Optimising Nutritional Intake

Optimising Nutritional Intake

Optimising Nutritional Intake

In recent times we have seen a movement in bodybuilding away from the old school approach of eating as many meals a day as possible, towards a lower frequency approach where four to five meals a day are often supplemented with BCAA's between meals. This approach is the hallmark of Dr. Layne Norton's approach to nutrition, something which was expanded upon in the interview we had with Layne earlier. By contrast, the rise of intermittent fasting in recent years, most frequently associated with the methods of the Leangains formulator Martin Berkhan, has led many trainees to adopt what would formerly have seemed an unbelievably radical approach to dieting, where no food is consumed at all for a 16 hour period of the day. Then, after this fasting phase is over, the Leangains method allows for an 8 hour window where eating is permitted.  

With all these new methods of optimising our diets, not to mention the standard 5-6 meals a day approach favoured by generations of bodybuilders, we thought it would be good to look at some of the research conducted in this field as part of an on-going series discussing ways readers can look to optimise their nutritional intake to achieve a better physique.

This week we look at some research comparing distribution of food intake as well as studies conducted on breakfast and whether it is essential for fitness minded people to consume a breakfast every day. Let's start with a study comparing protein feeding patterns using milk or whey protein(1) published in August 2012 - take a look...  

Research Review - Do protein feeding patterns affect results?

Can lean body mass be spared better depending on the quality and timing of protein intake?

Obese volunteers followed a 6 week diet and split into 4 groups - casein spread, casein pulse, whey spread, and whey pulse. The groups consuming casein consumed no other protein source while the whey groups only consumed whey as their protein source. The pulse groups distributed their protein in 4 meals per day in a proportion of 8/80/4/8% per meal. The spread groups consumed 25% of their protein in each of the four meals.

The subjects lost an average of 7.5kg of weight, 5.1kg of fat, and 2.2kg of lean mass. There was no difference between groups in outcome or on subjective measures of hunger perception.

Timing of protein consumption did not alter results between groups.

Our Comments
An inconclusive study but one which lends support to those intermittent fasting proponents who say consuming the vast majority of protein in one meal need not negatively affect lean mass. On the other hand the study failed to show superiority for either approach and with it being a study conducted on obese, non-exercising subjects it's relevance is limited at best. The same researchers also conducted a similar study on rats(2) which we will look at next.  

Research Review - Can manipulating leucine intake affect muscle retention?

To determine if lean body mass can be preserved using different types and timing of protein intake.

Young, male rats were first provided a high calorie diet for 5 weeks and then an energy restricted diet for three weeks, and fed a high protein diet containing casein, whey, or a casein/whey mixture (n=9 per group). These were the rats' only source of protein for the duration of the diet. Food intake was spread over 12 hours whereas in a previous experiment rats consumed their daily food intake within a 2-3 hour timespan.

Food intake was similar in all groups while energy restriction led to a significant decrease in body weight and body fat. There was  no difference between groups.

Timing of protein intake does not influence the retention of lean body mass.

Our Comments
Another study showing that fasting appears to be a viable approach (at least for rats).  

Is nothing the breakfast of champions?

Breakfast is often considered a die-hard staple of any sound nutritional program. Given this, the avoidance of breakfast encouraged by intermittent fasting advocates is one of the more controversial aspects of their diet. We have seen in interviews with both Layne Norton and Borge Fagerli, their belief that fasting during the morning can compromise muscle gains. On the other hand Martin Berkhan has argued eloquently for why breakfast is a meal best avoided for most stating his belief that the interplay of hormones including cortisol and insulin can predispose breakfast taking individuals to fat gain. Let's examine some of the research conducted on breakfast consumption starting with a look at a recent Finnish study from 2012(3) exploring different meal patterns among adolescents.

Research Review - Is breakfast and meal frequency linked to metabolic syndrome likelihood?

Breakfast consumption and meal frequency are linked to obesity risk but their link to metabolic syndrome in the young has not been studied.

Three meal patterns on weekdays were compared - 5 meals a day including breakfast, 4 meals a day including breakfast, and 4 meals a day without breakfast taken. These meal patterns were examined for association with obesity and metabolic syndrome in adolescent Finns (n=6247).

Those adolescents eating five meals a day were at lower risk for obesity and also factors related to metabolic syndrome such as abdominal obesity and blood triglyceride levels.

Adjusting for other factors, the five meal a day pattern was linked to lower risk of obesity in both boys and girls in this study.

