When it comes to maximizing your weight loss results, when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Its known as meal timing and for many people it is the key to shedding those unwanted pounds.
Please know that eating meals at the right time does not mean you are free to eat as much food as you want. Calories still count!
With so many people dealing with weight related health issues, I think its safe to say its time to take a closer look at some of the current lifestyle recommendations.
While they may have worked in the past, they don’t seem to be as effective as they once were.
That is why strategies such as meal timing have become so popular in recent years.
A 2017 study showed that meal timing can have a huge impact on your overall body mass index (BMI). According to researchers, participants with the lowest BMI’s fasted for longer periods of time.
There was an 18 hour window between their last meal and breakfast. They also tended to have their largest meal at breakfast.
In comparison, participants with higher BMI’s tended to have a shorter window between their last meal and breakfast.
They were also more likely to skip breakfast and have their largest meal at dinner time.
Here are 3 simple ways you can use meal timing to your advantage.
Have Protein First Thing In The Morning
For most people their breakfast consists of either a bowl of sugary cereal or some sort of meal replacement bar that’s loaded with calories.
While a bowl of sugary cereal make give you a quick boost of energy, once your blood sugar starts to drop your energy will quickly drain and all you will want to do is take a nap.
This is why your first meal should be a high protein meal. According to research you should aim for a breakfast that consists of at least 45 grams of protein.
Doing so will trigger satiety and ensure you don’t have a sudden drop in energy half way through the morning.
While foods such as bacon are packed with protein, they are also packed with just as much fat. The quality of protein you eat matters.
Yogurt and eggs are great sources of protein for breakfast. If time isn’t on your side, make a delicious protein shake you can take on the go.
To get your day off to a great start try to get a good mix of protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables in your first meal of the day.
Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal of The Day
Time to kick those small lunches to the curb. If you can, opt for a larger meal during your lunch break.
The International Journal of Obesity published a study that showed just how effective meal timing is.
The study consisted of 420 adults that were either overweight or obese. It found that those who had their biggest meal after 3pm lost less weight than those who had their biggest meal earlier in the day.
The interesting thing is that calorie consumption and activity levels were basically the same for both groups.
One of the authors of the study believes diet-induced thermogenesis is the reason for the difference in weight loss.
After a certain time your body’s ability to lower blood sugar levels becomes impaired. As a result your body burns fewer calories when you eat a big meal later in the day.
Say No To Late Night Snacks
Let’s be honest, we all love to have a good snack right before bed. Two scoops of your favorite ice cream is a delight most of us simply can’t refuse.
The problem is late night snacking has been proven to cause your waste line to expand.
When you snack late at night, either right before bed or you wake up in the middle of the night to get a snack, this causes you to get a poor quality of sleep.
It also disrupts the hormones that are responsible for regulating your appetite and stress levels. As a result you are more likely to overeat during the day.
Right before you go to sleep your body starts to wind down. Your metabolism slows down and your body starts to prepare for a good nights sleep.
That’s why its recommended you avoid the late night snack. Ideally you should avoid eating a minimum of two hours before your bedtime.
If you haven’t eaten all day and you are extremely hungry, then by all means have a snack right before bed.
Try to keep this snack as balanced as possible. Go for something light that won’t weigh you down. A good option would be apple slices with peanut butter.
As long as you don’t make late night snacking a regular occurrence you will be just fine.