The Best Times to Eat for Weight Loss
Even if you are working hard to make smart eating choices, you might still discover that weight loss is a struggle. This is because when you eat can be just as important as what you eat. For best results, your food intake needs to go along with your body’s circadian rhythms to avoid causing your blood sugar to elevate.
Ideally, you should eat a high protein breakfast between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., but no later. If you wake up before or after that time span, try to eat within an hour of waking up. Eating a healthy breakfast at the right time can help you to be more active throughout the day and curb your hunger.
Research has shown that the earlier you eat lunch, the better. Try to make sure you eat your lunch before 3:00 p.m. The sooner in the day you consume the bulk of your calories, the more time your body has to burn what it doesn’t need.
You should aim to eat dinner between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and avoid eating at all after that. Snacking after dinner contributes to an intake of calories that you do not need if you are eating nutritious and filling food for the rest of the day.
Snacks aren’t necessary, but sometimes you need to boost your energy levels before your next meal. It can also help you avoid overeating at the next meal. If you’re truly hungry, try a handful of nuts or some fruit, raw vegetables, or cheese. Keep in mind that it takes between two and four hours to fully digest your food, so time your snacks carefully.
Not hitting these time slots every day does not mean that your weight loss efforts are fruitless, but you might notice a difference in your success and energy levels if you follow these guidelines. If you have an unusual work or sleep schedule—for example, the night shift—talk to your doctor about the best way to space out your food intake.