Eating for weight loss not only spans the foods you consume, but it also covers the time that you eat each meal. Breakfast is often noted as the most important meal of the day because of the fuel it provides your body to function properly. However, according to health experts, there is one breakfast time that is superior to others in order to support long term weight loss.
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Depending on your weight loss goals, intermittent fasting may be beneficial to integrate into your routine, meaning that you will likely eat your “breakfast” around 11am or 12pm. MD Andrea Paul explains, “Many sources suggest waiting until after 11am to eat anything if you can, and sticking to water and things like black coffee or tea before then.” Making sure you stay hydrated in the morning before your first meal will provide overall mental clarity and improve your mood heading into the day.
Intermittent fasting is useful for weight loss because it limits the time window within which you can consume food, rather than diminishing your actual food intake. This will naturally cause you to eat less and maintain a calorie deficit more effortlessly, as your appetite will adjust the amount of food you crave over time. By limiting your eating window, when you do eat your first meal around noon you can create a nutrient dense and filling dish that contains slightly more calories than a normal breakfast to fuel you after your fast.
While Paul does note that mealtimes matter less than the actual food you choose to eat, it is important to be conscious about eating large quantities right before periods of being sedentary. “Generally speaking, you don’t want to eat a calorie-dense meal right before bed,” she says. When you consume a large portion of food and don’t expend the energy, it may end up being stored in your body as fat which would lead to weight gain over time.
At the end of the day, losing or maintaining your weight cannot simply be boiled down to eating breakfast at a certain time. It’s a combination of several different factors, from what you’re eating to how much you consume. However, incorporating intermittent fasting into your life may help to maintain your weight and manage calorie intake so as not to exceed what your body needs to function properly. Above all, you must fuel your body with nutrient dense foods in order to achieve weight loss results, and a later breakfast time may support your results.