When it comes to your meals, you must’ve heard the infamous saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like pauper”
While this holds true, the next question that usually arises is ‘What are the ideal hours to have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper?’
Numerous studies have been conducted on this crucial topic and this what we can conclude from them:
Morning tip: Over the course of your sleeping hours, your body is drained out of all the water. Now since our body is almost 70% water, rehydrating your body with a couple of glasses of water is the ideally the first thing to do after you wake up.
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day but whether it helps or hurts your body depends on the time you actually eat your breakfast.* An ideal time to eat breakfast is between 7-8 a.m. *
This is because a healthy breakfast in the early hours of the day wakes up your metabolism and prepares your body for the hours that follow.
An early breakfast provides your body with the required proteins, minerals, nutrients and vitamins which in turn gives you the energy to kickstart the day. When you have a healthy breakfast at the right time, your body does not crave for nutrition and energy throughout the day.
Research has shown that having a well timed and nutritious breakfast restores glucose levels in the body which result in improved concentration levels throughout the day.
Skipping breakfast will make you hungrier in the hours that follow and you will end up overeating throughout the day which will harm your body in the long run.
Lunch is vital in order to re-energize the body and make up for the energy that we use in the time frame between breakfast and lunch. According to multiple studies,* the ideal time to have lunch is between 12-1 p.m. *
It is recommended to try and keep a gap of 4 hours between breakfast and lunch to stabilize the blood glucose levels in the body and also to regulate hunger.
However, due to the busy schedules we follow, it is quite difficult to stick to a fixed lunch time. Keeping that in mind, lunch can always be moved a couple of hours but is highly recommended to consume lunch before 4 p.m.
If your schedule demands a late lunch, it is a good call to snack in between. Roasted nuts (almonds, groundnuts, hazelnuts) or a fruit/vegetable (banana, apple, carrots, etc) can be a healthy snacking option.
Having a heavy mid-day meal can make you lazy and less alert for the rest of the day resulting in lower levels of energy and productivity.
Note: This one’s a tough act to follow but if you can, it will do wonders for your body.
The optimum time to have dinner is between 6-7 p.m. Research has shown that leaving dinner later than 7 p.m can be a dieting disaster.
Again, due to unpredictable working hours, it is almost impossible to have dinner before 7 p.m and therefore, it is recommended to ensure that you have your dinner at least 3 hours before you hit the sack. This gives time to your body to digest the last meal of the day ensuring that digestion problems do not come in the way of a good night’s sleep.
While dinner is an important meal, it should not be as heavy as your breakfast and lunch. This is because, in the later hours of the day, you’re less active and therefore, burn fewer calories.
In addition to the good quality of sleep, having an early dinner makes your body go without food for 10-12 hours at night (including your sleeping hours) which makes you wake up hungry and ready for breakfast the next morning.
Now with time on your side, you can make every meal a ‘happy meal!’
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