When we are concerned about our health and especially our weight, we are generally obsessed with quality and quantity of foods to eat. But what about the best moment to eat? Chrononutrition proves it: the moment is at least as important as the food you choose. So let's take stock of the ideal times to eat your meals, remembering a simple rule: Most of the calories should be consumed in the first half of the day.
What time should you have breakfast?
Before even considering a meal, the first thing to do is to rehydrate. In fact, we all feel the need to drink when we wake up. One or two glasses of warm to hot water, with or without a little tea or lemon juice, will be your ideal first snack.
Secondly, the optimal time to eat breakfast has been very seriously established by experts at... 7:11 am. Of course, you can eat between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m., but ideally you should not eat later than 8:00 a.m. After this time, our metabolism doesn't "start" as well. This is also the best time to fill up on carbohydrates and proteins: a whole grain with cheese, an egg or a yogurt, for example.
What about the famous morning snack? It should not be banned, but it should be light, balanced and taken between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m., when hunger is felt. Fruit is a good option, especially since it tends to "block" the digestion of other foods, which is why it's best to take it away from meals. Second advantage: it is a sweet product, which responds to your craving and prevents you from rushing to the chocolate bars!
What time should you have lunch?
Again, the ideal time was estimated very precisely, at 12:38 pm. The important thing to remember is that after 1:00 p.m., it's too late! In the context of weight loss diets, it has been proven that eating lunch at 2 or even 3 p.m. is detrimental to weight loss, regardless of the foods chosen. The reason is always related to metabolism. Eat raw or cooked vegetables, as well as complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains instead of white), and quality protein (meat or fish). Take time to sit down and avoid eating while working! Focusing on what you are eating and taking the time to chew properly is as important as the type of food you eat and the time you eat...
In the afternoon, you can also allow yourself a snack, even lighter than the one in the morning. Around 4 p.m., to counteract sugar cravings, eat a few nuts, hazelnuts or almonds, an energy bar or a plain yogurt.
What time should you have your dinner?
Surprisingly, the ideal time is between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m., the time when your meal is brought to you in hospitals... At 6:14 p.m., according to the researchers, we would be well advised to go to the table. One of the reasons for this is that we should allow 3 hours between our last meal and bedtime, since we are not very active at this time of day. Our biggest nutritional mistake is to sit down at 8:30 p.m. to a plate full of lasagna! For dinner, a simple vegetable soup or salad, perhaps with some lean grilled meat, are good dietary choices.
There are many benefits to eating a light, early dinner. First of all, you will sleep better than if you went to bed in the middle of digestion, especially if the meal was heavy and rich. In addition, by eating early, you ensure that you have enough fasting time (10 to 12 hours) to wake up the next day feeling really hungry, which is a sign that your metabolism is working at the right pace. Finally, respecting this time slot will help you to keep in lineor even to lose weight.
In conclusion, remember that meals should be taken earlier than we are used to, and that caloric intake should be concentrated mainly during the first half of the day. This way, you take care of your body and you avoid putting on extra pounds!
Source: Forza Supplements study of 1000 people ("Optimum Time For Everyday Activities").