I was having a chat with a client this week, after we had a look through their lifestyle log, which included their weekly dietary habits.
One factor we discussed was timing of eating.
Quite often when we all look at diet, a big focus is what makes it up, as that’s what’s been drummed into us. But what about considering timing of eating? It has surprising affects!
We are creatures of habit;
3 meals a day + snacking
Main meal of the day at teatime
Late night snacking
We must have breakfast
Grazing throughout the day
Eat breakfast like a king etc
Well, do we let these beliefs limit our potential for change?
Yes, we do tend to!!
So what’s the answer?
Challenge those beliefs, be prepared to change
and experiment to find what works for you the individual!
We can verbalize; I always eat my main meal in the evening, or I must always have breakfast early, etc
But unless you try, and allow enough time to be able to assess, how do you know?!
Recent research suggests just some things to try;
Delaying your first meal might increase the likelihood for the body to use its own body fat as fuel.
Closing the eating window – the time from first meal to last – not only increases the body using fat as fuel, but majorly increases the body’s insulin response. (A key factor in fat loss and health).
Having your main meal at lunchtime instead of a heavier meal in the evening
Sticking to 2 or 3 meals a day and no snacks. (This was the old school method – I can clearly remember my mum saying no snacking, you will ruin your meal!)
Having longer periods of not eating (fasting) to allow the body to not only use what it has, but incredibly if helps the body regenerate and repair itself.
In a comparison study there were two groups who ate exactly the same BUT their meal timings were different. One group narrowed their window to only eating within 6 hours (18 hours fasting) and the second within 12 hours (12 hours fasting).
They still ate 3 meals and but the 18 hour fasting group lost a lot more body fat!
So clearly timing does have a succinct affect on our metabolism and it’s clearly a major factor to consider other than WHAT you eat!