Eating times can be a game changer for your weight loss. Do you feel like you’re eating healthy, yet are not noticing the weight loss results you desire? Well let’s look at when you are eating your healthy meals!
Most healthcare professionals recommend eating a well rounded breakfast within 1 to 1 ½ hours of waking up. Supporting evidence in a 2016 study found that weight loss occurred in men who ate their first meal at home before heading to work. Other studies support that this may be the case in both sexes. Moreover, researchers found that eating a high-protein breakfast during the time frame of 6:00 am to 9:45 am could reduce the risk of body fat gain and hunger sensation in the body throughout the day in comparison to those who waited to eat later in the morning.
Nutritionists often recommended a mid-morning or mid-day snack so that you are eating every 3-4 hours between breakfast and dinner.
“A balanced snack can help manage your energy and blood sugar levels throughout the day if you have long gaps between meals, and prevent overeating at meal time,” says Registered Dietitian, Keeley Mezzancello.
Mezzancello shares that a mid-morning snack can also stave hunger until lunch, for those of you who are not fond of a big breakfast, and a midday snack can be beneficial for those who tend to eat later in the evening.
Interestingly enough, there is not much definitive findings on what time of day is best for lunch in correlation for weight loss. One study did find that those who ate lunch earlier in the day had a higher success rate in losing weight. Though the findings of the available research is not concrete, generally speaking, it is acceptable to space all meals about 2 to 4 hours apart during your day. Moreover, to avoid emotional or stress eating, I always recommend that my clients eat and talk with friends or coworkers during lunch time in order to avoid overeating.
In a 2013 study, authors discovered that men who quit eating by 7:00 pm ate on average about 244 less calories per day. This may be due to the fact that it is common to snack after dinner, which contributes to your daily caloric intake. Intermittent fasting is often recommended with a general idea of consuming your first and last meal of the day within about a 10 to 12 hour period. Furthermore, aiming to eat your smallest meal of your day at dinner can be helpful in order to allow your body time to digest your meal before bedtime.
A few Quick Tips:
- Breakfast: Do not skip a high protein breakfast. Try to eat within 90 minutes or less of waking up.
- Snack: Small mid-morning and mid-day snacks about 2-4 hours after a big meal will stave hunger and manage blood sugar.
- Lunch: Eat earlier rather than later. Space about 2-4 hours after your big meal or small snack.
- Dinner: Eat three hours or more before bedtime to allow for digestion. Try intermittent fasting. For example, if you eat breakfast at 7am, you should eat dinner no later than 5-7pm.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey