Is Backloading Wrong?

Arc2Arc
Arc2Arc Posts: 421 Member
edited November 2021 in Health and Weight Loss
On any given day, I find it easy to avoid eating anything until mid-afternoon. However, once I do eat I develop an appetite that increases throughout the rest of the day. I'm almost always under on carbs and over on protein. My sodium is a little high.

Today, I hiked 3.5 miles before eating and felt fine. After eating for the first time mid-afternoon, I then did the stairmaster for 40 minutes. Again, felt fine. Fitness is almost important to me as what I eat.

I'm 60, very fit, no health issues, 8 lbs over my target weight and losing at 1lb / week.

Thoughts? Is this routine sub-optimal?
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Replies

  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 206 Member
    I don't believe there's any wrong way to eat if it works for you.
  • Sub optimal for what? Weight loss? Or
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 777 Member
    Tons of people do this on purpose for intermittent fasting
  • Arc2Arc
    Arc2Arc Posts: 421 Member
    Sub optimal for what? Weight loss? Or

    Weight loss, energy, other consequences.
  • KNoceros
    KNoceros Posts: 316 Member
    Meal timing has no effect on weight loss.
    For some people meal timing affects exercise performance, and some prefer to work out fasted or need to take some calories on board prior to exercise. But that’s really personal and whatever works for you, works.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,123 Member
    Arc2Arc wrote: »
    On any given day, I find it easy to avoid eating anything until mid-afternoon. However, once I do eat I develop an appetite that increases throughout the rest of the day. I'm almost always under on carbs and over on protein. My sodium is a little high.

    Today, I hiked 3.5 miles before eating and felt fine. After eating for the first time mid-afternoon, I then did the stairmaster for 40 minutes. Again, felt fine. Fitness is almost important to me as what I eat.

    I'm 60, very fit, no health issues, 8 lbs over my target weight and losing at 1lb / week.

    Thoughts? Is this routine sub-optimal?

    With only eight pounds to reach target weight, a pound a week seems pretty stiff.

    My thought is, are you eating enough to fuel your activity level?

    OTOH, your account appears new, and we often lose quickly in the first flush of exultation, and then loss slows down to realistic levels.

    As the others say, timing makes no difference. It’s calories that count, and you need enough to fuel yourself without harming yourself in the process.

    I’m 59, got to “very fit” (…..and the angels sang hallelujah) very late, prefer to get most my workouts done by noon, if possible, and eat roughly 70% of my calories from 2-9, simply because I like to graze every couple hours between then and bedtime.

    It sounds like you’re off to a great start, just don’t try to plough through too fast?
  • SnifterPug
    SnifterPug Posts: 746 Member
    Sounds fine to me. I start eating around 2pm and always exercise fasted. I then tend to eat 25% of calories around 2pm, another 25% (max) around 5pm and the bulk for dinner at around 8pm.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,831 Member
    Ditto's to the issue likely being the bigger than reasonable calorie deficit.

    Considering how many people also start MFP using it incorrectly when it comes to exercise - I wouldn't be surprised if you are actually creating a bigger deficit with your workouts.

    So actually more than 1 lb weekly rate - which may sound great at first, until it might help with undesired rebound effect of weight gain, or lack of energy, or massive hunger.

    With normal water weight fluctuations, it might be difficult to see true non-water weight loss in such a brief time.

    If you started with only 8 lbs to lose and haven't dieted down to that point - 1 lb weekly might not be that bad being active. But that's keeping it to a true-as-possible 500 cal deficit to what you burn daily.
    Not 500 plus whatever exercise you do not accounted for as many seem to start off doing.
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,172 Member
    "Optimum" for...? An Olympic-caliber athlete? Eh, definitely not.

    For your particular body/lifestyle/preferences? Different story.
  • Arc2Arc wrote: »
    Sub optimal for what? Weight loss? Or

    Weight loss, energy, other consequences.

    As others have said if it’s working and you feel ok then fine. For myself, it wouldn’t work and I am hungry in the morning so I eat. Plus I’m trying to gain muscle so I tend to spread protein across the day. Different strokes for different folksy
  • HollyPFlax
    HollyPFlax Posts: 79 Member
    edited November 2021
    As others have said, timing doesn't matter for weight loss. I'm in the same boat as far as what time of day I get hungry. You might want to up your calories for a .5lb/ week loss if you find the 1lb hard to maintain. Otherwise, keep at it. 🙂
  • Arc2Arc
    Arc2Arc Posts: 421 Member
    edited November 2021
    Thanks all for your responses. As of today I’ve lost 9 of a targeted 16 pounds and have been at it for 3 weeks. I lost a lot at the beginning and seem to have settled at about 1.5 per week. I targeted 1.0 per week but as some have pointed out, excercise even when logged may be upping the loss some.

    I’m comfortable that the timing of my calorie and protein intake won’t affect my weight loss or ability to condition at the level I’d like. As far as muscle, I resistance train 3 times per week as I have through most of my life. At 61 I don’t expect to add muscle I’ve not had before. I RT to keep what I have and maintain strength.

