Many studies have tried to identify the best time of day to eat if you want to lose weight. The results have been mixed, but there is one thing most experts can agree on. People who eat a hearty breakfast and a lighter dinner tend to have lower levels of body fat and enjoy more success at losing excess pounds and keeping them off.
Overall, what you eat still matters more than when you eat it. At the same time, there are many advantages to reversing our typical eating patterns. If you’ve been skipping breakfast and loading up on late night snacks, give a new routine a chance.
Health Advantages of a Hearty Breakfast
1. Stabilize blood sugar. After a long night’s sleep, your blood sugar is low. Food helps to bring it back up. By leveling your blood sugar, you enhance your mood and reduce your risk for diabetes and other conditions.
2. Fight food cravings. Filling up on a nutritious breakfast makes it easier to resist junk food all day long. You’ll be less tempted to visit the vending machine before lunch.
3. Boost your metabolism. Eating also increases your metabolism. You’ll start burning more calories even while you’re doing the same activities.
Techniques for Eating a Hearty Breakfast
1. Frontload your calories. Find the formula that works for you. A good rule of thumb is to aim for eating 80% of your calories before 8 pm.
2. Master quick dishes. Healthy eating can be done on the run. Serve the usual breakfast fare like instant oatmeal or less traditional choices like broiled fish and salad. Feast on leftovers.
3. Start the night before. You may want to get a head start the night before. Get to bed on time. Bake a spinach ricotta frittata and have a slice ready to pop in the microwave.
4. Focus on protein. Protein calories are the most effective at jump-starting your metabolism and keeping you full. Add in some complex carbohydrates and healthy fats for a balanced meal.
Health Advantages of a Light Dinner
1. Manage emotional eating. Many people tend to eat more at night. Less time at the dinner table may protect you from overdoing it due to stress or boredom.
2. Sleep better. Digesting cheeseburgers and ice cream interferes with your rest. You’ll probably feel more refreshed after a bowl of yogurt.
3. Save money. Spending less on food may also help you to feel less pressured. Oatmeal costs a lot less than steak.
Techniques for Eating a Light Dinner
1. Discover brinner. Having breakfast for dinner is so popular that it now has its own name. Spend time with your cereal after hours.
2. Practice portion control. You can indulge in a late night snack if you keep it small. Dip apple slices in a couple of tablespoons of hummus.
3. Turn off the TV. It’s easy to lose track of what you’re consuming when you’re watching a screen. Give your plate your full attention.
4. Be patient. It may take time to develop an appetite in the morning. Allow for a few weeks of training to settle into a new routine.
While you’re forming new habits at home, you’ll be pleased to find more options for eating out. There’s a growing trend in the food industry to respond to customer demand for ordering any dish any time. It’s getting easier to find burritos or pancakes all day and night.
Go ahead and eat the foods you love round the clock. A simple change in timing may be all that you need to shape up.