In a balanced diet, it is very important to focus not only on what you eat but also when you consume certain foods.
There are certain beneficial times when proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are better metabolized in the body, so it can benefit the most from them.
Therefore, it is important to respect the main meals of the day, but also the snacks between meals, in order not to starve, but also to avoid overeating.
So, let’s see what are the best times for the main meals of the day, to lose weight healthy and smart.
BREAKFAST – How important is it?
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The first meal of the day is also the most important, having a special role to maintain your optimal health and weight. Dozens of scientific studies around the world have shown that people who eat “good” in the morning eat less, calorically, throughout the day.
Breakfast should cover 20-30% of your daily energy needs and therefore cannot be replaced by any other meal of the day.
The time interval for breakfast
Breakfast should be taken within 30 to 60 minutes after waking up and you should try not to skip this meal, even if you may not be so hungry in the early hours of the day.
What is recommended to eat at breakfast?
- At breakfast, you can eat lean ham, fish, skim dairy products, whole bread, and vegetables.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, biscuits, etc.) which are absorbed very quickly and which do not give you the same prolonged feeling of satiety and which could even make you hungry very quickly.
Don’t be hungry in the morning. You will eat more in the evening when the body no longer burns calories but deposits them.
Ideally, you should respect your body’s biological rhythm and check which is the best hour for you to have lunch, then respect that time even on the weekend!
It is recommended that lunch be made up of only 2 dishes, not three as many of us have been accustomed to as a kid, and the dessert will be served between 16 and 17 as an afternoon snack.
The time interval for lunch
The best time for lunch is 13.00-15.00.
What is recommended to eat at lunch?
Now is the time to consume high-value proteins (fish, seafood, turkey or chicken), vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, etc.) in the form of soups/ broths/ vegetable creams/ salads, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, etc.), cereals (brown rice, whole wheat or rice pasta, etc.)
There are multiple formulas for organizing meals throughout the day – 3 meals per day and 2 snacks, 3 meals per day without snacks, 6 meals per day, etc.
No rules or formula applies to everyone, the body sends us signals.
Snacking is an important part of any person’s daily menu, as it complements and ensures the daily nutrients needed to cope with daily activities.
The time interval for snacks
The hourly intervals most suitable for snacks are 10.00-11.00 for the morning and 16.00-17.00 for the afternoon.
Ideally, we would opt for those foods that contain the nutrients needed at that time of day, to recharge our batteries.
Recommended snacks include fresh fruits or vegetables, whole grain products: biscuits, toast, dairy products, dried fruits, oilseeds, etc.
Opt for a mixture of dried fruits, nuts or seeds
DINNER – The last meal of the day
Dinner is often the only meal we eat with family or friends. For this reason or if a meal has been skipped during the day, we are tempted to put everything we find in the fridge and, of course, eat everything we have on the plate. The result is a high-calorie consumption, restless sleep, and of course weight gain.
When we schedule dinner we must consider its caloric and nutritional content to ensure a restful sleep and to maintain optimum weight.
The time interval for dinner
Dinner should be taken between 18.00-19.00, at least 3, 4 hours before bedtime.
Foods consumed after 8 pm no longer fall into the category of dinner, but into the category of night food. The calories related to these foods remain unburned and will be deposited as fat.
What is recommended to eat at dinner?
Therefore, it is important to have a light dinner.
The biggest enemies, not only of the figure but also of the restful sleep are roasts, alcohol, foods rich in caffeine, and “heavy” proteins (pork or beef), which make digestion difficult.
For dinner, you can consume fish (mackerel salmon, sardines), flax seeds, green vegetables, rich in B-complex vitamins, quinoa, lentils, lean poultry.
The basic principle of having dinner is to eat exactly what you need until you go to bed. Specifically, it is important not to go to bed either hungry or full belly.