How the timing of when you eat affects your healthy diet plan
Here are some top tips to keep in mind when scheduling your meals on your healthy diet plan.
There is so much conflicting information out there on at what time you should eat your meals and how many meals you should be having a day. Some believe you should eat “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” Whilst others believe that eating six small meals throughout the day is much better than three larger meals.
That said a calorie is a calorie regardless of when you eat it, and weight gain is simply caused by eating more calories than you burn. However, when it comes to the timing of what you eat, there are some important dos and don’ts to bear in mind.
Do eat regularly / Don’t skip meals
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or just follow a healthy balanced diet you should never skip meals. New research has found that skipping meals may be connected to abdominal weight gain. They also found that fasting can make your liver insulin resistant, which means you may not stop producing glucose. So if you aren’t using up this extra glucose as energy, the bad news is it turns into fat resulting in weight gain. The benefits of eating every 3-4 hours are that it helps regulate your blood sugar levels and in turn control sugar cravings and hunger, meaning you’re less likely to snack or overeat. Aim for a healthy balanced diet, sure you might miss the odd lunch or have more for dinner than you intended. But this doesn’t have to be a disaster, as long as it’s the odd occasion it really won’t affect your diet.
Do be careful before snacking at night / don’t eat after 8 pm
Night-time grazing is also heavily debated. There are important reasons to be cautious about eating at night, as we are more likely to overeat because it’s so easy to do. We eat at night for a number of reasons and hunger is usually the last on the list, we’re more likely eating to deal with stress, emotional eating or simply from boredom. Apart from the added calories at night there is also the issue of digestion problems and disrupting your sleep. If you are fond of having a snack after dinner it doesn’t have to be a disaster, just be prepared with some healthy snacks that are easy to digest and try to finish eating by 8pm.
Simply follow these tips to help you get the most out of your diet plan. If you have any specific questions, our in-house nutritionists are on hand to help, so please just get in touch!