The Meal Schedule That Controls Your Weight


Although it is important to note the amount of calories going into your body at any given time, research increasingly shows that eating at an identical time on a daily basis significantly reduces the chances of weight gain. Scientists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem gathered that sporadic snacking and a varied meal schedule burned significantly less calories than sticking to a fixed timetable of meals, in turn leading to a lower overall weight. Sticking to a regular timing of food consumption amps up the metabolism and combats fat absorption, significantly aiding in preventing obesity.

Health practitioners from “My Health News Daily” suggest that eating a big breakfast daily is an ideal lifestyle maneuver; by jumpstarting the metabolism for the day, eating a large morning meal prevents individuals from overeating in meals to follow and potentially ruining their weight loss goals. Be conscious of the foods you are consuming in the early hours – gravitate more towards lean proteins, a variety of fruit, and whole grains rather than overloading on carbohydrates, as these are prone to make you sluggish and weary later in the day. Do not skip breakfast! Eating within one hour of waking is ideal and provides your body with ammunition to take on the day.

Consuming snack size meals throughout the day is also immensely beneficial to keeping your metabolism active and running, as well as contributing to continued weight control and loss. This trick enables individuals to feel full constantly throughout the day and disinhibits overeating; however, be conscious of portion control at snack time so as not to overdo calorie consumption.

Constance Brown-Riggs, a spokesperson and dietician for the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests that the ideal diet would consist of three meals and three snacks throughout the day, with a large emphasis on making sure to consume a minimum of three meals on a daily basis. When the body goes longer than four or five hours without ingesting any food, the metabolism has a tendency to slow down and overeating is more likely to occur at the next meal. Brown-Riggs emphasizes that everyone lives on a busy schedule; therefore, for those who are not able to sit down at a meal at the same time every day, constant snacking is able to ward off hunger. She also highly recommends not to follow diets that rely on gimmicks such as stopping eating at a certain time every day; individuals who follow this plan are more likely to consume a higher amount of calories earlier in the day and it prevents any substantial weight loss from taking place. Additionally, these diets do not provide any semblance of a long term solution to continued weight loss or weight maintenance.

There is much stigma surrounding late night eating, and dietitians suggest that this can be mediated by maintaining an active lifestyle. Calories are commonly converted to fat when going to sleep soon after eating – in this regard, the body is not able to burn off any calories consumed later in the day. One dietitian suggests that staying awake for two to three hours following a meal is ideal for calorie burning; however, she advises that remaining active during this time period is key and relaxing on the couch following a late night snack does not lead to weight loss. She also articulates that fasting for extended periods of time simply is ineffective; although it can lead to short term weight loss, the weight only comes off from losing fluids, not losing fat.

Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic nutritionist, also identifies the importance of choosing a healthy, fulfilling breakfast first thing in the morning. Eating healthy early in the day makes individuals more likely to stick with healthy choices for the rest of the day, whereas selecting donuts or other high carbohydrate foods for breakfast are likely to create a pattern of unhealthy food selections for the day.

Brooke Peyman, a nutrition advisor for Live Strong, also articulates the importance of snacking throughout the day, suggesting that these snacks should be balanced with a healthy fat, carbohydrate, and a lean protein. She also suggests, for optimal weight control, to eat the smallest amounts at dinner time and to have the meal embody protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

Christy Bowles, an educator with a degree from Harvard University, highly advocates the use of a food and weight loss journal to keep track of meal planning and consumption throughout the week, potentially indicating consistent food triggers during the day. While eating each meal, be conscious of how the meal will affect your total overall calorie consumption – start off a weight loss plan with a target calorie intake for your specific body and stick to it. As a general rule, avoid foods that have high amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats – pre-prepared foods are usually the least nutritious.

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