Is there a latest time to eat for weight loss and weight management? We have all heard the theories: no carbs after 6pm, no foods after 9pm, and the list goes on. While many diets, especially those supposedly favored by celebrities, state we shouldn’t be eating after various times in the evening, is there necessarily any truth to this?
Timing of Meals
Research has shown that your body may deal with the same meal in various ways throughout the day. After about 2pm your body starts to produce different levels of insulin and has a different response to sugar than it would for the same meal eaten earlier in the day. Apparently this is even more so in females. The answer to this? Keep away from those high GI foods (think processed sugars such as candies) after lunch.
* Eating Breakfast is recognized as being the most vital meal of the day, especially for weight loss. The reasons? Firstly, your body has not received any nutrition while you have been sleeping. No food after 8, 10, or 12 hours means that your body needs some sustenance to fire up your metabolism first thing in the morning. Yes, you will actually be better off from a metabolic point if you eat something than if you skip breakfast.
Secondly, those people who skip breakfast tend to end up consuming more calories throughout the day. The reason? After missing breakfast these folks tend to eat more sugar, more calories, and more carbs in the latter half of the day than their counterparts who do eat breakfast. Not only that, but the calories and carbs have been eaten at the wrong end of the day.
* Dinner. We can’t all eat, or even want to eat, our dinner before 6 or 7 pm. Work, gym, life, there are many reasons to make this logistically impossible for many. Dinner should be a small serving of low fat quality protein such as fish, or poultry, along with salads or vegetables. Avoid high GI foods and opt for low GI whole grains for rices and pastas. Skip the seconds and dessert.
* Late night snacks. There is a difference between a healthy before bed time snack and mindless eating after dinner in front of the TV or laptop. Obviously, eating a carton of ice cream, or a block of chocolate is not going to help you lose weight. When are you going to burn off those empty calories?
* Healthy late night snacks include things like a glass of low fat calcium enriched milk. Low fat protein sources such as yogurt or cottage cheese are also great selections. Your body will be able to use the protein while you are sleeping to strengthen your muscles. (Important for those who participate in a lot of strength training.)
When it comes to weight loss, the most important factor of all is to ensure that your diet is calorie deficient. In other words, you are burning more calories than you are consuming. Eating a little less, or more correctly, and exercising effectively, are 2 ways to achieve this. Eating breakfast is an important component for both weight loss and healthy weight management. Smaller low GI dinners will help to compensate for the body’s altered response to sugars eaten later in the day.