Most of us understand that what we eat is important. This is obviously the foundation of a good diet. We pay attention to what we shop for. We certainly pay attention to what we put in our bodies. All of this is true.
But is that enough?
The issue of what we eat is clear to us. However, while what we eat is important, we often fail to consider when we are eating. The best times to eat for weight loss is something we should try to keep in mind with the same discipline we apply to how we shop for and prepare food. Remember that while the human body isn’t a watch per-say, it does run on what you could call an internal clock. This clock runs for roughly twenty-four hours. Different people can express this clock differently, but the general concept remains largely consistent for most.
When we eat has tremendous impact on our health. This includes metabolic and body weight regulations, among other things. It can even impact your sleep cycle.
If you haven’t thought about any of this before, relax. It’s not too late to make some minor adjustments to your eating schedule. Let’s break down the key considerations of when to eat for optimal weight loss.
Best Time To Eat Breakfast For Weight Loss
What is the best time to eat breakfast for weight loss? Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies certainly seem to suggest such. A good breakfast can give you the energy and foundation to start your day on the best possible foot. To that end, keep in mind not only what you have, but when you have it.
The rule of thumb for breakfast is to eat it at 7 AM. Give or take 10-15 minutes, this would be the optimal time for breakfast. Something light is generally considered ideal. Greek-style yogurt and oatmeal are good examples.
If you find yourself getting hungry before lunch, look for another light, satisfying idea. A few pieces of fruit, or some veggie sticks, are perfect.
Best Time To Eat Lunch For Weight Loss
A good breakfast, followed by a small snack (if necessary) can ensure you’re not too hungry come lunchtime. Still, it stands to reason that you’re going to be a little famished for something slightly more substantial than what you’ve been eating up to this point. The question is, when is the best time to eat lunch for weight loss?
12:30 PM is the best bet to make the most of a good lunch. Meal-prepping is a great way to lose weight, particularly when it comes to what you eat at work. Chicken, fish, or even tofu are excellent ideas. Remember that when it comes to lunchtime, the focus should be on getting a good dose of protein. Combining that with a healthy fat, such as an avocado, can make for a perfect meal.
Three to four hours later, consider a snack. Fruits and certain nuts (such as almonds) can be a great idea.
Best Time To Eat Dinner For Weight Loss
We tend to have our biggest meal at dinner. However, if you have been keeping up with the guidelines we suggested above, then you shouldn’t be too hungry, by the time you get around to your last full meal of the day.
In terms of the best time to eat dinner for weight loss, experts suggest sitting down for the meal before 7 PM. The sweet spot, in terms of time, falls somewhere between 6 and 6:30. Grilled meats, veggies, wraps, soups, and stir fry are all great examples of meals. You may want to incorporate dinner into your meal-planning goals, as well.
What should you do after dinner, if you’re feeling hungry? Well, keep in mind that our bodies tend to process stuff more slowly when we start to get tired. 6-6:30 lets us get in the last significant meal before our bodies start shutting down for the day. The calories you consume after approximately 8 PM are often the ones that lead to undesired weight gain.
Snacking after dinner is not unreasonable. We’ll get into a little more detail shortly. For now, if you must snack after 8 PM, stick with your healthy, light favorites.
Why What You Eat Is Most Important
To reiterate, we understand that what we eat is important. We also understand on a basic level why foods along the lines of the ones mentioned above are a better choice than fast food, prepackaged meals, and stuff like that. However, in terms of optimizing your food intake for weight loss, what you eat is also important in the sense of maintaining a schedule along the lines of the one we have discussed. When we prepare our meals carefully, and eat them at an ideal time, our bodies process at a pace that keeps us eating well.
The better you commit to this schedule, the easier it will be to avoid temptation.
Why You Feel Hungry At Night?
Worried about a midnight food craving? Fair enough. Habit, boredom, and not eating properly throughout the day are the three biggest triggers for late-night snacking. Boredom often begets habit, so try to find something to do with that energy. Keeping in mind our suggestions for the best times to eat for weight loss will also do a lot of good.
Don’t let missteps stop you from making changes to when you eat. This is definitely something that takes a bit of getting used to!