Meal Timing & Frequency
It’s so easy these days to skip breakfast or power through lunch without stopping to eat. Or to even skip meals in an effort to save some calories. Turns out skipping meals can be detrimental to your goals.
Most of us eat the exact opposite of what our body requires. We might eat a light (and sugary) breakfast (or skip it all together). Then, a heavier lunch (or skip it all together) and, finally, a large dinner.
Our bodies actually need the most energy throughout the day while we are at work or going about our day. So, it makes absolutely no sense to eat our biggest meal right before hitting the couch for the evening!
Generally, you should target eating about every 3 hours. Depending when you start your day, the times you eat may vary slightly. The main point is to eat on a regular schedule. This will help keep your energy constant and you will not have the ups and downs throughout the day that most people go through and fix with stimulants, such as coffee, sugar and/or energy drinks.
Snacks Can be Your Friends!
It’s important to balance your energy intake by having a snack between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. Snacks will help keep your energy flow constant between meals. The bottom line is that you want your energy to be constant throughout your day, starting out strong at breakfast and trending down as you go into the evening.
Here is an example of my eating pattern:
- 6:30 am – Breakfast
- 9:30 am – Mid-Morning Snack
- 12 pm – Lunch
- 3 pm – Mid-Afternoon Snack
- 5:30 – 6 pm – Dinner
- *9pm – Optional (depending on your goals to lose or to gain weight)
Again, every person is different. Listen to your body. I have some clients that eat every 2 hours and I have some that only eat three times per day and they all are just fine. The point is to try and level out your energy intake and provide your body a good constant source of fuel throughout the day and not to overload it at any given feeding. This is what will help get your biochemistry in line.
Our metabolism naturally peeks between 12-1pm and starts to trend down as you move towards bedtime.
Your body needs the most fuel in the morning and should trend down towards the evening time. Dinner should be smaller than your breakfast and lunch.
- Eat a strong breakfast, this will set the stage for constant energy flow.
- Incorporate some healthy snack ideas
- Green Smoothie
- Raw nuts
- Raw veggies and hummus
- Fresh fruit (grapes, apples, …)
- Mary’s Gone Crackers
- GO Raw snacks
- Nut butter
- Kale chips
- Homemade protein bars