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Eating According To Your Internal Body Clock - Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Suneet Khanna 87% (85 ratings)
MBBS, D.P.H & H, DFW & CH
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi  •  37 years experience
Eating According To Your Internal Body Clock - Can It Help You Lose Weight?

When we talk about losing weight, the focus is always on what we are eating, as some diets prescribe fewer crabs and fats while others talk about increasing your protein intake. However, as per dietitians apart from looking at what you eat, you should also be looking at when you eat your meals in order to lose weight. There’s a time and a place for everything and this holds true with food as well. Each of us has an internal body clock that monitors various activities and primes the body to react in different situations and this is known as your circadian rhythm. To boost your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight, you should eat meals in tune with your circadian rhythm.

Quick tips that can help:

  1. Don’t wait too long for breakfast: You should ideally eat your breakfast within an hour and a half from the time you wake up. This jump starts your metabolism and energizes you for the day. Breakfast should be a heavy meal of about 300 calories. The ideal breakfast has proteins, complex carbs, and fresh fruits. This keeps you satiated through the morning and helps avoid mid-day snacking.
  2. Limit your snack time to morning: If you feel the urge to cheat on a diet, try snacking between 11 am and 2 pm. Avoid snacking in the evenings. This way, your body has enough time to burn the energy being generated. This keeps the glycogen being produced from being stored as fat.
  3. Space your meals evenly: Do not let your stomach be empty for too long between meals. Ideally, the gap between your breakfast and lunch should be the same as the gap between our lunch and dinner. This keeps you from overeating and gives your body enough time to digest one meal before getting started on the other. If you feel like the gap in the evening is getting too long, break your dinner into two parts and have 4 meals instead of three.
  4. Eat your last meal before sunset: You should finish eating your dinner before the sun goes down. The later you eat your dinner, the easier it is to put on weight. This is because our bodies are designed to slow down after sunset. Thus, digestion takes longer. This can result in a slower metabolism and insulin fluctuations. A late dinner can also interfere with your sleep cycle thus making you start the next morning cranky. You should give yourself at least three hours between your dinner and your bedtime. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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