All these while, you’ve been worried about what you eat: the quantity of your calorie intake, the amount your portion weighs, how well you can improve your diet and so much more- in an attempt to cut down your weight.
In this age and time, it is no news that to maintain a fit body, asides taking in only clean water- water as clean as those produced through good filters such as the ones on https://cleanersofterwater.com/best-under-sink-water-filter-reviews/, you should not settle for anything less than a healthy meal or snack. But then, that’s not all you’ve got to consider when it comes to dropping some pounds.
Not to say these things aren’t good enough, but what if I told you there exists a better way to structure and configure your diet so that you would achieve optimal weight loss, within a shorter time frame?
Yeah- the time you choose to eat your meals.
A recent study from Harvard University confirms that irrespective of how healthy your meal is, if they are not in-tune with your circadian rhythm, your blood sugar levels can jump 18% higher than usual, increasing the levels of your fat-storing hormone insulin.
This creates the need for a plan- actually, more of a schedule.
So, through thorough research, we combed through the net’s trash to provide you with the best attack plan- the best eating strategy.
What are the Relationships Between Meal Times, Your Circadian Rhythm, and Obesity?
In order to unveil the full picture of eating at specific times, you need to have basic knowledge of the science in the background stage.
Quickly, let’s look into a recent study that links eating meals late at night with unprecedented weight gain.
Here, scientists recruited 32 overweight or obese adults with an average age of 36 years. In order to arrive at more precise results, the scientists studied the participants’ sleep duration, activities carried out during the course of the day, and diet levels.
This was possible due to the devices each participant wore: an Actiwatch on the wrist, which measured the sleep-wake cycles of the participants and an activPal electronic device that monitored the activity or sedimentary periods of each participant- on the thigh.
The analysis showed that a set of participants (control set) had 7 hours of sleep and ate their food between an 11-hour timeframe on average, while some other individuals ate their meals later in the day.
As expected, individuals that ate later in the day had a higher BMI, as well as greater levels of body fat compared to the control set. It is noteworthy that both sets had the same amount of sleep.
In other words, these results infer that eating late at night increases your obesity risks while reducing your window frame to an earlier period consequently reduces your obesity risks.
So, these experiments clear the air as to whether the timing of meals really affect obesity and weight gain prospects- and yeah, it does!
Without waiting any longer, let us dive right into it- the time suitable for your meals.
Skipping breakfast has never been a good idea. According to a survey, only 44% of Americans eat breakfast, although a whopping 90% agree it is the most important meal of the day. So ironic! Ditching breakfast confuses your hunger hormones and sets you up for a day of ravenous feeding. If you are considering dropping off a few pounds, that’s definitely not a good idea!
Not just that- missing breakfast disturbs your focus, concentration, and productivity.
That said, when should you have breakfast?
Eat your breakfast 2 hours after you wake up. The sooner you eat it, the better it is for your metabolism.
If you are a fan of mid-morning snacks, there are also provisions made for you. even if this isn’t necessary especially if you took in a heavy breakfast, you should give your body a 2-4 hours’ period to digest the breakfast before considering a snack.
And yeah- your snack must be a healthy one!
Here is the bonus: what are the hacks to eating a healthy breakfast, even on a busy morning?
First off, keep it simple. You do not have to go for a 1-hour coking period kinda breakfast; instead, go for easy-to-make options such whole-grain cereals with low-fat milk. Again, do the meal preparation the night before so you do not end up using your breakfast hour to decide what you should eat.
Lastly, eat light meals for dinner so you would have the urge to eat early in the morning. This eliminates the chances of you not feeling hungry once you wake up.
Your lunch is equally as important as your breakfast.
Some hours after breakfast, your blood sugar level drops; and consequently, your glucose levels go down. This means you would have less energy to perform your pre-purposed tasks. A healthy lunch refills your sugar levels.
That said, the best time to eat lunch is at about 3 pm.
Ditto to your mid-morning snack, your mid-afternoon snack requires a time interval of 2-4 hours.
Yeah, you guessed as much- dinner should not be forsaken. Since it is the last meal of the day, this shouldn’t be a surprise.
You would not be eating for, say, another ten hours, so, it is important you get your body stocked up for the hours ahead- for sleep. When you sleep, your blood sugar levels would drop due to the steady supply of glucose needed to perform some critical process during sleep.
If enough sugar isn’t provided, the body resorts to the stored glycogen, releasing them for its needs. This would lead to constant waking up and an interrupted sleep cycle- insomnia.
That said, the best time to eat dinner is between 6 pm and 7.30 pm
But then, the real problem isn’t eating earlier or later- it’s post-dinner snacking. So, after eating your dinner ensure you make your fridge out-of-bounds till morning.
The Bottom Line
These time intervals would make your journey to weight loss a lot easier, sure. But, if you are not keeping up with them, you aren’t doomed. What really matters is eating healthy, consistently!