Here’s The Best Time To Eat For Weight Loss
Losing weight is hard.
Some people think it’s just simple math. But those of us trying to lose weight know that there are a ton of moving parts. What we eat… how we eat… and, just as importantly, when we eat.
It would be helpful if researchers had a single answer for the question, “How often should I eat?” Studies have, unfortunately, proven there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
So in the debate of “scheduled eating” versus “grazing,” the winner is… neither! The best answer depends on each individual person.
But how are you supposed to find the best eating schedule for your body and your life? Thankfully, researchers have given you a few concrete guidelines to go by.
Consider Your Sleep Schedule
Harvard recently concluded a study that found your sleep cycle affects how often you should eat. By now, most of us know the impact blood sugar and insulin have on our body’s tendency to store fat.BRAND-NEW: Research Shows These 3 Sugar Substitutes Are Best For Burning Fat (Plus 2 You Should NEVER Eat)
And it’s no secret that the less sleep you get, the more fat you store because of increased stress hormones and lower levels of self control. But it seems your sleep schedule and your eating schedule are even more closely linked.
Many nutritionists recommend eating within an hour of waking up. For most of us, this is anywhere between 6 and 9:45 AM.
But for some of us, that’s 1 or 2 AM. For others, it’s 8:00 in the evening. It all depends on your personal schedule.
When you do eat breakfast, you should make sure it’s a healthy balance of fat, fiber, and protein. The right combination of all three varies from person to person. But, eaten together, they’ll keep you powered up until your next meal.
Space Your Meals 3-5 Hours Apart
As different as everyone is, the vast majority of us have bodies that digest our meals in 3-5 hours. At that point, we’re ready to eat again.
Waiting 3-5 hours between meals not only gives your body time to digest, but lets you make sure you’re actually hungry. It’s a great way to avoid mistaking thirst for hunger.SPECIAL: What’s REALLY Causing Your Weight Gain, High Blood Pressure & Constant Fatigue (If You’re Over 30 You Need to See This)…
Spacing your meals out also helps keep your blood sugar levels even. If you indulge in large meals too close together, your post-meal blood sugar spikes will overlap and wind up even higher.
You may also overeat if you sit down to multiple meals within a three-hour span. Your body hasn’t digested the first meal… so it may still send signals for nutrients and calories it simply hasn’t processed yet.
Waiting too long, on the other hand, can also lead to overeating. If you’re too hungry, you tend to ignore your body’s signals that you’re done.
It’s also harder to make good decisions when you’re hungry. So your “strict” rule of no gluten or no carbs might go right out the window.
If you’re supposed to eat every 3-5 hours, does that mean snacks are off the table? For some, yes.
But there are certain factors that make snacks a good option for some of us. If you lead an active life, prefer smaller meals, or have conditions that affect your blood sugar, snacks are a good way to stay balanced.TRENDING: Science Reveals Easy, No-Workout Ways to Lose Weight… While You Snooze!
As with your meals, you just have to make sure you’re snacking wisely. A handful of popcorn might be low-calorie… but it lacks the other benefits that higher-calorie snacks like almonds have to offer.
You have to make sure you’re looking at all the facts when you reach for a snack, not just the calorie count.
Practice Consistency In Meal Timing
Consistency is the one rule that all of us should stick to. It doesn’t matter if you eat your first meal at midnight or noon… and it doesn’t matter if you snack or only eat larger meals.
Whatever you do, you should do it consistently. And for very good reasons.
Your body may seem like big bundles of chaos… but it adapts to routines very quickly. You just have to give it a chance.
If you eat at consistent times, your body know when to expect new calories and nutrients. This means your body will also burn calories more readily and won’t store them as fat.
A regular eating schedule also helps you tell the difference between emotional eating and eating because you’re actually hungry.
The Takeaway On When You Should Eat
There’s no single “right” eating schedule. All of us have an ideal eating schedule that’s as unique as we are.
And if you follow the guidelines laid out above, you can find your best eating schedule. With a little work, you can stick to them long enough for this new schedule to become second nature.SPECIAL: These 3 Delicious Smoothie Recipes Are Specially Designed To Burn Off More Fat… So You Lose More Weight
Yes, creating a new eating schedule takes work. And you’ll have to rework them every time you experience a major life change, which won’t be easy.
But the benefits make the work more than worth it. Balanced blood sugar levels, more self control, and more awareness of what your body needs will go a long way in helping you shed those unwanted pounds.
Is A Good Night’s Rest Really The Key To Keeping Your Weight Under Control?
In a word… yes.
The research doesn’t lie: If when you eat messes with when you sleep, you can spike your blood sugar by up to 18%…
Which means more insulin, more cravings, and more late-night sugary snacks you’ll wake up regretting the next morning.
BUT, one really easy way to combat this is to eat a balanced, nutritional dinner, and DO NOT GO TO BED HUNGRY.
You can burn hundreds more calories the next day.
I was surprised when I saw the science behind it…