What really makes a difference in reaching your ideal weight is meal timing and how long the intervals are between them. If you are already eating a healthy, weight loss diet but are struggling to keep the extra pounds off, then your eating patterns may be the reason why.
You already know that eating healthy, balanced meals, portion control and snacking healthy during the day is the first step to preventing weight gain. What many people don’t realise is that a successful weight loss diet also depends on how often you eat and when you eat regularly.
Meal times make the difference
A recent study in Harvard suggests that, no matter how healthy you eat, your blood sugar levels can shoot up if your meal times are not in sync with your body’s natural biorhythm. This means more fat is stored when you eat at the wrong times. The timing of your meals can affect:
- Metabolism or how fast your body burns fat
- Maintaining steady body weight
- Diseases related to obesity
- Sleep cycle
If the time of eating meals and weightloss are related, then what are the best times to eat to lose weight? Here is a meal-by-meal rundown on how to lose weight by eating right and on time!
When do I have breakfast?
While there is no hard scientific evidence that eating breakfast spurs weightloss, the majority of people who are fit and healthy stay that way because they eat breakfast every single day like clockwork. However, studies reveal that people who eat a high-protein breakfast between 6:00 am and 9:45 am gain less body fat than those who eat their first meal after 10 am.
Expert nutritionists and dieticians encourage us to have breakfast within one hour of waking up. The meal should be filled with protein, fat and fibre to keep your hunger pangs at bay. Eat healthy carbs like oats to energise you.
Should I eat a mid-morning snack?
Take a mid-morning snack (at around 11 am), especially if you are an early riser or eat breakfast from 8 to 9 am. People who a handful of almonds or an apple for “elevenses” wind up eating less calories throughout the day. Snacking healthy not only keeps you energetic all morning, stops hunger pangs before lunchtime but also prevents your blood sugar from falling.
When do I have lunch?
People who eat lunch earlier drop more pounds than those who ate after 3 pm. Also, you can avoid overeating at dinner with a little afternoon snack from 4 to 5 pm. This is a good time to load up on nutrients from fresh fruits and nuts.
Can I eat dinner late?
The answer to this depends on how many calories you consume daily and how late you go to bed. If you eat dinner early, you go to sleep early, which means a leaner and healthier body.
Most people who have dinner early (by 7 pm) make the mistake of snacking before going to bed and we do not mean milk and cookies, but a big, gooey piece of chocolate cake. People in one study showed that they ate about 250 -300 fewer calories when they stopped eating after 7 pm.
So, it is not just timing but also post-dinner snacking that also matters. If you are always looking inside you fridge before bed time, try having dinner at 8 pm, and snacking post lunch may help too.
Another study showed that people who ate a third of their calories between 6 pm and midnight lost more weight and slept better after switching to fasting between 7 pm and 9 am.
Studies reveal that “night owls” tend to mess up their internal body clock because of their eating habit which also throw your weight loss diet out of whack.
- Eat most of their daily intake later in the day
- Consume fewer fruits and vegetables
- Have more junk food and processed food
Follow simple eating rules
Remember, first eat smart and then on time. The most important thing in a healthy weightloss diet is eating right. Incorporate vegetables, whole grains, proteins, organic flour, cereal, spices, fruits and fibre into your daily diet. Take the help of natural weightloss supplements if you need to. Eat when you are hungry, not ravenous; stop when you are satisfied, not too full. Avoid crash diets at all costs. Because you will gain it back. Watch your eating schedule; correct it if it has gone out of whack.
Do you have any natural weight loss diet tips or healthy eating suggestions you want to share?