When it Comes to Calorie Intake, It’s All About Timing

When it Comes to Calorie Intake, It’s All About Timing

If you’re the type to skip breakfast, eat a small lunch, and then consume a gigantic dinner, your food intake habits aren’t satisfying your body’s needs.

Not getting enough calories during the day – you know, when you actually need them – could be why you’re not losing the weight you’re hoping to, or feel too parched to exercise in the evening. This is how you can balance your caloric intake.

Recommended by sports fitness dietitian Nancy Clark, one method you can try is dividing your intake into four equal meals – breakfast, lunch, second lunch, and dinner – with the calories for the second lunch taking place of what you’re probably taking in during late-night snacking. This keeps the body fueled throughout the day, when you really need it.


Front loading calories can help with weight loss, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity. Researchers found that early lunch eaters (before 3pm) lost significantly more weight than those who ate later (and who also tended to skip or eat less at breakfast than the early eaters), even though both groups had similar daily caloric intakes, exercise habits, and sleep patterns. So, it’s clearly all about that timing.

Related: 4 Metabolism Myths

Speaking of sleep, don’t forget about getting the proper amount of shuteye too – at least seven hours. That – instead of an afternoon coffee, energy drink, or sugary snack – is the best and healthiest way to avoid the midday slumps.

Photo Credit: Chutima Chaochaiya/Shutterstock.com; Sadovnikova Olga/Shutterstock.com

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