Our Comments
This study is a little more relevant to our readers in that the group studied are closer in age to most trainees and more likely to be active than the obese group mentioned in the first study. On the face of it this provides compelling evidence in favour of a dietary pattern that favours the inclusion of breakfast. We shouldn't take this analysis too far though as breakfast consumption also shows a positive correlation with income levels and education, factors which may also influence the weight and attitudes to health exhibited by people. In addition, this study relied on self reported dietary questionnaires which inevitably can lead to some inaccuracies. A study published earlier in 2012(4) echoed the sentiments of the Finnish study also showing a positive correlation between breakfast consumption and increased meal frequency with a better body composition outcome. Again, as with the Finnish study, we need to stress that these are not athletes being studied but overweight teens.  

Will skipping breakfast make you dumber?

One of the arguments you will hear in favour of breakfast consumption is the need to provide the brain with the glucose it needs to work optimally. By skipping breakfast could you be compromising intellectual performance as some say, or it the case that skipping breakfast, by increasing levels of adrenaline like neurotransmitters can actually enhance mental performance?

Research Review - Eating breakfast enhances cognitive performance

Pivik's group(5) set out to test how breakfast consumption impacted on mental functions in children aged 8-11 years old. The children were either fasted or fed before performing mathematical tasks.

The researchers found that children who worked after a fast showed greater demands on working memory compared to those who consumed breakfast. Those children who ate breakfast showed a significant increase in correct responses compared to children who fasted, an effect that persisted after making adjustments for other factors that might influence results.

The results combined with the findings that neural network activity involved in processing numerical data is enhanced after breakfast, suggests greater cognitive performance in children is possible by providing them with breakfast.

Our Comments
An interesting study which appears to provide strong evidence supporting the pro-breakfast camp. Would a strong black coffee while fasting have overridden the benefits of a breakfast meal or offset the diminished performance in the fasting group we wonder? A natural question leading on from this study is whether or not skipping breakfast would influence physical performance as opposed to mental performance. Luckily we found a study examining just this, albeit in young children again(6)

Research Review - Swiss school children eating breakfast have better physical skills

The study set out to examine the association between eating behaviour and BMI (body mass index) and motor skills in children aged 7-10 years old.

656 schoolchildren participated in this experiment. The children were tested on five physical tests including a 20m sprint, shuttle run and long jump. Tests were conducted at four time points with each child at 8,9,10, and 11 am.

Children who ate breakfast regularly had a significantly lower BMI compared to those who ate breakfast occasionally or never. In addition, those who never had breakfast had a higher BMI than those who occasionally ate breakfast. The children who had breakfast also attained better scores on the 20m sprint, shuttle run, and long jump.

The study showed that consuming breakfast in children was linked to a better body weight and enhanced motor skills compared to missing breakfast.

Our Comments
This study is pretty thorough although it could be argued that dysfunctional eating patterns in the group who skipped breakfast such as eating lunch and dinner in front of their tv's may have contributed more than skipping breakfast to their poorer health and performance scores. Wrapping up the first part of this series, we have seen that the timing of protein distribution does not appear to play much role in body composition outcomes while studies conducted on feeding show that skipping breakfast can have negative effects on performance and body composition. Next week, we will go into greater detail examining the link between morning versus evening food intake and answer the question of whether carbs at night are a bad thing.    

We looked at evidence in whether the distribution of protein had an effect on body composition as well as whether breakfast was necessary. Today we look at whether when we eat our food, matters, with a particular focus on when we consume carbohydrates.  

No Carbohydrates After 6pm?

Let's face it, who hasn't heard of this ironclad rule for dieting success?


The rationale behind not having carbohydrates in the evening and concentrating them during the day makes sense. When we wake up our bodies haven't had any nutrients for 8-10 hours depending on how long we sleep and don't raid the kitchen fridge during the middle of the night. Protein synthesis (the construction of new muscle tissue) will be downgraded and muscle breakdown will become high. In addition, the stress hormone cortisol will be elevated during the morning and high cortisol levels cause muscle loss as every gym rat knows. Finally, by filling our bodies full of carbohydrates in the morning, when insulin sensitivity is highest, we can use the carbohydrates as fuel to power physical and cognitive activity (remember the brain relies in glucose as a fuel source). The flip side of this argument is that at night we are less insulin sensitive and with us soon to hit our beds there is little to no physical activity we require carbohydrates for (bedroom gymnastics being an exception for any sexaholics reading this).  