    So my remaining question is if along the way I happen to lose muscle as can occur with age and want to regain it, am I harming my ability to do that with the back loading and if so is it material? Thanks.
  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,825 Member
    Backloading isn't what impacts muscle loss. Losing too quickly (too much deficit) does.

    FWIW, I am hungriest in the late afternoon and eat most of my calories then. Also working out fasted without a problem. Eat the least, if anything, before lunch. When I cut, it's 0.5 lb/wk (250kcal daily deficit), but I'm a woman and likely smaller than you.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 777 Member
    Arc2Arc wrote: »
    Thanks all for your responses. As of today I’ve lost 9 of a targeted 16 pounds and have been at it for 3 weeks. I lost a lot at the beginning and seem to have settled at about 1.5 per week. I targeted 1.0 per week but as some have pointed out, excercise even when logged may be upping the loss some.

    I’m comfortable that the timing of my calorie and protein intake won’t affect my weight loss or ability to condition at the level I’d like. As far as muscle, I resistance train 3 times per week as I have through most of my life. At 61 I don’t expect to add muscle I’ve not had before. I RT to keep what I have and maintain strength.

    So my remaining question is if along the way I happen to lose muscle as can occur with age and want to regain it, am I harming my ability to do that with the back loading and if so is it material? Thanks.

    I think this is getting very granular and into the territory where all of the research is conflicting.

    Some research will say that intermittent fasting will actually protect against muscle loss, some of it will say that it will accelerate muscle loss. It all depends on the study, what they mean by IF, whether their subjects are humans or animals, what kind of humans and under what conditions, etc, etc.

    It's difficult to IMPOSSIBLE to predict what your YOU will work best. The best advice I can give you is to pay attention to your body and modify your behaviour as needed in terms of meeting your goals. That's basically all any of us can do when it comes to these fine details like figuring out exactly what to eat, how much, and when.
  • Arc2Arc
    Arc2Arc Posts: 421 Member
    edited November 2021
    heybales wrote: »
    Arc2Arc wrote: »
    Thanks all for your responses. As of today I’ve lost 9 of a targeted 16 pounds and have been at it for 3 weeks. I lost a lot at the beginning and seem to have settled at about 1.5 per week. I targeted 1.0 per week but as some have pointed out, excercise even when logged may be upping the loss some.

    I’m comfortable that the timing of my calorie and protein intake won’t affect my weight loss or ability to condition at the level I’d like. As far as muscle, I resistance train 3 times per week as I have through most of my life. At 61 I don’t expect to add muscle I’ve not had before. I RT to keep what I have and maintain strength.

    So my remaining question is if along the way I happen to lose muscle as can occur with age and want to regain it, am I harming my ability to do that with the back loading and if so is it material? Thanks.

    Touches on the aspect of muscle building as side point to main study topic.

    You should be more concerned about possible muscle loss with big deficit than with age.

    Some great stuff in the vid, thanks for posting. He seems to make a data based case against backloading protein. I'll have to figure out some protein-centric breakfasts. That may dovetail well with reducing my loss rate from 1.0-1.5 lbs. to .5 pounds relative to your point about big deficit muscle loss.
  • Arc2Arc
    Arc2Arc Posts: 421 Member
    edited November 2021
    JBanx256 wrote: »
    "Optimum" for...? An Olympic-caliber athlete? Eh, definitely not.

    For your particular body/lifestyle/preferences? Different story.

    Do you know what my activity goals, "lifestyle" and body preferences are?
  • Arc2Arc
    Arc2Arc Posts: 421 Member
    Xellercin wrote: »
    Arc2Arc wrote: »
    Thanks all for your responses. As of today I’ve lost 9 of a targeted 16 pounds and have been at it for 3 weeks. I lost a lot at the beginning and seem to have settled at about 1.5 per week. I targeted 1.0 per week but as some have pointed out, excercise even when logged may be upping the loss some.

    I’m comfortable that the timing of my calorie and protein intake won’t affect my weight loss or ability to condition at the level I’d like. As far as muscle, I resistance train 3 times per week as I have through most of my life. At 61 I don’t expect to add muscle I’ve not had before. I RT to keep what I have and maintain strength.

    So my remaining question is if along the way I happen to lose muscle as can occur with age and want to regain it, am I harming my ability to do that with the back loading and if so is it material? Thanks.

    I think this is getting very granular and into the territory where all of the research is conflicting.

    Some research will say that intermittent fasting will actually protect against muscle loss, some of it will say that it will accelerate muscle loss. It all depends on the study, what they mean by IF, whether their subjects are humans or animals, what kind of humans and under what conditions, etc, etc.

    It's difficult to IMPOSSIBLE to predict what your YOU will work best. The best advice I can give you is to pay attention to your body and modify your behaviour as needed in terms of meeting your goals. That's basically all any of us can do when it comes to these fine details like figuring out exactly what to eat, how much, and when.

    I agree it seems some trial and error is called for. It seems as though beginning that by spreading out protein might be a good start.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 777 Member
    Arc2Arc wrote: »

    I agree it seems some trial and error is called for. It seems as though beginning that by spreading out protein might be a good start.

    Maybe I missed it, but why do you feel the need to change what you are already doing?