Eating regularly on schedule gives you a structure and discipline needed for a sustainable and long-term maintenance of health.
In today’s world, the traditional meals are being let go and snack times are becoming more and more dominant, as we no longer design our days to fit in eating patterns, thanks to the ‘pressures of life’.
Benefits of eating on time
Choosing a right time to eat meals has several benefits, one of them being energy. An irregular meal eating schedule or even skipping meals drains your body of energy. Eating on time keeps your blood sugar stable, keeps hunger headaches and fatigues at bay. Also, have an eating schedule will help to avoid snacking.
And if you are planning to lose weight, planning a well-balanced, low calorie diet increases your chances of losing weight.
Here is a schedule you can follow which will quell your illegitimate hunger pangs and keep your mind and body active through the day.
Breakfast around 8 am
Eating breakfast within half hour or one hour after waking up is important. Breakfast is important meal of the day as it replenishes your blood sugar levels after the seven to eight hours of sleep. So, it will not just keep your blood sugar balanced but also gives to more energy.
Make oatmeal or whole grain cereal or brown rice or fruits and vegetables a part of your breakfast daily, as they are full of complex carbohydrates.
Lunch around 12 noon
Eating small and frequent meals is better for your body than large meals which might put a strain on your system and lead to indigestions.
Your lunch should be three to four hours after your breakfast. Skipping lunch means your body is drained of energy and since lunch time is the busiest time of the day, it is important that you eat so that you have the stamina to breeze through the day.
Eat a balanced meal with complex carbohydrates, protein, good fats and fibers. A healthy lunch could comprise a bowl of vegetables/green salad, low fat meat/fish, soups, rotis, salad and fat-free/low-fat yogurt.
Snack time between 3 – 4 pm
Small portions and eating often is the key to staying fit and healthy. Eating frequent meals stimulates your metabolism to work harder and better and can also be a factor in losing weight.
A late afternoon snack is not something as big as your regular meal, but should be able to satisfy your hunger pang. A fruit salad, smoothie, fruit juice or a fruit yogurt could be your 3 pm snack. As fruits and vegetables are full of minerals and vitamins and are low in calories, they make a great snack. The disadvantage of low calories is that it does not keep your full for long. However, since this is just a snack it’s perfect for the situation.
Dinner by 7 pm
Eating infrequently or irregularly throws your body off balance leading to digestive problems, slowing down your metabolism and accumulation of fat cells.
Dinner should be eaten two to three hours after the late afternoon snack and should be similar to your lunch with brown rice, wheat bread, salads, lean meat, fish and vegetables. For desert eat fruits and replenish yourself with vitamins, minerals and fibre.
If you are a late night bird and look for a snack, reach out for a fruit instead of the bag of chips and make sure that your last bite is at least one hour before you hit the bed.
Instead of three big meals, eat four or five small meals as your body will find it easier to digest, help you in managing weight, prevent heartburn, control blood sugar levels, keep you active, focused and productive throughout the day.
Photograph via sxc.hu
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