Ultimate Meal Schedule: Times To Eat To Lose Weight
Eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks is a major proponent to losing weight. But when you’re stuck at work or sitting in front of some kid with his knees in your airplane seat, a pack of peanut butter crackers (and a mini bottle) may be as good as it gets. Use this meal schedule as you plan your week so you’ll be sure to have a healthy option on-hand.
When To Eat Breakfast
The National Weight Control Registry reports roughly 80 percent of people who have lost 30 pounds or more, and kept it off, eat breakfast daily. A high-protein breakfast is ideal to fuel your body and keep you fuller, longer. Those who eat breakfast between 6 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. reduce their risk of body fat gain and are less hungry throughout the day compared to those who eat their first meal after 10 a.m.
While you don’t have to eat a mid-morning snack, if you’re an early riser or have a hard workout before getting your day started, you may need that extra fuel in your meal schedule. A handful of raw almonds or fruit will help hold you over until lunch. Eat your morning snack two to four hours after breakfast.
Work Lunch Into Your Meal Schedule
Don’t let meetings at work or mid-day appointments keep you from having a healthy lunch. It’s important to make time for this meal to maintain your blood sugar level and prevent overeating at dinner. The International Journal of Obesity says dieters lost 25 percent less weight if they ate the majority of calories after 3 p.m., so aim to have lunch before that time.
When you crave something to crunch on around 4 p.m., opt for some veggie sticks or fresh fruit. Eat your afternoon snack two to four hours after lunch.
What Time To Eat Dinner
Eating late at night not only contributes to weight gain, but it can also disrupt your sleep. Have dinner between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. then set a cut off time of no food two to three hours prior to bed. This gives your body a chance to digest food appropriately before you lie down.