Many of us struggle with weight issues at one point or the other. In an attempt to lose weight quickly, most of us believe that having large gaps between our meals would trigger weight loss! That having large meals in one go and staying hungry for the rest of the day is key. Well, this is a myth.
Keeping your body devoid of any nutrition while adding major time gaps between your meals will only harm rather than do good. In fact, as per a study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, late dinners can actually hamper your weight loss process.
So how can you schedule your meal better and make sure that you are managing your weight healthily? Nutrition Expert, Chandni Haldurai is here to walk us through some imperative facts about how meal timings can affect your weight.
Meal Timings And Macronutrients
Macronutrients are the essential nutrients human bodies need to maintain energy levels. These are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. These nutrients are already present in our meals. However, consuming more or less of one particular macronutrient as compared to others can hamper your fitness goals.
Now, the entire game is about effectively managing these macronutrients intake! Having time-restricted meals and balancing your intake of these macronutrients can surely help in getting healthier.
Metabolism Rate Goes Haywire Due To Huge Meal Gaps
Until the 1960s, hypo-caloric meals (meals with super low calories) were highly recommended. However, in the 1970s, nutritionists started promoting several lifestyle changes in meal related treatments to promote good health. One such is paying attention to our meal timings.
There is a myth that eating less or keeping huge gaps between your meals, or cutting fats in your meals can lead to weight loss. However, this is not true.
When you do not eat for a longer time, your metabolism rate slows down in order to conserve energy. On the other hand, when you eat frequently, the metabolism rate remains balanced and it also reduces your craving to eat more!
Balancing Metabolism Throughout The Day
Now, consumed calories are utilized more in the morning time as compared to night. During the night, it is the slowest.
This is because when you wake up in the morning, your metabolism rate is the highest. So it becomes imperative to offer adequate food fuel to your body, which would help maintain the metabolism rate effectively.
This implies that you should have food items that offer more fibers, healthy fats, and proteins during the day, such as eggs, meat, seeds, nuts, etc., to increase your body's metabolism rate.
Here are some good options for a balanced breakfast:
Do include them in your daily diet and witness the wonders in your metabolism rate!
Here are some more reasons why you should consume more protein-rich food items during the day:
- The reason is that these protein-rich food items increase the thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF is the term used to define the calories needed by your body to digest, absorb, as well as process the nutrients.
- As per research, these proteins can increase the body's metabolic rate by 15 to 30 percent when compared to 5 to 10 percent of carbohydrates and 0 to 3 percent for fats.
- On the other hand, when you eat your dinner late and directly go to sleep, your metabolic rate drops significantly. Because you are inactive after a meal, a lower percentage of energy is consumed, leading to weight gain and not a loss!
- Also, during the night, the human body's digestive system undergoes a major transition. Signals flowing through your GI tract to your brain slow down. This results in a decrease in your body's ability to deal with the fat consumed, which means more weight gain.
Best Time To Consume Macronutrients
Now, when it comes to consuming macronutrients, there are some tips and tricks that you should know of.
Consuming carbohydrates along with fats and fibers in the morning is advisable while not in the late evening. This is because when you consume carbohydrates in the morning, it keeps you feeling full for the entire day. Now, this leads to less snacking and more weight loss.
As per experts, it is always advisable to have a healthy combination of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and fibers to keep you full for a long time. The ratio should be carbohydrates: 50%, proteins: 30%, fats: 20%.
However, if you are doing exercises or a workout, go for a higher percentage of proteins. For example, protein shakes hold much importance when it comes to getting nutrition in breakfast after a workout. Protein helps in repairing the muscle fibers that can tear or break down after you exercise. These shakes many times include supplements, such as herbs that can easily boost the macro-nutrient partitioning.
For lunch, it is always advisable to go for food items that can help you keep up your energy levels. Thus, you need to go for a balanced diet of fats, carbohydrates, and fibers. These food items can help you stabilize your energy levels and keep you focused.
The nutritionist-approved dinner is a balanced combination of proteins, complex carbohydrates, including some of the grains.
The main reason why you should have these macro-nutrients at dinner is that they make you feel full for a long time to help avoid late-night snacking. An ideal dinner plate includes one-half of vegetables, grains/starches, and proteins (easy digestible).
Snacks To Keep You Healthy
People have mixed beliefs about snacking. While some believe it to be healthy, some believe that it can lead to weight gain.
Snacking is consuming food in between your regular meals and as per some studies, snacking on protein-rich, and high-fiber snacks can actually help in losing weight. This is because protein makes your hunger cravings go away, leading to less consumption of food during the main meals. However, if you eat fat-rich food or carbohydrates-rich snacks in between your meals, it lowers your metabolism rate leading to weight gain.
Thus, careful monitoring of what you eat, how much you eat, and what time you eat is important in the fitness game. And when in doubt, consult a certified nutritionist to manage your meal circles stress-free.