How important is the timing of your meals to your weight and overall health? Nutritionists and diet enthusiasts will agree that it is not only what you eat, but also when you eat that’s important. This is a common mistake that many people who would like to lose weight make. Just because you eat – or don’t eat, for that matter – at certain hours of the day, does not mean that your game plan on getting a fit body is already a perfect plan.
The time you eat is just as important as the food you eat. This is because there are certain things to consider that affect your health in magnitudes: your digestion, your metabolism rate, the nutrition that you get from the order of the food that you eat and much more. You might disagree and say that as long as you eat the required amount of nutrition that your body needs every day, you should be good.
To get the perfect mix of timing and healthy food, you need to know when it is best to eat what type of food item. Here are 12 reasons it’s not what you eat, but when you eat:
1. Metabolism And Digestion Are On Your Team
When you eat, your body goes through this natural process called metabolism and digestion, where your organs extract the nutrients and contents from the food that you eat,
distribute them to the parts of the body that needs them and the ones that are not used are considered as waste that you let out through you-know-how.
The speed of metabolism and digestion differs in every person. That is why you often hear skinny people say that they have a faster metabolism. That is actually true. If you have a faster metabolism, the undigested food will process faster in the body and will not distribute as fat.
2. No Coffee Without Food In The Morning
Timing your meals does not only mean what you eat, but also what you drink, when you drink it and how it affects your body.
You may be fond of drinking coffee in the morning. We all do. It’s a ritual, a rite of passage to start your day. If you are not a morning person, coffee is your best friend.
But you have to know this: coffee in the morning without food to go with it will act up your hyperacidity and would possibly make you feel ill the rest of the day. Hyperacidity is a nasty condition. If you drink java without food in the morning, the chances are quite high that your acidity levels could rise and give you stomach aches and digestion problems.
3. Breakfast Is Still The Most Important Meal Of The Day
You know how you were told when you were a kid that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, it is still true, even now that you are older.
Eating breakfast is important, especially because you can pack yourself up with the nutrients that you need for the day. This is also why it is advisable to take your vitamins in the morning.
Your body uses up the nutrition that you obtained and distribute them to the body parts that need them while you are sleeping. That means when you wake up, it is more of a reset and you will have to start filling yourself up with nutrients starting with breakfast.
4. Enjoy Your Fruit Before The Meal
Your usual mealtime routine would probably look like this: the appetizer and main course, then some fruit for dessert. You would think that since you already have some fruit in your meal, it is all good. Well, it is good, yes, but you can enhance that meal to make it a lot healthier.
Fruits are best eaten before your meals. This is because fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins and nutrients. It’s best if you eat them first, so you can fill full and eat less due to the fiber and water in them.
In addition, this gives your body time to extract their nutrients and distribute them before you eat a full meal. You may find that you eat less, too, and start to lose any extra pounds.
5. Consume Heavy Meals At Lunchtime
It is always tempting to eat a lot of food, especially if the table is full of your favorite meals. Eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks could mean a full-blown, heavy meal.
Even if you exercise and say that you burn the calories that you eat every day, it is not ideal to eat heavy meals at any time other than lunch.
That’s right. The only meal of the day where you can eat anything and have a full course meal is during lunch. This is because you still have the rest of the day to fully digest the food. You will also still be active until end of day, which gives you the chance to burn some of the calories that you ate.
6. Eat Nothing After Seven p.m.
If eating a full meal during lunch balances out your metabolism, it is good for your digestion if you do not eat anything else after seven o’clock in the evening. By that time, your body will start to wear down and prepare for your night rest. That means your organs are also programmed not to move much during that time.
If you eat more during dinner, your digestion might not be as effective as it was for breakfast or lunch. This causes bloated stomach and indigestion.
7. Less Seafood For Dinner, Please
Seafood is always a scrumptious meal, but some types, especially shellfish, contain high levels of cholesterol. If you don’t have any allergic reactions to seafood, it’s tempting to eat it at any time of the day.
But you have to know that most seafood varieties are harder to digest than other common meals. Because they are harder to digest, it is advised to avoid eating it for dinner as you may have digestion and stomach problems.
8. Lower The Fat At Dinner
As your body functions slow down when the day ends, so does the body’s ability to process the fats that you intake.
If you eat fatty foods for dinner, even if these are healthy kinds of fat, your system may not exactly distribute these fats to the designated organs that can use them for good purposes. That means the fat could stay in the systems that do not need them, which could either be a health risk for heart disease, or can be a cause of obesity.
9. No More Midnight Snacks
Eating in the middle of the night is tempting, especially if it is paired with some activities like watching a movie at home, or going out with friends. However, midnight snacks are not exactly good for the body. Why? Your body is on “rest mode” now, and your stomach will not do its normal functions anymore. That leaves you with undigested food that could go straight to your abs and will give you a big stomach, or a big stomachache.
10. No In-Between Munching
In-between munching is when you take small pecks of food and you eat a bit here and there during the day between your meals. These are actually the things that you need to look out for, because they can add up in terms of fats and calories.
You might wonder why, even if you eat less during your meals and eat only the nutritional needs of your body, you still increase in weight. Then you evaluate your day to day activities and realize that you eat some junk food in between your meals.
11. Desserts Are For Lunch Only
It’s always nice to have dessert after every meal. That sweet and delicious treat to wash out the taste of your meal is so satisfying. The good news is, you don’t have to turn your back entirely on desserts, but it is best to eat desserts during lunch only.
This is because your body has time to fully digest the sugars, fats and calories and then you can still burn them throughout the rest of your busy day.
12. Eat By The Clock
There is actually a perfect schedule to eat your meals. That is five hours apart, which gives your body the right amount of time to digest your food and be ready for a new meal.
The perfect time of the day to eat your meals are at 7 to 8 a.m., to start your day; at 12 noon to 1 p.m., which can be perfect for your lunchtime break, and between 5 and 6 p.m., which follows the “nothing after 7 p.m.,” rule.
Timing is vital, even in eating your daily meals. If you want to be healthy, lose weight and maintain a fit body, timing is an important matter for you to consider. When you know when to eat, you get the full nutrition and health benefits of your food. When you know when to eat, you can avoid eating at times that could hinder your road to fitness. Timing your meals gives you more control over your health, putting you one step ahead, and that is always a good thing.
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