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When to Eat to Lose Weight

Timing Is Everything: When to Eat to Lose Weight

When trying to slim down, we're bombarded with what foods to eat and how much, but it's not the only thing you need to think about. Timing is important, too. If you've had issues slimming down, check out the info below to see when to eat each meal and snack to optimize your weight-loss results.

Breakfast: Don't skip breakfast, and be sure to eat your morning meal within an hour of waking to jump-start your metabolism, consuming 25 percent of your daily calories. Example: 7 a.m.

Morning snack: Eat two to three hours after breakfast. This will keep blood sugar levels stable to avoid the low-energy sluggishness that makes you reach for high-calorie treats. Snacking also prevents the famished feeling that makes you inhale way more calories at your next meal than you would if you weren't plagued by hunger pains. Stick to 150 calories or less, about five percent of your daily calories. Example: 9:30 a.m.

Lunch: Your midday meal should be eaten two to three hours after your morning snack. Try to make lunch your largest meal of the day. Consuming more calories midday than at breakfast or dinner ensures you have enough time to burn all those calories, about 40 percent of your total daily calories. Example: 12:30 p.m.

Afternoon snack: Enjoy your snack two to three hours after lunch. Stick to 150 calories or less, about five percent of your daily calories. Example: 3:30 p.m.

Dinner: Eat the last 25 percent of your daily calories at dinner, about two to three hours after your afternoon snack. Finish your evening meal two to three hours before going to bed. Eating too close to bedtime can raise your body temperature and your insulin and blood sugar levels, cause heartburn or digestive issues, and prevent the release of melatonin — all of which can interfere with the fat-burning benefits associated with getting a restful night's sleep. Example: 6:30 p.m.

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