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To think it doesn't matter when you eat, it's WHAT and HOW MUCH you eat

(28 Posts)
OneLastBreak Mon 26-Aug-13 22:15:13

DP is always blaming his size (couple of stone overweight) on how late we eat, due to our long work hours and long commute. I constantly say to him that it isnt the time he eats dinner (9pm) but the fact that he has big portions, goes back for seconds (that I was saving for next days's lunch) and then usually has some snacks till he goes to bed (crisps, biscuits, toast)

Oh and the fact that he eats nothing all day- just drinks coffee - so his metabolism is probably fucked and he is starving when he gets in

I eat the same time as him, but I've had a good breakfast and lunch so don't need a huge portion and never snack. I'm a size 10 and have been the same weight for years.

He is now suggesting we should just have a salad in the evening or light snack eg toast, but I love preparing a healthy dinner at the end of a stressful day and I don't want to have salad every night. I usually do spag bol or naice marinaded meat with roast veg

I work alongside hospital dieticians and the majority support my view and say WHEN you eat is largely irrelevant (nutritionists often say the opposite but can't back this up scientifically)

I've suggested he tried having porridge for breakfast with fruit, a sandwich and soup for lunch and then half his normal dinner with a side salad, as I KNOW he would start to lose weight doing this. But he disagrees and says we should just stop having dinner at night

Ps We will probably just agree to differ, so he can have a salad and I'll carry on having lovely dinners, but I know he isn't going to lose any weight, as he will just end up snacking on crap all night as he is still hungry!!

WorraLiberty Mon 26-Aug-13 22:17:21

It matters for some people I think

But for your DH it's the fact that he's binge eating, having starved himself all day and that's not good.

DamnBamboo Mon 26-Aug-13 22:19:00

No decent RNutr should be saying this (they have to have a science background to gain the accreditation and should know beter.) Sounds like Nutritional Therapist talk - some of them spout utter shit after their weekend long course which they think makes them an expert

You are right of course and he needs to stop eating so much of the wrong stuff and accept some personal responsibility.

Why don't you say to him, just eat like me for a week and see how you get on. Maybe he'll give it a go.

ilovepowerhoop Mon 26-Aug-13 22:20:08

www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/myth-debunked-late-night-eating-does-not-cause-weight-gain.html

Fairdene Mon 26-Aug-13 22:20:39

Don't quite get why if he has a big supper plus seconds he snacks until bed.

Agree about timing. We eat ridiculously late and it has no affect at all on our figures.

DamnBamboo Mon 26-Aug-13 22:21:27

REcent article in NEJM with leading nutritional scientists all addressing the 'Myths, Facts and Presumptions about Obesity'

Makes for interesting reading.

ilovepowerhoop Mon 26-Aug-13 22:22:16

Eating at night myth 'exploded'

TheSmallClanger Mon 26-Aug-13 22:23:08

You are correct. He does not want to face up to his problem.

If you are getting in late and making do with takeaways and ready meals because you are too tired to cook, or haven't had the chance to shop, that will affect your weight. A decent meal eaten later in the evening will not do this.

WestieMamma Mon 26-Aug-13 22:28:00

YABU because when you eat does make a difference. Not because of how late it is, but because of how long it's been since you last ate. If you haven't eaten for a long time you are much more likely to over eat and to eat rubbish.

timidviper Mon 26-Aug-13 22:29:22

While I agree with you that the quantity and quality of what you eat is important I think there is some evidence that disordered eating can affect the hormones that control appetite, satiety and insulin resistance. I'm sure I have read somewhere about shift workers and hormone disruption and he may be falling into a similar trap but, of course, he needs to change his current way of eating.

I think the biggest problem is that your overweight husband is asking you to help him but you have made your mind up that you know better and don't want to support him. As someone who is overweight and trying to address it I think you sound very sanctimonious and unsupportive.

Turniptwirl Mon 26-Aug-13 22:30:38

When he eats is part of the problem, if he was eating regular healthy meals and snacks then he wouldn't eat all his days calories and more in one sitting due to bring starving.

But I totally agree that what and how much is the main thing, just that timing for him is causing him to eat too much.

You've already offered sensible suggestions so just ride the salad phase out, he'll soon be wanting dinners again especially if you're still having them!

