Planning the right eating schedule can be very effective in helping you maintain a healthy weight. In fact, research has revealed that meal timing may be as important as food selection in determining the success of a weight loss plan. Even if your busy schedule does not allow you to eat several times a day, you should make sure that you do not go hungry, because starvation can prevent you from losing weight.
Skipping Meals Does Not Make You Lose Weight
You may think that skipping a meal or two a day can help you lose weight faster. On the contrary, you may gain weight if you do not eat the required number of meals everyday. When your body does not get enough food, it will go into starvation mode, and it will begin to store fat to sustain your life. This stored fat will contribute to weight gain.
Timing Your Meals
Some experts say that the best time to eat is when you are feeling hungry, because hunger is the natural way for your body to inform you that you need energy and nutrients. However, if you eat every time you feel hungry, you may consume too much food and become overweight. The best thing to do is to eat 3 meals a day, which are breakfast, lunch and dinner, at intervals of 6 hours, as well as lighter meals or snacks 3 hours after breakfast and lunch. In other words, you should be eating once every 3 hours throughout the day, with dinner being your last meal. By following this eating schedule, your body will not go into starvation mode, and you will be able to manage your weight better.
You should try your best not to skip breakfast, because it is a very important meal of the day. When you are asleep, your body will not receive any nutritional supply for a long period of time, and most of the energy that are stored in the body will be used up by the cells. Your body needs substantial amounts of protein and other nutrients in the morning, because a lot of protein is used to create antibodies to combat bacteria that attack your body during sleep. The ideal time to have your breakfast is around 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Snacks are essential because they provide fuel for your body and increase your metabolism rate. A high metabolism rate will lead to faster weight loss. If you are having your breakfast at 6:30 a.m., you first snack should be at 9:30 a.m. and the second one at 3:30 p.m.
Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and dinner are meals that should contain high amounts of protein. High-protein meals will keep you from getting hungry for a longer time. You should have your lunch at 12:30 a.m. and your dinner at 6:30 a.m. For effective weight loss, you should not consume more than 300 calories during lunch or dinner time.
It is important that you try to follow your eating schedule as closely as possible. It is understandable that you may eat a meal a little earlier or later, but you should make a point not to miss any meal.