Balancing the right amount of calories, fat, carbs, and protein in your diet is an essential part of keeping the pounds off, but the time of the day you schedule each meal could make the biggest difference in weight loss. A recent survey conducted by Forza Supplements has identified the most advantageous times for eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner down to the minute.
“The most important message is not to skip meals and not to leave dinner too late,” managing director of Forza Supplements, Lee Smith, told the Daily Mail. “Calories get burned up no matter when you eat them - but if you eat dinner late, you're not as likely to get rid of those calories before going to bed.”
Researchers from the UK based dieting company asked 1,000 dieters when they thought the best times to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner were throughout the day. Although the precise time of day to eat each meal varied by the participants, 60 percent of people included in the survey agreed that skipping any meal is not a person’s best option for maintaining a healthy diet.
Around two-thirds of the participants insisted on eating breakfast around 7 a.m. with 7:11 ranking as the most favorable time to consume the greatest amount of calories. Seventy-six percent agreed that breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day. While a big breakfast seems to be an ideal method of weight loss, limiting the amount of calories taken in at lunchtime can be just as important.
Without skipping our midday meal, 75 percent of respondents said a lighter lunch compared to breakfast is beneficial to watching our waistline. Findings revealed that eating lunch between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. is a dieter’s best option, especially at 12:38 p.m. Planning calorie intake around dinnertime proved to be a dieter’s greatest foe.
Consuming a large portion of our daily caloric intake between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. can have a detrimental effect on any weight-loss goal. For people who are less active in the evening, eating dinner between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. was recommended by two-thirds of survey participants, with 6:14 p.m. positioned as the optimal suppertime. But don’t be discouraged. Sixty-two percent of these dieters admitted to enjoying an after-dinner snack at around 8 p.m.
“What you don't burn off is more likely to be stored as fat, as you become less active towards the end of the day,” Smith told the Daily Mail. “Eating too close to bedtime increases your blood sugar and insulin, which makes it harder to sleep. Your last meal should be lightest of the day and should be eaten at least three hours before you go to sleep.”
Results of this survey are on par with a recent study organized by Daniela Jakubowicz and her colleagues from Tel Aviv University. Researchers assigned 93 women struggling with obesity to one of two dieting regimens consisting of 1,400 calories a day. Women in the “big breakfast” group were asked to consume 700 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch and 200 calories for dinner. The “big dinner” group was asked to consume 200 calories for breakfast, 500 calories for lunch, and 700 calories for dinner.
Women in the “big breakfast” group were successful in dropping 17.8 lbs. and cutting their waistline by three inches toward the end of the study. These women were also able to decrease their insulin, glucose, and triglyceride levels while eliminating a spike in blood glucose levels. On the other hand, women in the “big dinner” group were only able to drop 7.3 lbs. and cut 1.4 inches out of their waistline over the course of the study. This group also experienced spikes in blood glucose levels after eating, which can lead to cardiovascular issues and high blood pressure.