This rationale makes a lot of sense doesn't it, but does it hold up in fact?

This particular law of nutrition has been studied in fact. A number of studies (1) (2)(3)(4) have all demonstrated the OPPOSITE of what the fitness industry has promoted for years. Weight loss results show variance with some of the studies showing greater weight loss with morning feeding versus evening feeding but once we look at what matters to athletes we see a clearer picture. Fat oxidation rates were higher in all four studies when most of the calories were ingested at night while preservation of muscle mass, a key concern for bodybuilders was also higher when most of the calories were ingested at night time. How do we square this research with the bulk of fitness people advocating the exact opposite approach (consuming most calories during the day, especially carbohydrates)?  

Does evolution provide a clue?

They say success leaves tracks and in the case of the human species, the success of our kind might conceivably have something to do with how our bodies were adapted to their environment. Imagine you are Captain Caveman waking up with Mrs Caveman and looking out over the plains of Earth 10,000 years ago. Do you suppose as you got up and brushed your teeth with sabre tooth tiger, that what you would be doing is settling down to a nice, hearty breakfast of Kelloggs Mammoth Munch?

Hmmm, not likely. Rather you'd be awake and then, with no cereal consumption in the distant past, or refrigeration units around, you'd have to wake up and go out to either hunt, or fish for your first meal of the day. Given this, it makes sense that our bodies would adapt to their environment and ensure they function better according to the meal pattern that their situation requires. Flipping forward to the modern day, if our bodies are used to feeding mainly in the evening (primal man would presumably have a big meal around a campfire several hours after the animals were hunted, skinned, and cooked) then it seems unlikely that we can override this pattern just because it suits food manufacturers to have us eating from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep.

Metabolic rate at night

Surely these studies must be missing some detail that makes them invalid such as being conducted on mainly sedentary types who don't move around much and therefore wouldn't burn the carbs used during the day as efficiently as athletes? It is true that these studies on nutrient ingestion didn't specifically work with athletes but we do have some research(5)(6) comparing metabolic rates during the day and night which puts an interesting slant on things. The research shows that while sleeping metabolic rate declines during the first half of the night then it rises in the second half of the night. Of particular interest, while obese individuals did indeed show a slower metabolic rate at night compared to during the day, lean individuals had a HIGHER sleeping metabolic rate than their resting metabolic rate. To put this in layman's terms, bodybuilders and other athletes will see an increase in their metabolic rate at night. So much for consuming less at night because the body is ready to shut down for the day!  

Insulin sensitivity

By now you hopefully accept that eating at night doesn't hinder and may, based on the evidence, actually enhance your body composition. However, how many times have you heard the old chestnut that you have better insulin sensitivity in the morning and can better handle carbs then? It is true that the body is more receptive to carbohydrate intake in the AM but is there something else other than the time of the day that can explain this? The answer is yes. The improved glucose control shown in morning versus evening meals is attributable to the fact that having fasted overnight your body is handling the carbohydrate load better. A fairer test would be comparing glucose control and insulin response in someone who didn't eat for eight hours between say 1 and 9pm (mimicking our overnight fast) to someone eating after sleep. Similarly, if we compared the second meal of the day versus one at night we should see the effects of overnight fasting eliminated. If the second meal of the day doesn't show a better glucose and insulin response than the last meal of the day it can safely be concluded that it is the fast, not the time of the day, which accounts for the subsequent improved response seen in breakfast eaters. As it happens we have a study showing just that(7).

Empirical results

A number of fitness authorities who have looked at some of the science behind nutrient consumption such as Borge Fagerli, John Kiefer, and Martin Berkhan have all come up with nutrition program centred around minimising or eliminating carbohydrates in the morning, or in the case of Martin Berkhan, any meal at all. None of these people or their adherents seem to have done badly by dropping calories in the morning so you'd think everybody was on board as research presented in this article and real world results all appear to point in the same direction?

We looked at the notion that carbohydrates should be avoided at night and demonstrated that this particular law of fitness has some sizeable holes in it. At the end of Part 2 it would have been clear to many readers that the timing of when we consume nutrients can have a bigger role in our fitness efforts than commonly assumed. While 24hr day calorie intake will trump other variables governing body composition changes in response to nutritional changes, the influence of nutrient timing has recently come under more attention.  

Do Our Body Clocks Influence Our Body Composition?

At the end of Part 2 we mentioned that we would explore the research on a previously ignored front - the effect of circadian rhythm on our bodies.  

Circadian rhythms - what are they?

