Best times to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner
When we’re trying to lose weight, we know that what we eat is important, but new research suggests that we should also be careful about when we eat.
Researchers have pinpointed the best times to eat each meal if you’re trying to lose weight, in order to maximise your weight loss.
The results come from a new 2014 survey of 1,000 dieters.
The optimum time to have breakfast is shortly after 7am, with 7.11am being the best.
Lunch is best enjoyed sooner rather than later, with the key time between 12.30pm and 1pm – 12.38pm was the ideal.
Leaving dinner later than 7pm can be ruinous for diets – the best time is between 6pm and 6.30pm, with 6.14pm the best.
Other survey results
In addition to the meal times, the survey also found that:
– 84% think sticking to defined mealtimes is crucial for people who want to lose weight.
– 60% said that skipping any meal would make losing weight more difficult.
– 76% said breakfast was the most important meal of the day – and eating it daily had helped them cut calories.
– 75% said they had benefited by having a light lunch – and never skipping a midday meal.
– 66% recommended eating dinner before 7pm.
– 72% said the key was not to have more calories for dinner than they did for lunch – so their calorie intake is level throughout the day.
The research proves the truth of the dieting mantra: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
Don’t turn dinner into a disaster
Dieters say it is disastrous to eat dinner too late, because you’re usually less active in the evening, meaning that the calories are less likely to be burned, and more likely to turn into fat.
– The four crucial hours between 6pm and 10pm are when most diets went wrong.
– 56% said they consumed the most calories during this time.
– 54% said they ate more than half their daily calorie intake during this period.
– What scuppered many diets was snacking in front of the TV at around 8pm – a lapse suffered by 62%.
The researcher’s opinion
“The results show that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day for successful dieters. Skipping it just makes you hungrier and more likely to over-indulge in later meals – causing a surge in blood sugar. What you need to do is ease your body into a more consistent blood-sugar pattern by eating three meals a day of between 400-600 calories.”
“The most important message is not to skip meals and not to leave dinner too late. Calories get burned up no matter when you eat them – but if you eat dinner late, you’re not as likely to get rid of those calories before going to bed. What you don’t burn off is more likely to be stored as fat, as you become less active towards the end of the day. Eating too close to bedtime increases your blood sugar and insulin, which makes it harder to sleep. Your last meal should be lightest of the day and should be eaten at least three hours before you go to sleep.”
Source: The Daily Mail.