Does It Really Matter What Time You Eat Your Meals?
Could this be the shove those excess pounds need to finally get out the door?
There’s this old-ish saying that goes something like this: Eat like a king at breakfast, like a prince at lunch and like a pauper at dinner. In other words, chomp down on the food in the morning, eat averagely in the afternoon and eat a minimum at dinnertime. It was believed that these eating habits would help people lose weight, because we have time to burn the calories we intake at breakfast and none at night.
Makes logical sense, right? Well, modern science begs to differ.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner personified.
Eat what you need, as you need it
As the years go by, more and more research claim that it doesn’t matter when you eat your meals. Rather, it’s all about what you’re eating. So instead of not eating after 6 in the evening, maybe you should lay off the second cup of rice at lunch instead.
Just as well, it’s the actual physical activity you do during the day that determines whether or not you gain, lose or maintain the pounds. Like, skipping dinner isn’t going to compensate the bag of chips you inhaled if you don’t sweat a little (or, sadly, a lot).
But then again, the oldies aren’t completely off the rails either
Now that that’s out of the way, you still have to keep your nighttime eating habits in check. It’s during the evening that we all lose control and are more relaxed about our diets—and we barely notice how much we’ve consumed while The Parent Trap is on Netflix.
Look, we get it and we’re not trying to lay on the guilt. You have a long day at work and all you want to do is sit down and curl against a nice rom-com. But watching means snacking and sometimes you’re just surprised that Oh no, that is the bottom of the chips bag! So maybe buy smaller bags next time? You aren’t hosting a party every night, ya know.
And a few other things
Of course, it isn’t just what we eat and what time we eat that control our weight gain/loss/maintenance.Studies have shown that lifestyle habits like sleeping patterns, work shifts and jet lag all have a great effect on how our bodies break down and use food. See, these things mess with our internal clocks, which aren’t exactly best friends with our appetites and digestion. Just think u all those times you got hungry at odd hours and reached out for large portions of fast food.
Little reminder: Not good times.
Let’s marry old beliefs with modern science, huh? Maybe it’s time to give up the midnight snacks and start eating right too.
Art Alexandra Lara