Regardless of your personal fitness goals, one consideration you should make it how the timing of your meals affects you. By strategically timing your meals, you can accomplish a lot. In this blog, we will go over some great things that can occur when you time your meals correctly.
If your goal is to lose weight, you may find the most effective way to do so is by focusing on breakfast. Recent research has found that people who ate most of their daily calories before 3 pm lost more than 20 percent more weight than those who ate late in the day. An effective weight loss strategy for many is to eat a big breakfast, then have a smaller lunch, and an even small dinner. Stay fuller longer by planning out your meals in advance, and bringing filling emergency snacks with you, just in case.
Increased muscle mass
When you are trying to build muscle, protein is key. That is why you should opt for a protein-rich breakfast, when your protein levels are at their lowest. Eat at least 20 grams of protein first thing in the morning to ensure that you get the protein you need to build muscle.
People are most likely to eat poorly in the late afternoon because their blood sugar is so low. This is when you end up reaching for a candy bar or other empty calories, because the sugar boost sounds good for your body. However, a better afternoon snack would incorporate protein, produce, and some fat to keep you satiated until dinner time.
How and what you are eating before bed may have more of an effect on your circadian rhythm than sunlight! In order to get the best sleep, stop eating a couple of hours before you go to sleep, and avoid saturated fats, which may prevent you from sleeping if eaten too close to bedtime. If you need a post-dinner snack, try cherries. These fruits contain melatonin, the sleep chemical, and therefore may help you sleep sounder.
By strategically timing your food intake, you can better fuel your workouts, and make them more effective. Before you workout, you want to consume some carbohydrates. About an hour before your workout, eat a simple carbohydrate snack, such as a banana with nut butter. After your workout, aid recovery by eating protein and carbohydrates, such as Greek yogurt and berries.
When you do not eat regularly, you can end up feeling quite miserable as your blood sugar crashes. Avoid the “hanger” by keeping your meals regular and filling. Carbs in particular have mood-boosting components; it raises serotonin levels, the “feel good” hormone in our brain. When you find yourself getting moody, snack on a carb like whole wheat toast with peanut butter.
Lowered diabetes risk
Eating earlier in the day may improve your insulin sensitivity, which reduces your risk of developing diabetes. In a recent study, people who ate lunch after 3 pm were more likely to have worse insulin sensitivity. If diabetes is a concern, timing your meals to maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day may help.
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