning, also called nutrient timing or meal timing, is the careful scheduling of macronutrient intake to boost weight loss, fat loss, or bodybuilding effects. If you are an athlete who uses this dietary strategy, you plan exactly when to eat carbs, protein, and fat so that you take full advantage of the unique nutritional advantages of each food type.
Dieters may use meal timing strategies to help them stick to their eating plan, too. But not all experts agree on the value of nutrient timing for weight loss or weight gain, and the research has provided mixed results.
Nutrient Timing and Exercise
If you are a regular gym-goer, chances are good that you've seen guys in the weight room grab for a protein shake within minutes of finishing their session. Many times the shakes include nutrient partitioning supplements (usually herbal compounds) or other ingredients to boost macronutrient partitioning.
The word "partitioning" is used to describe this food timing practice because by scheduling your intake of protein and carbs you may be able to influence where the nutrients are used or "partitioned" in the body.
Nutrient Timing vs. Nutrient Balance
Carefully monitoring when and what you eat can take a lot of work. For many of us, simply eating a balanced diet is hard. So is it really necessary to practice nutrient timing, as well? The best answer for you may depend on your goals. Many experts say that getting the proper balance of nutrients is more important than specific (and sometimes tedious) food timing practices.
Meal Timing for Weight Loss and Weight Management
When you're trying to lose weight and you're following a calorie-controlled diet, timing your food intake may provide benefits. In fact, research has suggested that scheduling your food intake so that you eat more in the morning may provide a small boost.
A Word From Crave Healthy Food
Specific nutrient timing is a practice that may provide benefits for weight loss and athletic performance, but it is important to remember that the benefits are likely to be minimal.
If your goal is weight loss, eating certain foods at certain times won't compensate for a diet that is unbalanced or too high in calories. If your goal is improved athletic performance, nutrient partitioning can't take the place of a consistent, well-designed training program. In short, food timing helps you fine-tune good nutrition, but it doesn't take the place of balanced eating for exercise or weight loss.