So how do you maximize the timing of your meals to lose weight? Below are several tips to try.
1. ‘Have your dinner before 8:00 p.m.: Study results show that eating after 8:00 p.m. is associated with weight gain. If you need a late-night snack, try a small glass of milk or a cup of decaffeinated or herbal tea.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast: Though eating more calories at breakfast might encourage eating more calories throughout the day, avoiding breakfast completely also encourages weight gain.
3. Consider a larger lunch and smaller dinner: Depending on your daily schedule, you may want to consider eating more at lunch, and a little less at dinner. The body’s ability to digest meals is best at peak energy times, which occur around noon to 3:00 p.m. In fact, many people experience nighttime indigestion and heartburn because they eat their biggest meal around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. Move your dinner time up an hour, cut down on nighttime calories, and if a big lunch leaves you sleepy for afternoon meetings, consider splitting your lunch into two servings–noon, and mid-afternoon.
4. Eat about 45 minutes after exercise: Eating before your workout may make you uncomfortable. Eating about 45 minutes afterwards, however, reduces the amount of energy that will be stored as fat, as the body uses the food to replenish low glycogen stores caused by exercising.
5. Avoid starchy carbs three hours before bedtime: Foods like breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, cakes and cookies will boost your insulin levels before bed, which can encourage weight gain. Instead, eat lean proteins, veggies and fruits at your last meal.