Updated: Sep 6, 2020
Years ago I started to notice that many of my clients who were trying to lose weight following a diet, would suddenly try to skip meals and to control their appetite (like appetite was a monster). By the end of the day they would be so starving that they would end up having a huge meal for dinner or, even worse, doing a lot of munching after it. Does this sound familiar?
When we embark on a journey to lose weight permanently, there is series of very important things to consider and to put in practice.
Something very useful to know is that we don’t burn calories at the same rate all day long. Some parts of the day typically have a higher metabolic rate and some others typically have a lower one. This teaches us 2 important lessons: the first is that counting calories is largely a waste of time. And the second is that eating whenever we find the time or trying to control our appetite mostly does more harm than good.
Our body temperature also changes during the day and this also affects the digestive system. As a general rule: the higher our temperature the higher the metabolic rate, the more efficient the digestion and the more calories we burn, and the lower the temperature, the less efficiently we are metabolizing what we eat. Typically, our body temperature begins to rise as soon as we open our eyes in the morning, reaches its peak around noon and then starts to slowly go down again. Around 9 pm the temperature drops much more quickly in preparation for sleep and at night it reaches the lowest. These temperature movements can vary from country to country depending how warm the climate is in general, for the same reason it changes also during the year. The warmer the external climate the less need we have to eat a big breakfast.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine there’s a similar understanding. There we can see how the highest energy (Qi) flow to the stomach is between 7 to 9 am and the lowest is between 7 to 9 pm.
For these reasons the biggest meal of the day should be eaten before 1pm when your body is in the best conditions to digest and use the energy from the food efficiently and it is less likely to store it. While dinner should be early (ideally before 7pm) and light.
So as a first step towards a successful long term weight loss we need to sit down and work out our schedules so that we can ensure we have food when we are supposed to. This way we would work with nature instead of against it.
Planning out the weekly meals beforehand or batch cooking will help us to save time and to implement a routine of having a more substantial meal in the first part of the day and a light early dinner.
When you eat is as important as what you eat!
Sometimes making little adjustments can make a difference in your weight loss journey.
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