When it comes to weight loss, the biggest thing we worry about is exactly what we eat, carefully counting calories and weighing out portion sizes, gathering information on different diets and gobbling down as much fruit and veg as we can, that we forget to worry about what is really the best time to eat our 3 meals of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner to lose weight.
The time we eat our meal is important. Research shows that how we choose the time to eat meals could have a huge effect on your weight loss if you’re a dieter.
Researchers have also managed to figure out the best time to eat breakfast, to have lunch and eat dinner if you want that slim, perfect figure.
But how important are these guidelines governing the best time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, really, you might wonder? But a recent study showed that regularly sitting down to dinner after 8pm adds an extra two inches to the waist which is the equivalent of two dress sizes for a woman.
This difference can be traced to the fact that we have evolved to use up energy during the day, so our mechanisms slow down as we get ready for sleep, reducing the rate our food is processed.
The timing also helps in managing our metabolism, body-weight, obesity-related diseases and sleep cycle. So, the major question is this: when should you actually have your meal to maintain the pace?
Here’s the answer:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is always good to have a high-protein breakfast between 6 AM to 10 AM if you want to lose weight. This reduces the risk of accumulation of fat in the body and makes you feel less hungry throughout the day. Nutritionists recommend having your breakfast early in the morning. It is also not a good idea to skip your breakfast. According to the data from the National Weight Control Registry, about 80 percent of people who had their first meal of the day at the right time were able to lose 15 kilos more weight than others.
MID MORNING SNACK
Mid-morning snacks can be skipped, it depends on whether you are hungry or not. Our body takes a minimum of 4 hours for digesting and absorbing the food we eat, so it is recommended to have your mid-morning snacks 2 to 4 hours after having your breakfast. Sticking to this time frame helps you to stay full for a longer period of time and keeps your energy level up till the afternoon.
Try to eat your lunch before 3 PM at all costs. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined 300 dieters trying to lose weight and the results showed that people who had their lunch earlier were able to burn more fat.
Just like your morning snack, keep a gap of about 2 to 4 hours between your evening snacks and your lunch. Snacking between the meals prevents overeating.
Eating small meals frequently is a good habit to have. Do not take long gaps between your meal as it results in overeating when you eat your meal. You can eat nuts, fruits, and smoothies in your snacks. Eating more fruits and vegetables also speeds up your weight loss process.
You should have light dinner at night and that too before 7 pm. According to a study conducted by Brigham Young University, researchers asked 29 men to not eat anything after 7 PM while allowing them to eat whatever they want in the day. The results concluded that people who had their dinner by 7 PM consumed 244 fewer calories, eventually helping them to shed kilos. Also, it is always advised to have food 1-2 hours before sleeping, if you want to lose weight.