Circadian rhythms are biological processes which show fluctuations in correspondence with a 24hr cycle. We often hear the phrase “Body Clock” used by the lay public to denote the belief that their cravings for particular foods or when they feel sleepy are governed by circadian rhythm changes. Circadian rhythms are not fixed in time but can be adjusted by a number of factors of which daylight is the most important. Examples of circadian rhythms include both the obvious such as how and when we feel sleepy but also changes in different hormones over the course of the day. If you have ever heard that cortisol is highest in the morning along with testosterone and both hormones show a decline through the day, then that is but one example of a circadian rhythm in the human body.  

Why are circadian rhythms important to us?

If, like most people, you rise early in the day, you will exhibit a consistent pattern of hormonal release through the day with light acting as a key signal prompting your body to secrete hormones to wake you up such as cortisol and adrenaline, as well as hormones which will promote tiredness and somnolence, melatonin being the major player here. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain which will induce you to feel sleepy at the end of a long day. However, it is a fairly mild hormone whose effects can be overridden when an individual is exposed to a lot of artificial light, with the type of blue light used in iPad and mobile phone displays being particularly bad for causing sleep disturbance(1). Lack of sleep will cause negative hormonal adaptations that rob you of your hard earned muscle gains making it important that we sleep enough but is it just a case of how much we sleep or how we sleep that matters?

Circadian rhythms and implications for weight gain

We have already seen how nutrient timing can affect body composition in part 2, but with circadian rhythms regulating a vast array of different body functions in the body ranging from hormone levels, to regulating cellular and physiological functions in both central and peripheral tissues in the body, their impact on the body is likely to be much greater than previously thought. A recent paper(2) by Froy, set out to investigate the connection between our circadian clock and metabolism, as well as exploring how it is influenced by hormones, nutrients and meal timing. The authors came from a background of wanting to see why obesity continues to be a growing public health concern despite all the resources poured into combating it, stating that the disruption of circadian rhythms can lead to metabolic disorders. In humans, similar to most mammals, the authors state that physiological systems including sleep-wake cycles, endocrine activity, blood pressure, and body temperature are all regulated by the circadian clock. You may be wondering how this relates to weight gain. The answer is that both central and peripheral tissues are governed by the circadian clock. To better understand how this works in practice take a look at figure 1 below.

Fig 1. Control of the circadian clock over peripheral tissues. Light resets the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) via the retina. The SCN then dictates entrainment of peripheral tissues and physiological system via humoral factors or autonomic innervation. As a result, tissue specific hormone expression and secretion and metabolic pathways exhibit circadian oscillation.

Decoding the jargon:
What all the above really just means is that the body is entrained by light and food to have a particular circadian rhythm which in turn influences the body’s tissues including our fat and muscle cells via the interplay of hormonal and nervous system activity.

How Your Body Clock Affects Your Body Composition

A number of hormones which are important for body composition show a diurnal rhythm meaning a distinctive pattern that occurs on a daily basis. These include such well known hormones as leptin, insulin, cortisol, testosterone, neuropeptide Y, ghrelin, growth hormone and many others besides. What this all means is these hormones and peptides are all under the control of our circadian clocks.

Leptin is one hormone which has been called the master hormone by some, which has control over such downstream hormones as testosterone among others. When leptin levels are high appetite is suppressed and metabolic rate is high leading to enhanced burning of body fat. We discussed the benefits of an approach aimed at harnessing the power of leptin previously in our article dieting without losing muscle mass. Leptin exhibits a notable circadian pattern with peaks occurring during sleep. However, when the SNC is removed meaning the sleep-wake cycle is disrupted, leptin circadian rhythmicity is removed.

Key point:
This means that if you disrupt natural circadian patterns you effectively decouple your body’s leptin production from its normal function, which will lead to a drop in metabolic rate, increased appetite and increase in bodyfat.  

Impact of nutrients and hormones on circadian rhythms

We will talk about the effect on body composition and health of a disruption in our circadian clocks but does the process work in reverse? In other words, while we know that lack of sleep to name one example can cause a negative hormonal state increasing our risk for obesity, can what we eat affect our circadian clocks? Interestingly, research has shown that nutrients including glucose(3), caffeine(4) and amino acids(5) can all shift our circadian rhythms, as well as hormones such as insulin(6) (produced in abundance when you consume a carbohydrate rich meal). These insights will be useful when it comes to our recommendations at the end of this article.  

