How meal timings can affect your health

Planning to stick to a balanced diet? Wait! Have you given thought to the right time to munch on a snack? Here are some tips you must follow.
Food & Travel,food,health,meal timingsHow meal timings can affect your health
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Switching to a balanced diet is the key to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Are you wondering how to time your meals so that it helps you get the most benefits and lose weight? You may have heard the saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” by well-known American author and nutritionist Adelle Davis. The quote holds true for all individuals, especially working men and women.

“Meal timings are more important than the meal we eat,” Sonia Bakshi, DtF founder says. “Our body gets used to eating food at a certain time daily. If deprived of food at that time, our body starts storing fat because the body needs more energy to perform various activities,” she adds.

The first meal of the day should be breakfast, which should be consumed within two hours of waking up, ideally, between 8 am to 10 am. Did you know breakfast literally means “breaking the fast of the night”? Most youngsters tend to skip breakfasts due to busy work schedules. This, in turn, has led to a steep rise in obesity, diabetes and other sedentary diseases.

“All those who skip breakfast can never lose weight or gain health because their body is performing all its activities in starvation mode,” Bakshi says. She feels people should live by the motto: “Eat at the same time daily, lose weight and be fit for a lifetime.”

With fluctuating shifts, there doesn’t seem to be a “right” time for lunch and dinner. According to AHA, any food containing at least 210 calories is considered a “meal” and below that is counted as a “snack. Watch what you eat and it categorise it into lunch or dinner.

“The body adapts to meal timings,” Ritika Sammadar, chief dietician at Max Healthcare, says, adding, “It is not at all a need to follow a particular timeline but certain key points must be kept in mind.”

“After waking up, a person should eat within two to three hours for better insulin sensitivity. Eat your dinner early so that the food is well digested before you sleep. Follow a two-to-four hour meal pattern to get a constant source of energy. The quality of food is equally important,” she advises.

Opting for snacks like peanut butter spread on a banana, berries in Greek yoghurt, almonds, fresh fruits, and vegetables is not only better for digestion but the carbohydrate content in such foods helps stay fuller for longer. Plan your meals in advance and make sure it adheres to a 10-12 hour timeframe according to your body clock. “You are what you eat,” they say. So, why not make yourself happy and healthy by eating at the right time?

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