Get lean for tri: Does it matter what time of day you eat?

Want to get lean for tri and wondering if there is a best time to eat to maximise muscle gain and weight loss? Sports nutritionist Stephen Smith has this advice for meal times

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When it comes to losing weight and getting lean, your number one priority should be ensuring you’re in a calorie deficit, i.e. you burn more calories than you consume. This is the most important factor when trying to lose weight; if this isn’t achieved, other factors matter little.


While meal timing is currently a topic of debate, the existing evidence suggests no one meal timing strategy is better for weight loss.

However, when you’re restricting calories (to lose weight) as well as training, I’d recommend ingesting the majority of your calories before, during and after training to help fuel and recover from the workout.

This means that more calories are being used as energy and to replenish and repair muscles than being stored as fat.

Another important factor is the balance of protein, fat and carbs, with current evidence suggesting higher protein intakes of 2.0 to 2.2g per kilo body weight per day can help promote higher quality weight loss by supporting the preservation of muscle tissue, meaning more weight is lost from fat rather than muscle.