Eating Late – Gaining Weight – Protein per Meal

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Question: Is it bad to eat after 7 PM? Can person digest more than 30 grams of protein at a meal? Can a person lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?
Answer: Those are interesting questions and ones I hear regularly, so let’s break them down starting with the last question first.
Can you lose weight and gain muscle at the same time? Though it is more difficult to build muscle when you are restricting calories, it is possible because of the higher amount of protein you consume while reducing carbohydrates. Most plans for lowering body fat include eating high protein foods or drinking protein supplements at the four crucial times during the day: when you wake up, before and after training, after training is most important and prior to bed. Your training has to be intense enough to build muscle and the food choices you make will enhance that growth potential. The bottom line is that you can add lean mass and lose body fat simultaneously.
Getting enough protein is essential to muscle growth or muscle maintenance during the cutting phase and for a male you’ll need 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you only weigh 180 pounds and eat six meals a day you could get the minimum amount you need and stay within the mythical guidelines of 30 grams of protein per meal. If your training intensity requires you to consume more protein, say up to 250 grams a day and if you could only digest and use only 30 grams of protein per meal you would need to eat at least 8 meals in the same time period. Though there is a limit to how much protein you actually can digest and utilize in a 2 or 3 hour period, you would be safe eating 40 grams per meal to get the protein you require. Just remember also drink plenty of water.
It would be difficult to get in all your protein if you cut off food arbitrarily at 7 PM. Though eating a large meal full of carbs late at night is not the best idea, eating late if you’re eating smart should not be a problem. Having a large amount of carbs prior to bed can cause you to store fat due to the large amount of insulin in your bloodstream when your blood sugar rises. When you sleep your body releases growth hormone. When those large amounts of insulin are also present the sugars are easily stored as fat. However, if you eat a protein-rich meal and restrict your carbs prior to sleeping your body has readily available protein to rebuild muscle tissue instead of cannibalizing muscle tissue for amino acids for tissue repair. Depending on your food choices you can eat at night but eat smart.
To summarize, you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time by getting in the essential amount of protein you need throughout the day. You will need to eat after 7 PM to do this as long as you eat smart and minimize the carbs. Train hard and keep sending the training myths.
God bless and keep training ,
Daryl

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