When it comes to eating healthy, you have to consider more than just what you eat. You have to consider when you eat it. Because meal timing makes a big difference in your energy, metabolism, weight and overall health.
The tricky thing is, the best meal timing practices seem to go against our deeply-ingrained dietary habits. Most people, for example, eat a light breakfast, a slightly bigger lunch and a big, hearty dinner.
But the latest research shows the opposite approach is better—going from heavy meals early in the day to lighter meals later. This trick, along with other meal-timing tricks, can help you banish high BMI, master your metabolism, balance your blood sugar and more…
Taming health and weight with better meal timing
Researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health studied the role meal frequency and timing played in the weight gain or loss of 50,000 people and came away with four, real-world tips for healthier meal timing:
1. Always eat breakfast
Breakfast is the meal you’re most likely to skip or skimp on. In fact, 31 million Americans choose not to eat breakfast for one reason or another. But skipping breakfast is a big mistake when it comes to your weight and your health. This particular study found that people who skip breakfast have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who don’t.
But other studies have unveiled additional reasons skipping breakfast is bad for your health — it slows your metabolism, causes low blood sugar and even messes with your heart health. In fact, one study found that men who skip breakfast are 27 percent more likely to have a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease. Yikes!
2. Make breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day.
Not only should you not skip breakfast, but you should make it your biggest meal. I know this is hard when you’re crunched for time, but there are a lot of advantages to eating big meals in the morning and tapering off at night.
In this latest study, researchers found that people who ate bigger meals earlier in the day and smaller meals later were less likely to gain weight and more likely to maintain a healthy BMI.
Other studies have shown that eating most of your calories in the morning balances your blood sugar too. That’s because metabolic activities (like appetite, digestion, and the metabolism of fat, cholesterol and glucose) correspond with your circadian rhythm.
So it’s better to go with the flow of your natural circadian rhythm and eat in the morning, than to fight against it and eat in the evening when your body is preparing for sleep.