When It Comes to Food, Timing Can Be Everything

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Make no mistake about it, everyone seems to have their take on the best new way to control your food intake and maximize your health and well-being. Whatever fad diet or nutrition plan is trending is usually the catch phrase of the season. So, whether you want to eat more fats in your diet or eliminate carbohydrates from your day, there is a diet out there for you.

Many of these trends actually show results and if they work for you, great! I want people to succeed on their paths to a healthier lifestyle. There is also a recent line of thinking that suggests that it’s not just about what you eat but WHEN you eat it. Timing is, as they say, everything. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, certain diet habits help to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Two key promising habits include:

Meal Timing.

Some studies suggest that people who consume most of their calories late in the day have a higher risk of obesity and heart disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming 50 percent of daily calories at lunch and only 20 percent at dinner led to almost a 33 percent greater weight loss than eating 50 percent at dinner. That wasn’t all the study brought to the dinner table...

Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn't specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it's not a diet in the conventional sense. It's more accurately described as an eating pattern.

Research is showing that severely limiting your calorie intake one or two days per week will help with weight loss and reduce triglycerides, blood pressure, and insulin resistance. Some people find that restricting their eating to a set regimen of only 8-10 hours of their 24 hour day is the best plan for them. An example of IF may go like this: You restrict your food intake to just an 8 hour period during say the hours of 11AM to 7PM. You eat no food before 11AM and no food after 7PM. This is not the traditional way most of us have grown up eating. 

If you are like me, it’s always been breakfast in the morning, midday lunch, and dinner around sunset or later. Maybe something like breakfast at 7AM, lunch at noon and dinner at 7PM.  Three meals within a 12 hour period. Intermittent fasting reduces that grazing period by 4 hours, and in doing so restricts calorie intake after dinner. An added benefit found in the research is that by following an IF eating pattern, your body will begin to crave less food.

Look, we all know that if we eat better, we feel better. It’s like sleep. If we get to bed earlier and snag another hour of sleep we simply feel better. And for me, personally, my mind operates at a higher capacity. I’m able to remember things easier, handle more than two things at once, and I seem to have more patience - all from a better night’s rest. 

Food is the same for our health. Eating healthier foods can make your body run more efficiently. I’m not saying that I am not guilty of having way too much added sugar on some days or maybe using more caffeine to try to keep myself alert on others. I just know that a sugar/caffeine pattern like that is not the best plan for anyone's body and mind. Eating healthier and earlier is the better bet for feeling your best.

What works for one person, might not work for another. You need to ask yourself, am I living right? Is my food intake and the patterns I have in place a healthy way for me to live and do they help or hurt my goals in terms of my overall health? Make the time to ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself in your answers. Play around with when you eat and see if you notice a difference. It might just change your life.