This is the best time to eat to lose weight

Research shows that when you eat might be just as important as what you eat. Consuming meals at specific times is usually not an obvious weight loss strategy many people think about, but a study conducted by Forza supplements shows that if you correspond your three meals to three very specific time points in a day, you will be able to reap the maximum benefits from your weight loss efforts.

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These specific time periods are as follows:

  • Breakfast- 7:11 a.m.
  • Lunch- 12:38 p.m.
  • Dinner- 6:14 p.m.

For most of us, it's highly improbable to have our meals exactly at the mentioned times, a problem which can be sorted out by keeping your meals within the below mentioned timeframe:

  • Breakfast- Shortly after 7 a.m.
  • Lunch- 12:30 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.
  • Dinner- 6 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

The results were based on data collected from 1,000 successful dieters who were asked what their most ideal time to eat was, when it came to maximizing weight loss. Several other interesting statistics were revealed as well. For example, 84% of the dieters thought that sticking to the mentioned time for their meals was very important to actually lose weight. At least 76% believed breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. Two thirds of the participants reinforced the idea of eating before 7 p.m. For almost all of them, the secret to weight loss was obvious: Never skip a meal.

Here are some do's and don'ts when it comes to when to eat:

1. Don't skip your breakfast. After seven hours of sleeping and not eating, the first meal of the day breaks that fast. Breakfast is crucial to keep your metabolic rate steady and balanced. Skipping breakfast will result in a day filled with snacking, overeating, and indulging in unhealthy foods that are loaded with calories and saturated fats. Along with that, the increase in the level of stress hormone cortisol will also make you vulnerable to hunger pangs.

2. Don't eat close to bedtime. Stop eating around three hours before bedtime. If you do, it will increase your sugar levels and insulin, lower the levels of melatonin and growth hormones, all of which together will hinder your quality of sleep. Not getting enough sleep will leave you hungry and more prone to overeating. If you really do get hungry before bed, eat something high in protein. It will keep you satiated for the rest of the night.

3. Eat protein for breakfast. Eggs or plant-based proteins like whey protein smoothies are the best way to satiate your hunger till your next meal. Add a small portion of complex carbs and good fat, and you have a healthy and balanced first meal that will keep you energized and focused till lunch.

4. Eat mindfully. Don't read a book, watch TV or browse the internet while eating. Instead turn your full focus to the plate in front of you, on the flavor and texture of the delicious food that is about to nourish your body.

Try to stay consistent on when you eat. If you are ever in doubt as to how big your meal should be, remember this quote, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper."

This post was originally published on September 29, 2014.

Image via iStock

Topics: advice  breakfast  diet  energy  fat loss  fitness  health  healthy eating  healthy habits