Eat fruit and veggies every day to lose weight… yeah yeah, tell me something I don’t know! If you don’t eat at the right time, your blood sugar levels can increase by up to 18 percent and the excess blood sugar is then converted to fat… shocked?
Yes, eating at the wrong time can ruin all your weight loss effort, which is why it’s so important to figure out the right time to eat your meals in order to lose weight.
Plan Your Weight Loss: Schedule Your Meals
Schedule your meals in the same way that you schedule appointments and meetings. Don’t simply try to grab a quick bite in between tasks and remember that no reason is good enough to skip a meal, short of a meteor hitting the earth! Here’s what your daily meal schedule should look like.
Breakfast @ 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
” Have your breakfast within 1 hour of waking up”
Your breakfast is all-important and you should have it within 1 hour of waking. After sleeping for 7 hours, your body is in a fasting state and so your glycogen stores will be depleted. Glycogen is the primary fuel used by your muscles to produce energy. Your breakfast will raise your glycogen levels and give you the energy you need to shake off your morning lethargy and get on with your day.
Morning snack @ 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
“If you’ve had a light breakfast, have your morning snack after 2 hours and if you’ve had a large breakfast, have it after 4 hours”
Your morning snack is not a second breakfast – think of it as just a way to top up your tank. Your body will take between 2-4 hours to digest your breakfast, so time your morning snack accordingly. If you’ve had a light breakfast, have your morning snack after 2 hours and if you’ve had a large breakfast, wait for about 4 hours. Your morning snack will also ensure that you’re not hungry AF by the time lunch comes around!
Lunch @ 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
“People who eat their lunch late experience slower weight loss as compared to those who eat lunch early”
Have your lunch about 2 hours after your morning snack and make sure that it’s before 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The timing of your lunch is crucial to your weight loss. A study comparing lunch timings showed that people who ate their lunch late experienced slower weight loss as compared to those who ate lunch early – even though both groups had the same diet, exercise, and sleep schedules.
Evening Snack @ 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
“An evening snack keeps your blood sugar levels stable and prevents you from overeating at dinner”
Your evening snack aka chai break should be between 2-4 hours after your lunch, as it keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Although a chai break is always welcome at work, you don’t have to stick to cup of tea for your evening snack.
Studies show that afternoon snackers eat more fruit and vegetables and that people who have 2 snacks a day have a higher fiber intake – both factors are linked to faster weight loss. Carry a box with healthy snacks, so that you’re not tempted to wolf down samosa or bhajia pav!
Dinner @ 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
“People who finish their last meal of the day by 7 o’clock in the evening reduce their daily calorie intake by 244 calories”
Have your dinner 2 hours after your evening snack and 3-4 hours before you go to bed. Research shows that people who finish their last meal of the day by 7 o’clock in the evening reduce their daily calorie intake by 244 calories. Avoid post dinner snacking as far as possible and go to bed on time to prevent mid-night bingeing sessions!
It might take a few days or even weeks for you to get used to your eating schedule. Exercise and do other things that will help you stay motivated and once you start to see the results, you won’t need further motivation to stick to your strict meal timings!