Eating at the Right Time of Day
Yes, there is such a thing at eating at the right time of day! The human body is designed to process nutrients efficiently, but your daily activities affect the rate at which those nutrients are processed. If you want to give your body the best possible nutrition and keep yourself energized, here's how you need to eat the right way:
Avoid Late Eating
Even if you're the kind of person who sleeps in late and goes to bed late, it's always best to avoid eating later in the day. After the sun sets, your body slows down, meaning your digestive system works at less than full steam. Food that you eat later in the evening takes longer to digest, and it will sit in your stomach and intestines for longer. Late night eating is closely linked to weight gain, so make it a point to eat only small meals later in the day.
Start the Day Big
If you want to ensure that you have energy to get through the day, your biggest meal should be early in the day. A big breakfast gives you energy to get through a long work morning, and a medium-sized lunch will get you through to your smaller dinner. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day, and it will be easier to avoid snacking and cheating on your diet when you've had a healthy morning meal.
Eat Before 8 PM
If you are going to eat late at night, even if it's a small dinner or snack, always try to eat that meal before 8 PM. Any later than 8 PM, and the food is going to spend most of the night sitting in your stomach. This can lead to some pretty nasty weight gain in the long run! If you have to have something to eat in the evening, have a mug of tea or a bit of milk. Keep it light and get to bed to avoid the munchies.
Consider a Large Lunch
Your body's peak digestion time is between noon and 3 PM, so that's the best time of day to have a big meal. If you can fit in your workout in that same time slot, even better! It will give your body the chance to burn a lot of the calories you consumed in the morning, and will refuel your body with the protein and fats needed to burn fat into the night. A larger lunch and smaller dinner is always the way to go.
Eat Within 60 Minutes of Working Out
If you want to ensure that your body gets the most possible nourishment from your meal, the best time to eat is right after working out. Within an hour following your exercise, your body is running at full steam. It is trying to make repairs, blood is flowing, and the food you eat will be sent straight to the muscles you have worked out. You should make it a point to have your largest meal of the day after your workout, especially if you can work out mid-afternoon.
Keep it Lean Before Bed
There is always the temptation to eat starchy, sweet foods later in the evening, as that's when you want something sweet to help you get to sleep. But starchy foods will give you a rush of blood sugar that will keep you awake, and may even raise insulin levels--leading to weight gain. Instead, have an evening meal rich in lean proteins, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. It's the healthiest way to end your day!