Is It Better to Eat Your Least Healthy Meal for Lunch or Dinner?

This weekend I bought a lot of edible seeds.

I’ve slowly but surely been trying to make my diet healthier over the 6-12 months. Fewer carbs, V8, and fruit instead of fruit juice have joined the other parts of my regular diet that were already healthy: fish, chicken, spinach, and oatmeal.

But I want to take it a step further. I’ve started eating more avocado, healthy nuts (like almonds), berries, and the aforementioned seeds. Now that I see all those words in a row, I’m essentially becoming a chipmunk. So be it–they’re adorable.

My plan is to have one “chipmunk” meal a day and one that may be less healthy (more filling, traditional proteins, leftovers from restaurant meals). I’d like to get in a regular patterns, so I’m trying to figure out if lunch or dinner should be the least healthy meal. I can see it going either way:

  • Lunch should be less healthy: Having a bigger, less healthy meal for lunch might make more sense because it needs to propel me through the rest of the day. Also, I’m much more active in the afternoon than I am in the evening, so it’s easier to burn off unnecessary calories.
  • Dinner should be less healthy: My body is accustomed to processing smaller meals at lunch and bigger meals at dinner–I think it would be easier to continue that trend with less filling “chipmunk” meals for lunch. Also, I typically allocate more time for a dinner meal than lunch. Oh, and I typically work out right before dinner, so my body is primed to process what I’m getting ready to eat.

I lean towards lunch being the bigger, less healthy meal, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts. What do you recommend, and what’s your approach?


11 Responses to “Is It Better to Eat Your Least Healthy Meal for Lunch or Dinner?”

  1. Candy Mercer says:

    Can you make it to breakfast on seeds alone? I can’t sleep if I am hungry.

    Eat at the end of the day so you can relax and enjoy the food, the light meal is perfect for working. Just from the outside looking in, that would be what I see. Also, do you go out for dinner more often or lunch? I am guessing dinner….so less disruption to social plans and routine.

    Yay for you! And lots of other animals like seeds! Right?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Candy: That’s a good question. I certainly don’t want to wake up with a rumbling stomach at 3:00 am. But I also don’t like feeling stuffed in the evening. So I think there’s a fine line there.

      I go out for lunch around 2 times a week, and I rarely go out to dinner.

      • Why not try out each way for a week at a time, then decide. Maybe it will be one or the other, or maybe you’ll find benefit in continuing to alternate.

        Since I eat only one meal a day, I’m spared your intradaily decision. I include a small portion of my trademark unhealthy supersweet dessert almost every day, but still distribute other less healthy savories fairly evenly over the week. I’m fortunate in that each day my body tells me what kindof food it needs that day, and it works well to listen to it.

        • Jamey Stegmaier says:

          That’s a good idea, Dorothy–there’s no reason I need to commit to one over the other before trying either. 🙂

  2. Katy says:

    I think the chipmunk meal at dinner would probably be the better plan, and if you find that you’re getting hungry in the middle of the night, maybe add in another vegetable or more spinach to the dinner salad? Or, have a small snack (part of the day’s allocation of seeds?) in the late afternoon either just before or just after working out, and then eat dinner slightly later in the evening to curb any middle of the night hunger pains?

    I’ve been trying to change my eating habits as well, and am taking a different approach—breakfast is a meal I either tend to skip or “treat” myself with a yogurt, cereal, or other food that has a sweet taste/carb heavy. Starting tomorrow, I’m changing breakfast to only include veggies and protein (I used to do this in my pre-work from home days), in hopes that the protein (eggs) and veggies will reduce my late morning snack cravings. Meal prep for the week was a big part of my afternoon, including cutting up various easy to snack on vegetables, and writing out a meal plan to for the next few days.

  3. dmvp says:

    I’d say the less healthy meal as your noon time meal. You’re more likely to burn off any extra calories as you’re going about your day. And seeing as you go out for lunch more often than dinner that makes even more sense. Being hungry at night could be an issue, but it never seems to bother me. I don’t like big meals for lunch at all, but I’m also one that would be happy to have fruits and nuts for both lunch and dinner! (you might also want to consider the best time of day to have your chocolate fix as well!) 😉

  4. Stephen says:

    Breakfast.

    Bacon, eggs (scrambled or fried), sausages, baked beans, fried mushrooms, fried tomato, fried bread or toast, maybe some hash browns. And not forgetting the black pudding. Nothing quite beats a fry up to start the day, and if you’re going less healthy than that, you’re probably doing something wrong.

    (More seriously, what others have said – Largely depends on how you are at sleeping when hungry, with larger at lunch probably better if you can sleep without something larger towards the end of the day, otherwise make your tea your larger, less healthy, meal)

  5. Vincent V. says:

    Speaking of food, do i remember correctly, you backing something about ramen a while back? Vita or Vite Ramen… Any feedback?

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