Many diets emphasize food quality or macronutrients, such carbohydrates and protein, because calorie counting isn’t the only factor in weight reduction. We still don’t know a lot, especially about the environmental and biological elements that aid or hurt weight-loss efforts, so while this strategy may benefit some people, it’s not a sure thing.
The influence of meal time is one factor that has lately attracted the attention of scientists. Multiple research conducted on the topic of weight reduction over the past five years have reached similar conclusions despite varying methodologies and foci. Success in losing weight is strongly influenced by the timing of meals.
If you want to lose weight, what is the best time to eat? Since the timing of meals may vary from person to person, specific suggestions cannot be made. Starting with supper, the least controversial meal of the day, and moving backwards to the most contentious, breakfast, this is what science says works best for weight reduction.
Dinner should ideally be eaten two to three hours before bedtime, since this is the recommendation of health experts and scientists alike. This prevents the body from crashing into sleep with an empty stomach and discourages late-night munching. There is a correlation between going to bed with a full stomach and poor sleep quality. When sleep deprivation is chronic, it might cause hormonal changes that make it harder to shed pounds. If you have acid reflux, laying down after eating might make your symptoms worse and disrupt your sleep.
According to a 2021 article published in Current Opinion in Biotechnology, our circadian cycles may help us burn fat, regulate blood sugar, and digest food more effectively in the morning. This suggests that a more biologically-aligned eating schedule, such as having supper around 5 p.m. rather than 8 p.m., may aid in weight loss.
When we eat dinner earlier in the day, we extend the period of time in between meals. This has the potential to boost fat-burning and the modulation of hormones that affect hunger, cravings, and blood sugar.
Whether or whether you choose to have breakfast does not seem to have much of an effect on your weight reduction efforts, but lunch should be your largest meal of the day. This is because the body’s circadian rhythms cause it to be more efficient at digesting food, burning calories, and regulating hormones earlier in the day.
When you consider that food is the fuel for your body, it makes biological and practical sense to eat the bulk of your daily calories and nutrients in the morning or early afternoon. During the day, when you’re at your most busy and mentally demanding, you need that fuel the most.
Recent interest has shifted from when to eat breakfast to whether or not you should eat breakfast if you are dieting.
There is no one correct solution, but two things are obvious. For starters, we all “fast” when we’re sleeping every night, and the vast majority of us may benefit from doing so. According to a 2019 analysis published in Nutrients, healthy persons should strive to spend at least 12 hours between supper and the first meal of the next day to reap health advantages including decreased inflammation, enhanced cellular function, less stress, and a healthier gut.
The possible outcomes of this are many. For instance, if you finish dinner by 7, you may sleep in until 8 and eat breakfast at 7. Alternately, you might finish supper by 7 o’clock and skip breakfast if you’re a supporter of intermittent fasting or just like to eat later in the day.
The upshot is that whether you eat breakfast every day or not at all (intermittent fasting), you can still lose weight. But there are a couple of exceptions to this. The first is to allow yourself a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and the following meal. The second is to make sure that your first meal of the day, whether it be at 7 a.m. or 11 a.m., is filling and nutritious.
How to lose weight when eating
So, how does all this information about when to eat translate into actual weight loss? From a scientific point of view, this indicates that further research is needed on the topic of weight loss. Altering your meal schedule and eating habits may have a significant effect on your efforts to lose weight and improve your health. If you’re at a loss on where to begin, consider the following options.
Take in a morning meal (but it need not be breakfast).
Since “breakfast” just refers to the time when you consume food after not eating all day, it can happen whenever you choose. It’s crucial to give your body the nutrients it needs for the day when you break your fast. The two of us like porridge or avocado-egg toast.
Be sure to eat breakfast and lunch every day.
Try to eat the bulk of your daily caloric intake and essential nutrients by 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Keep in mind that there is no one, correct approach. This might entail three meals (breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack) for a single individual. For someone another, it may be a hearty brunch and a single snack.
Prepare a Healthy and Quick Supper
Dinner might be eaten as early as 4 or 5 o’clock. However, if you don’t eat before night, your stomach can be growling while you try to sleep. If you can’t have supper really early, attempt to have it three or more hours before bedtime.
Don’t eat again for 12 hours after dinner.
Keep a minimum of 12 hours between supper and breakfast to maximize weight reduction, fat burning, metabolism, and control of hunger and cravings. One simple solution is to have supper early or to forego any snacking after midnight. To maximize fat loss, healthy people might try fasting for longer (13-16 hours).
The Summing Up
The best method to timing your meals is still up for debate, although there is some evidence that having a smaller, lighter dinner and waiting at least 12 hours before eating again may improve your health and help you lose weight. However, you should also make sure you’re not disregarding your body’s hunger cues because you’re trying to stick to a strict schedule.
And while this sort of meal scheduling is generally helpful to most people’s health, it’s best to check in with your doctor first if you have a chronic health condition like diabetes, especially if it’s quite different from when you’re used to eating.