When are the Best Times to Eat When Trying to Lose Weight?
The food you choose to eat is important, but the time of day you eat can play a huge role in your weight loss success as well. People who plan their meals around the timelines we discuss below tend to have the greatest success with improving their health and losing weight.
The Ideal Times for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Medical researchers have pinpointed an exact ideal time for people to consume their meals and snacks. For breakfast, that time is 7:11 a.m. However, we know it’s unrealistic to eat at such an exact time every day. If your schedule permits it, eating breakfast as close to 7 a.m. as possible allows for improved digestion and energy throughout the day. If you wake up earlier or later, eat breakfast within one hour. Breakfast should contain approximately 25 percent of your calories for the day.
The ideal times for lunch is 12:38 p.m. while 6:14 p.m. is a great time to eat dinner. Preferably, lunch should be your largest meal of the day and come within two to three hours of your morning snack if you had one. By consuming at least 40 percent of your calories at lunch, you have the remainder of the day to burn them off.
You should plan to eat dinner within two to three hours of your afternoon snack if you had one and try not to push it out any further than necessary. When you eat a large meal too close to bedtime, it increases insulin as well as blood sugar levels. It can also cause digestive issues and prevent your body from releasing the melatonin it needs for a good night’s sleep.
Should Snacks Be a Part of Your Diet?
Light snacks can help you stave off hunger so you’re not tempted to overeat at your next meal. For the best weight loss results, keep both your morning and afternoon snacks to 150 calories or less. Eating a light snack two to three hours after breakfast is ideal because it stabilizes your blood sugar. This helps to prevent feeling tired and sluggish mid-morning, which could, in turn, cause you to reach for unhealthy foods.
If you choose to eat an afternoon snack, make it two to three hours after lunch. Even if you decide to skip snacks, never skip meals. It will interfere with your blood sugar production and make you so hungry that it will be difficult to concentrate on anything else.
We’re Here to Support You
Dr. Dorian Wilkerson and the team at The Best U Now understand learning what and when to eat after weight loss surgery can be a challenge. Whether you’re struggling or just want more information, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to learn more about our support and wellness programs.