We all know that along with exercise and not smoking, what we eat is critical to our health and managing our weight. We know that eating fibers and food with low glycemic indexes is much better for our health and weight than eating sugar-filled or processed foods.
But, what we eat is not the only thing that is important. What’s also important is when we eat during the day, as well as how we eat during the day as far as frequency of meals.
This is advice that we may have heard before, but the details of what that exactly means may be a little unclear.
The Body’s Metabolic Rate
As it turns out, the rate of your body’s metabolism varies during the day. In the morning and when the sun is up, your body’s metabolic rate is higher. By contrast, at night and when your body is ready to fall asleep for the night, your body’s metabolic rate slows.
What does that mean as far as your diet?
What that means is that the majority of a person’s calorie intake should be done during the day when one’s metabolic rate is faster. What that also means is that eating most of one’s food near the end of the day leaves one more likely to gain weight.
Dr. Sean Wharton is an internal specialist who runs the Wharton Medical Clinic and who’s spoken about appropriate timing of meals in the past. He recommends that individuals should take in 60 percent of their daily calories before 6 pm. Unfortunately, a lot of people do the opposite – namely, eating most of their calories, sometimes as much as 80 to 90 percent of their calories, between 6 pm and midnight.
“In today’s working world, we have a lot of shift workers with schedules that make it difficult to eat at proper times of the day. But, avoiding heavy meals at the end of the day is a part of proper weight management,” says Dr. Wharton.
Eating Throughout the Day, Without Skipping Meals
Dr. Sean Wharton also emphasizes another, related factor that helps in weight management – namely, the importance of eating regularly throughout the day.
“There are two things that people should really be careful about,” says Dr. Wharton. “Skipping meals and skipping one’s breakfast.”
As it turns out, mother was right when she said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. “Breakfast is key to kick-starting your metabolism,” says Dr. Wharton.
But, it’s just one part of the story. Dr. Wharton also emphasizes the importance that people eat regularly throughout the day, or more specifically, eat every two to three hours throughout the day.
“There are a couple guiding principles I like to emphasize,” says Dr. Wharton. “Eat regularly throughout the day, eat a healthy, balanced breakfast, and do not fast during the day. Fasting for 12 hours during the day can cause your metabolic rate to slow by as much as 40 per cent, which means your next meal will go toward fat cell creation. That’s exactly what people want to avoid.”
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