DamnBamboo Mon 26-Aug-13 22:32:36

Westie but the fact that's he overeating is when he does eat is his problem, not when he last ate per se

OneLastBreak Mon 26-Aug-13 22:34:20

Great links thank you, will send them to him

Yes westie, that is right. I find I'm ok going between 1.30pm (lunch) to 9pm dinner, as my lunch is usually a decent size and healthy and filling. Certainly though if DH listened to his body and felt hungry at say 6, then he should IMHO have a light snack then, eg half a chicken sandwich and a yoghurt, to keep him going till dinner

specialsubject Mon 26-Aug-13 22:36:49

correct. No magic clock in the stomach. They aren't all fat in the Med and they eat very late.

tell him to learn some science.

OneLastBreak Mon 26-Aug-13 22:37:37

Turnip, yes I'm probably being sanctimonious, you are right. I've never struggled with my weight so it is easy for me to say. But if I thought supporting him in having a salad would genuinely help, then i would be all for it, but I know with absolute certainty that it would not address the problem. I wish I could get him to see sense.

Notcontent Mon 26-Aug-13 22:41:56

I also eat late during the week and am very slim.
But like you OP I have a decent breakfast and lunch - I can't function without regular meals.

Ilovemyself Mon 26-Aug-13 22:49:45

The simple fact is that what you put in your mouth and the excercise you do are the only things that affect your weight.

meganorks Mon 26-Aug-13 22:56:37

If he is currently going back for seconds and snacking late too how exactly does he think he is going to manage the evening (and all the next day!) On just a salad? And if he thinks he can then surely you can suggest he tries eating just a normal size dinner and no snacks first.

I would say cut down how much you cook (so only your 2 portions - no leftovers) and stop having snack food in the house.

OneLastBreak Mon 26-Aug-13 23:08:46

I don't buy the snacks and the leftovers are meant for my packed lunch the next day, but he will often eat them instead, which makes me angry, as I don't like to waste money in our work canteen and I do the weekly shop to factor in my lunches. I don't know how to stop him doing this, he thinks it's funny!!

There is no way in hell hell survive on a salad alone in the evening. I cooked us a lovely risotto tonight, of which he ate loads, and is now having one of those honey yoghurt smoothies with a packet of crisps as his third snack of the evening!

I'm doing the 5:2 diet and I definitely lose more weight if I increase the gap - ie. leave as many hours as possible between big eats.

And because most people have swallowed the 'breakfast is really important' fib it leads to people scoffing a big dinner AND eating breakfast - IMO you can't do both and lose weight easily.

So what works best for me is to eat late and eat at lunchtime the next day,

It also seems to work for some people if they eat breakfast and then finish eating dinner early so that they increase the gap.

timidviper Mon 26-Aug-13 23:52:48

Speaking as a fatty myself, can I tell you that it doesn't matter what science shows or what evidence has proved as so much of "appetite" is individual and in your head. I have done every diet known to mankind and failed at all of them until I started low-carbing, that works for me as I hate feeling hungry and I have discovered my blood sugars fluctuate a lot with carbs so cutting them down and increasing protein keeps me from feeling starving. For me a risotto would fill me for a short time then leave me starving and looking for snacks too.

The key here is forgetting what you think you know or what dieticians tell you and finding what will work for your DH and how you can support him in that. He may survive better on protein and salad/veg than you expect given time and support. If he wants to try it then what's the harm in agreeing to help him? If you are so effortlessly slim then it wouldn't hurt you to compromise.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 26-Aug-13 23:54:45

I'm eating fish and chips right now and I'm a size 8.

The entire diet industry is a con on the same level as religion; being active and eating a wide range of food will keep you healthy. Being thin does not necessarily equal being healthy. Not being thin is not a crime.

Ilovemyself Tue 27-Aug-13 08:20:52

Solidgold. That's a bit of a sweeping generalisation. I know I am a big supporter of Slimming World but have nothing to gain by it. ( no pun intended)

Their plan is just healthy eating and exercise. What's so wrong with that?

eatriskier Tue 27-Aug-13 09:53:12

As someone who's been doing 5:2 for a while, this is going to sound weird but... Your DH is BU. Fasting all day and eating one meal can be good for you, but the meal has to be balanced and you still have to eat under your recommended calorie allowance. Having 2 large portions of something then snacking until bedtime probably means he's eating over his calorie allowance. Well, its probably more the snacks that will take it over. There's a lot of research out and about showing that when you eat (generally 3 meals vs 6 smaller ones) gives no difference if the calorie intake is the same. Also, if he's not eating in the day then when is he going to eat?

Your suggestion of a main meal with a salad is perfectly good and should stop him going for the quantity of food. But that would involve him changing his habits and it seems like he's not at the point where he's willing to do that, blaming other people is easier.

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