Our style of eating can impact on circadian rhythms

We saw in figure 1 above that feeding regimens can influence circadian rhythms. For anyone wanting to get in better shape this section touches on some of the theories out there relating to meal frequency and patterns of eating which are popular in the bodybuilding sub-culture. Research has shown that limiting the availability of food to specific periods (restricted feeding) can override the impact of light and entrain the circadian rhythm to the feeding time(7)(8). Proponents of intermittent fasting have previously cited research supporting their view but the evidence that feeding patterns can entrain the body to a new style of eating are supported by the research on how feeding impacts circadian rhythms. Let’s now look into more detail at intermittent fasting.  

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting refers to dietary regimes which incorporate a fast where no nutrients are consumed followed by a period of eating. Technically every time we go to bed we are fasting which is why the term breakfast was coined denoting the breaking of our night time fast. Intermittent fasting takes this a step further by extending the fast a specified period of time which can vary from a few extra hours every morning to, at the extreme end, fasting for several days.In this respect intermittent fasting is not dissimilar to the type of fasting which some religions advocate.The main difference between intermittent fasting and the type of fasting muslims perform during Ramadan is that adherents of intermittent fasting will usually freely drink water and very low calorie beverages such as black coffee and diet soda drinks during their fast. In the Froy paper intermittent fasting is more narrowly defined as every other day eating. This is just one of the many forms of intermittent fasting that are growing increasingly popular among some bodybuilders. In experiments on mice, those on an IF schedule eat roughly the same number of calories over a 48hr period as those on normal dietary regimens. The difference being they eat all their food in one 24 hr time period. Lending support to the pro-health arguments made by IF advocates, the mice on the IF exhibited increased lifespan(9), improved glucose metabolism(10), increased neuro(11) and cardio-protection(12), and increased resistance to cancer(13).

Key point:
We can entrain our bodies to adapt to our eating patterns. There is a growing body of evidence to show that intermittent fasting can have potent health benefits similar to research on calorie restriction showing benefits for increased lifespan. For those with symptoms of metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and health problems, intermittent fasting could be a good option. 

High fat diets and circadian rhythms

We have discussed how carbohydrates and amino acids can impact on circadian patterns but what about fat intake? Given the increasing popularity of low carb and high fat diets in the media it is pertinent to note that in one study they had a minimal effect on circadian rhythms while being linked to an increased risk for negative health consequences(14).  Interestingly enough research on rats has shown that supplementing with melatonin can help to lower the rate at which weight is gained when consuming a high fat diet. As a hormone associated with helping to induce sleep, it shows how sometimes careful supplementation can help to counter the negative effects associated with disordered eating styles.  

Circadian rhythms and body weight

We’ve already seen how shift workers tend to have an increased risk for obesity. Just today, as I write this article a new study(15) has come out which showed that when food is eaten in what is normally our sleeping period, a greater proportion of it used as energy storage, or body fat. The mice in this study became more obese without consuming more calories. The researchers discovered that when the normal circadian clock that drives appetite was disrupted it favoured food consumption at an inappropriate time. In humans, this would mean favouring food intake at night time when we are supposed to be asleep. Interestingly, the researchers discovered a link between a disrupted circadian clock and how EPA and DHA was secreted into the bloodstream. By supplementing with EPA/DHA (the essential fatty acids in fish oil supplements) the researchers were able to rectify the malfunctioning physiology which led to obesity in these animals.

Key point:
When you eat can influence the amount of weight you gain even if calories are the same. Humans should avoid night time eating as a general rule but supplementation with fish oil can help to obviate many of the damaging effects of nocturnal eating patterns.  

Leptin and circadian rhythms

We discussed the hormone leptin previously and how it exerts a powerful effect on how much weight and fat we gain both directly, and via its effects on other hormones. Research on sheep(16) has demonstrated that a shorter day is associated with lower leptin levels/increased level of blood triglyceride levels, and that longer days are linked to increased activity of fat promoting enzymes. Taken together this shows that leptin levels are linked as much to circadian rhythms as they are to things bodybuilders can control such as carbohydrate intake and body fat status. This is a bit dense to understand so let me explain in a way everyone can understand. When dieting it means the body is better able to mobilise body fat for fuel when the days are short. If we think of this from an evolutionary perspective, during winter days our ancestors would not be able to source the same quantity of food as normal making it necessary for the body to mobilise stored body fat to help provide energy. In the same study, blood triglyceride levels were higher for the animals exposed to longer days which means their bodies were less good at utilising fat as a fuel source. The second big takeaway from this is that when the days are long there is a greater potential to gain body weight. Our ancestors would have eaten more when the days were longer making our fat storing machinery ramp up to help provide us with the layer of body fat needed to survive a winter. If we consider bears which hibernate can lose over a 1/3 of their bodyweight during winter we can see why this pattern would exist.  

