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Last Meal time - am I doing it too late?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 02, 2012 at 1:07 PM

I tend to eat an all natural 'big' paleo dinner, which happens very late. Like 20-30min before I go to bed.

By big I mean this is pretty much 40-50% of my entire day's caloric intake. Dinner includes some big servings of Brocolli, Brussels sprouts, or some other fresh leafy veggies; Chicken breast or Fish or Egg whites and whole wheat tortillas. All steamed or baked with absolutely no dressings or added oil other than spices like paprika, black and red peppers etc. And may be once in a while some 0% greek yogurt or high fiber protein bar (quest).

I never counted the calories in my big dinner, but if I have to estimate - it will be about 700-800.

I tend to be active - like some light weight/bands exercise 2-3 times a week. Other meal choices in the day is pretty healthy too - like no or very little processed food (which are - tortillas, jelly etc). My meal plan for the day is like "big breakfast" around 730-High protein snack around 1030-light lunch-snack around 330-very light snack around 7- dinner at 9-940 - bed at 10-1030.

Now, the thing is, I am noticing I am gaining some bulge around my waist, lower abdomen and hips. The only thing to my understanding I am doing wrong is the late dinner. Can that be the reason? Or there should be some other change I need to make?

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:39 PM

It may look like I jumped on you with some of my answers. I certainly didn't mean to do that. I know you're new, but it's pretty obvious you're still stuck in the SAD (standard American diet) mindset in many ways. Read these two books (they are short, quick reads): "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes and "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Malcolm Kendrick. Taubes' book, while not paleo, will help you understand why paleo works to reduce weight. Kendrick's book will help you overcome your fear of fats (particularly animal fats). This is something you've got to do if you are going to do paleo correctly.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:29 PM

From what I've read, the entire high fiber thing was debunked a long time ago, but it won't hurt you so go ahead if you want. Consider though, that when you get down to brass tacks that fruits and vegetables are actually better sources of fiber than grain products. A slice of whole wheat bread has 1g of fiber; an apple 3g; an orange 3g; a serving of spinich 4g; a bell pepper 3g. The meme that grains are the best (and only) source of fiber is due to heavy advertising by the grain industry. It is not the reality.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Carbs are just sugar molecules linked together into chains. That's why eating two pieces of whole wheat bread or 7 sugar cubes will produce the exact same insulin spike. Complex carbs are just longer chains of sugar molecues. ALL carbs get digested the same way. Your body breaks apart the carb chain back into its individual links (the simple sugar molecules) then puts those sugar molecules into your blood stream. As far as your body is concerned, when you eat a carb you are eating sugar. When you look at a tortilla you shouldn't think carbs, you should think "this is a big piece of sugar."

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:59 PM

Why do you need complex carbs?

65d63b392177b6a961878036d8d3a04f

on May 02, 2012
at 02:06 PM

Yes, I am very new (like 2weeks in or so). I am yet to fully grab the paleo idea (coming from a low-carb high fiber, not necessarily looking at processing part diet). So lets see ...

65d63b392177b6a961878036d8d3a04f

on May 02, 2012
at 01:21 PM

It is like 2 tortillas to get some complex carbs. steamed because easy to cook - most my fat comes from nuts and avocado.

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4 Answers

6
11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 01:17 PM

The problem is you aren't doing paleo.

Whole wheat tortillas? This will raise your insulin and prevent you from burning fat.

"All steamed or baked...no oil." If you are afraid of fat (particularly saturated fat) you aren't doing paleo.

65d63b392177b6a961878036d8d3a04f

on May 02, 2012
at 01:21 PM

It is like 2 tortillas to get some complex carbs. steamed because easy to cook - most my fat comes from nuts and avocado.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 02:59 PM

Why do you need complex carbs?

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Carbs are just sugar molecules linked together into chains. That's why eating two pieces of whole wheat bread or 7 sugar cubes will produce the exact same insulin spike. Complex carbs are just longer chains of sugar molecues. ALL carbs get digested the same way. Your body breaks apart the carb chain back into its individual links (the simple sugar molecules) then puts those sugar molecules into your blood stream. As far as your body is concerned, when you eat a carb you are eating sugar. When you look at a tortilla you shouldn't think carbs, you should think "this is a big piece of sugar."

4
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 02, 2012
at 01:56 PM

  1. whole wheat tortillas definitely not paleo, or primal. Consider asian-style rice paper wraps (as a "sometimes food"), coconut-based wraps, or lettuces when you are really craving a wrap.

  2. There's always been the old tale that "you shouldn't eat" X hours before bedtime, where X usually equals 3. This has been generally debunked, however you shouldn't go to bed / lay down with a very full stomach like that -- it's a recipe for indigestion. Consider the swimming rule "wait an hour after eating", for example. With a huge meal late at night, you may want to wait even longer. You may want to consider shifting your largest meal to earlier in the day.

  3. All steamed or baked with absolutely no dressings or added oil other than spices like paprika, black and red peppers etc. And may be once in a while some 0% greek yogurt or high fiber protein bar (quest). Uhmm ... also not paleo or even primal. a) don't fear good oils or fats to cook with, b) prefer real, whole-fat dairy when you choose to eat dairy, and c) skip the processed "fiber bar" altogether.

  4. I tend to be active - like some light weight/bands exercise 2-3 times a week. That sounds like a good start! :-) If a dietitian or doctor were to ask, assuming you don't work as a waiter or construction worker, you likely are "sedentary", which makes the exercise you do even more important. Activity level usually represents what you "do all day", not how much purposeful exercise you get. (I'm "sedentary", too - and I get 4-10 hours of exercise in per week.)

You sound like you are very new to the paleo or primal worlds. I strongly suggest reading Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" or Mark Sisson's "The Primal Blueprint" for a good, informative starting point and background for how to proceed with a paleo lifestyle/diet. Either book would be good, don't prefer one over the other. Heck, read both if you want to, but please pursue informing yourself a bit more. :-)

Good luck!

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on May 02, 2012
at 03:29 PM

From what I've read, the entire high fiber thing was debunked a long time ago, but it won't hurt you so go ahead if you want. Consider though, that when you get down to brass tacks that fruits and vegetables are actually better sources of fiber than grain products. A slice of whole wheat bread has 1g of fiber; an apple 3g; an orange 3g; a serving of spinich 4g; a bell pepper 3g. The meme that grains are the best (and only) source of fiber is due to heavy advertising by the grain industry. It is not the reality.

65d63b392177b6a961878036d8d3a04f

on May 02, 2012
at 02:06 PM

Yes, I am very new (like 2weeks in or so). I am yet to fully grab the paleo idea (coming from a low-carb high fiber, not necessarily looking at processing part diet). So lets see ...

4
2fd566cefde2de38e75e1bc13a966e16

on May 02, 2012
at 01:53 PM

If most of your fat is from high omega-6 sources and you're eating gluten and anti-nutrient laden whole wheat products, you definitely aren't eating paleo. Especially the fact that "most of my fat comes from nuts and avocado" worries me. Nuts really aren't that good for you and should be a "treat" on paleo.

Nix the tortillas and get your fat from healthy saturated sources like grass-fed meat and coconut oil.

4
37d8a05f489d8e979fcd5f0806dc897f

(135)

on May 02, 2012
at 01:26 PM

hmm you could get complex carbs from sweet potatoes or another root veg. tortillas are still processed and not paleo maybe try cutting them out and see how you do.

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