We all know how imperative it is to develop knowledge about the food that we add to our diet in order to stay healthy. But it turns out when you eat is equally as significant as what you eat. Though, human body is not an actual chronometer, it does have an internal time cycle system known as ‘circadian rhythm’ which runs just like a clock on a 24 hours basis. It is designed to regulate our body functions, adjust to the climatic changes, sleep patterns, and our eating time. It is a very common general knowledge that the foods we intake and the time of intake has a major impact on our body. Our habitual consumption pattern can have its impact on our metabolism regulation, sleep cycle, body weight regulations and it also has a say in the management of obesity related disease. So it is highly essential to have a right diet along with an appropriate habitual consumption pattern to ensure that the body functions in an optimum condition.
What is the best way to time your eating pattern?
In general, having a satisfying breakfast in the morning has never been an easier feat to accomplish habitually. In case of the lunch, for many it depends on the work load that we have in our place of work. And when it comes to dinner we are probably very worn out at the end of the day and just want to gobble up some food and get in to bed. But one must realize that eating right type of food at the right time enables us to perform our activities at the best possible level.
‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper,’ was the slogan that was popularized by nutritionist Adelle Davis in the year 1960. Well, when it comes to eating pattern it is the best formula that you should follow. However, eating time pattern varies from individual to individual depending on the persons’ sleep and waking cycle and their schedule. You must fuel your body depending on the energy that you spend throughout the day. So basically you want to eat every 3 to 4 hours. But breakfast should be had within the first hour of waking as they set the blood sugar for the rest of the day. Following which the lunch, evening snack and diner can be slotted accordingly to the pattern of 3 or 4 hours gap.
Breakfast in the morning
It turns out mom was right: you should not skip your breakfast at any cost. Breakfast is the most significant meal of the day. Good nutritious breakfast will enable your body to function in a prime condition throughout the day. According to a study it is found that nearly 27 % of working professionals avoid breakfast regularly while many are in to the habit of having brunch and it is the reason for the rise in restaurants that are offering breakfast to its customers throughout a day.
According to dieticians between 6 to 10 am is the optimum phase to have your first meal of the day. This phase is chosen to be the best chiefly because it paves way to set your lunch at the right time of the day in the next few hours. What you eat for your breakfast is also as imperative as when you eat it as it has a great influence on your rest of the days’ activities. Fill your diet with a combination of protein, whole grains, oatmeal and healthy fats.
Lunch in the afternoon
Lunch time should be between 11 to 2 am when the body will automatically long to be refueled after running out of energy extracted from the morning breakfast. For people who have their first meal time at 6 am, it is best to have their lunch at 11 am as the gap between two meals time would go beyond 5 hours which might disrupt your metabolism. Lunch should be heavy and adequate enough to give the body the energy it required to sustain till the next meal. Again it depends on the level of activity that an individual does in a day. “Ideally, you should give yourself sufficient fuel before you do the harder labor in the day. But do not overdo the meal.” says Judy Caplan, a registered dietician nutritionist for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Snack at the evening
Nature and purpose of calories are to get burned and give energy to the human body. So no matter what calories get burned up irrespective of the tasks you do. Though it is okay to have dinner by 7 or 8 pm and go to bed early. We do not see that happening in the scientifically advanced world that we live in, do we? So it is best to go for a light snacking by the evening at 5 or 6 pm. Plus technically you cannot consume too much at the end of the day as it can pave way for many problems. Hence it is best to snack lightly in the evening so that we can have a light dinner at night.
Dinner at night
“Having your last meal too close to bedtime or consuming a heavy meal for dinner increases the possibilities of rising your blood sugar and insulin,” says Tracy Lockwood, a registered dietician at F-Factor Nutrition. The last meal of the day should be the lightest meal of the day and it should be consumed at least 3 hours before you got to bed. Also it is best to avoid the intake of energy boosting or stimulant foods such as coffee, dark chocolates, banana, and almonds, as they have the ability to lower the levels of hormone melatonin which are responsible to keep you relaxed and fall asleep. They instead act as a stimulant and keep you away from falling asleep.
There is no shortcut for a healthy living but, clearly knowing what and when you eat, and following them habitually can help you have a healthy living.