In a society that we all live in, recognizes three meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, however, the eating patterns, habits, food preferences and timings differ among individuals and families. Saying this, we should know that there is an ideal time for all these meals. Research conducted on the subject to determine the ideal time for each meal, has to say that more than the ingredients of the diet, the timings also play a major role in determining our weight management ambitions. If we really want to be highly successful with your diet plan, then adhering to the timings for breakfast, lunch and dinner plays a pivotal role to success.
So, what are the ideal timings?
Breakfast: Thumb Rules
- The ideal time for breakfast is at 7.00 am.
- Should be taken after and within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning.
- Not to be delayed beyond 10.0 am.
- Ensure to have enough protein during the breakfast meal.
To optimize metabolism, we need to eat breakfast as early as possible in the morning and waiting later till 9 or 10am is actually too late in the day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but also the one that we are most likely to skip. Our body goes without food for a long period of time while we sleep and needs food to replenish blood sugar levels and provide us with all the vital energy for the long day ahead. Skipping this all crucial meal may actually leads to weight gain as we are more likely to binge on unhealthy snacks and overeat through the rest of the day. Aim to eat breakfast within thirty minutes of waking up.
Lunch: Thumb Rules
- 45 pm is the ideal time to have lunch.
- It is of paramount importance to keep a gap of almost 4 hours between our first meal – breakfast and lunch.
- To the max, under all situations, lunch should not be delayed beyond 4.00 pm.
Lunch is the next and this is the time things start to shape up nutritionally. Remember that the rules of optimal metabolism – it is better to consume the bulk of our calories during the first half of the day. Avoid foods high in salt, sugar or saturated fat. Eat as much natural produce as possible such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Keep an eye on the portion size. In order to avoid any post lunch slump and sugar cravings that is quite usual it is good to cleanse your palate with a Licorice or peppermint tea straight after lunch with no calories at all.
Dinner: Thumb Rules
- The best time to have dinner is at 7.00 pm.
- A gap of 3 hours should be maintained between the dinner and bedtime.
- Dinners should be delayed beyond 10.00 pm.
- Eating dinner closure to dinner time can interfere with the quality of sleep.
Having a late dinner is one of the biggest dietary mistake we usually make. Dinner should be smallest meal of the day. Calories get burned up no matter when we eat them, so theoretically it’s O.K. to eat after dark, but if eat a heavy dinner, it become very difficult to get rid of these extra calories which gets converted into fat and is stored in the body.
By: Sheela Seharawat