I’ve been working on leaving at least 4 1/2 hours between my meals, as per the guidelines of the Gracie Diet. I’ve finally managed to move beyond the point where I’m constantly checking the clock and counting down the hours until my next meal. It’s taken a lot of practice and a LOT of planning.

Paying attention to when I was eating meant that I wasn’t boxing myself into set meals at general times of the day. Sure I was still eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I realized that with my long days, if I didn’t time my meals correctly, then I would end up having a 4th meal on some days or snacking because my meal times weren’t properly thought out. This was especially so when dealing with late night workouts. If I was finishing my workouts at 10 pm and not getting home until almost 11, then when should I have dinner? Before I train or after? Figuring it all out while trying to stay consistent was tough. There were times that it all worked out, but there were other times when it really did just fall apart and I would have to start all over this.

Rectifying this meant I needed to back to the drawing board. I started by writing down the anchor points of my day.

Gracie Diet calendar1

The biggest dilemma that I had was related to late night training sessions. When should I eat? Do I eat before or do I eat after? I knew that to feel comfortable during training I wanted at least a 1 1/2 hour, if not a 2 hour, gap between my meal and my training session …

On some nights my jiu-jitsu training would end at 10 pm and I wouldn’t get home until almost 11 pm. I didn’t want to eat so late at night. At the same time, if my previous meal was around 1 p.m., then I would be beyond hungry by the time I got home. While I wasn’t against the idea of just going to sleep on an empty stomach, leaving such a big gap between meals (15-18 hours) on a regular basis wasn’t ideal for me.

My next step was to take my calendar and start to investigate where I could squeeze my meals in.

Gracie Diet calendar 2

As you can see, there are a lot of question marks on that calendar.

I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me. As great as it would be to be able to consistently eat at the same time each day, I know that it’s not going to be possible since my schedule differs from day to day. The hardest meal for me to schedule was my evening meal. Managing a 4 1/2 hour gap between meals is one thing … on busy days I can even extend that to 5 or 6 hours. However, a 10 hour gap with training sessions in between … ya, the schedule still needs tweaking, but it’s slowly coming together.