In life, timing is everything. This applies to the times we make decisions, to the ways we go about getting things done, and especially to how and when we should eat. In these 21st century times, it seems that people are just “too busy” to eat a proper breakfast far too often, and this is causing a wave of ill health across our nation.
What many people don’t realize is that eating at optimal times throughout the day can actually help to maximize the amount of fat that you burn, plus it will help avoid hormonal interference and help keep your hunger in check. It’s easier than you might think to time your meals right… you just need the right tools.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… and I could not agree more. When you eat breakfast, you are literally breaking the overnight fast and telling your body that it is time to get back into work mode. This is why you should eat within one hour of rising, and definitely never within a three hour period before bedtime. These steps alone will make a significant difference in your body composition.
There was a study done in 2005, which found that people who skipped breakfast tended to compensate later in the day by eating more refined carbohydrates and fats, and they also ate fewer fruits and vegetables. Skipping breakfast was also associated with significantly higher LDL cholesterol and impaired post-meal insulin sensitivity.
But we all know how it feels to not want to go to bed hungry… so what to do? If you really must eat before bed, aim for a snack that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Great examples of items like these are plain yogurt, salad with grilled meat on top, shrimp and veggie stir-fry, or a protein shake. For breakfast, try to stick to eggs of whey protein shakes (or any other high protein meal), and this should help you to eat less overall throughout the rest of the day.
The science behind eating more, smaller meals throughout the day instead of the standard three squares is solid. It helps you to maintain a steady blood sugar levels (and can also help stabilize your cortisol levels). Keeping these things stable is one of the keys to feeling satisfied longer.
Keep it frequent
There have been numerous studies done over the years about the best times and amounts to eat. According to this research, it was found that consuming meals earlier in the day was associated with faster and more impressive weight loss. This again ties into the “no snacking before bedtime” rule of thumb. Everyone is different though, so experiment with eating at different times throughout the day, and see what works best for you.
It is even possible to lose that extra stubborn five or ten pounds just by spreading out your meals (eating at the same time every day helps a ton too!). Remember these rules of thumb for success!
- Eat more (healthy) meals, more frequently throughout the day. This keeps your metabolism running on high throughout the day, which allows you to burn more calories in a relaxed state
- Drink tons of water! Soda, sugary juices and energy drinks are basically just garbage, all your body needs to function optimally is H2O
- Get enough sleep! This simple rule will help your body’s functioning to run more smoothly