The perils associated with staying awake

As a horror movie fan I grew up terrified of sleeping after watching one Freddy Krueger film too many. Freddy was a demonic serial killer who would kill you in your sleep. No doubt he caused nightmares aplenty and made a lot of us stay awake late in the day but little did I realise that this put my body into a full blown catabolic hell.

Short sleepers have reduced levels of the appetite suppressing hormone leptin, increased levels of the hunger promoting hormone ghrelin, and increased appetite and hunger(17)(18)Any time that we work under light, especially harsh artificial light, we suppress the body’s production of melatonin which makes getting to sleep difficult and can also lead to an increased risk of sleep disturbances such as nocturnal waking. Shift workers have a higher risk of obesity(19), metabolic syndrome(20), and sleep more poorly(21), as well as disturbed cortisol release(22). In addition, shift work has been linked to impaired glucose management(23) which is of particular interest to bodybuilders who are concerned with how effectively they partition nutrients as poorer glucose management is linked to more difficulty in getting lean. Finally, obesity itself can have a negative effect on sleep quality with it being associated with a reduction in REM sleep which is critically important(24)(25) for producing a restful sleep.

Do not work late into the night under artificial light and avoid using your mobile phone, iPads, or laptops at night time to avoid disturbing your sleep and causing a catabolic environment for your body.  

Summary and Conclusion

We have reviewed how important the circadian clock is on sleep-wake cycles, how our metabolisms function, endocrine function, and on appetite and feeding patterns which are the end result of the confluence of everything else. The modern lifestyle where we see people failing to eat and be active at the appropriate times, often stay up late into the night and eat the wrong foods at the wrong time has been shown to cause everything from the relatively trivial such as weight gain, to accelerating the onset of life threatening diseases. As athletes we can often assume the only thing that matters is what we do in the gym and the food we eat outside of it, and assume this acts as a shield to protect us against the harmful effects associated with this lifestyle. The reality is that our bodies operate on the same basic principles as everyone else’s and no matter what we do we cannot override our basic biological programming. To attempt to do so by burning the candles at both ends will destroy your ability to fulfil your potential long before you reach the peak of physical condition.  

Key Points

This article is probably among the most in-depth and complicated on the Predator Nutrition website so for all those who just want the important messages which they can incorporate into their lifestyles we offer the following.

•Try to perform most activity during the day.  Even if you have an office job walk around and be as active as much as you can.

• We can use nutrients to manipulate circadian rhythms with carbohydrates and amino acids being best used to reset our body clocks.

•Disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm will have a disastrous effect on your hormonal profile leading to great muscle loss and fat gain

• Intermittent fasting can be used to elicit positive health adaptations. They would be particularly suitable for shift workers.

• Avoid shift work if you value your health but otherwise consider IF as route to manage some of the negative health consequences.

• High fat diets are best avoided.

• Eating food when we should be sleeping is associated with greater fat storage independent of calorie intake.

• Take 3-6g of combined EPA/DHA to help offset the above. Here is one high quality product – Iforce Nutrition Fish Oil 120 Softgels

• Contrary to what you think you may find it easier to diet in winter.

• Avoid getting fat as it can negatively impact sleep quality.

• Avoid bright screens such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets once it gets dark.

• Avoid stimulants at night.

• Ensure you sleep for a minimum of 8 hours every night and avoid staying up late.    


1. Adechian S, (2012): Protein feeding pattern, casein feeding or milk soluble protein feeding did not change the evolution of body composition during a short-term weight loss program.

2. Adechian S, (2011): Spreading intake of a leucine-rich fast protein in energy-restricted overweight rats does not improve protein mass.

3. Jaaskelainen A, (2012): Associations of meal frequency and breakfast with obesity and metabolic syndrome traits in adolescents of Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986.

4. Antonogeorgos G, (2012): Breakfast consumption and meal frequency interaction with childhood obesity.

5. Pivik RT (2012): Eating breakfast enhances the efficiency of neural networks engaged during mental arithmetic in school-aged children.

6. Baldinger N, (2012): Swiss children consuming breakfast regularly have better motor functional skills and are less overweight than breakfast skippers.