Today our very own Registered Dietitian, Cathrine Reed, breaks down the secrets to meal timing success to get the best results possible. She has been with MyFitFoods since April, 2021 and leads our team of nutrition consultants in Houston, Denver, Beaverton, and Portland.
Does meal timing and frequency matter?
Meal timing is important because your body expects nutrients and thrives on routines. Meal frequency is more flexible and depends on your personal needs and health goals. Consistency is key when building good habits. My Suggestion: Eat at least 2-3 healthy portioned meals per day and drink a protein shake for your mid-morning or mid-day snack(s). This routine will support your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive, and ultimately set you up for great results.
My tip for this week is to build your mealtime schedule using these two simple rules:
1. Split your day into two 12-hour windows
Create an eating window of 12 hours per day (7 AM - 7 PM) and a fasting window of 12 hours per day (7 PM - 7 AM). This will set up a consistent habit where you can easily fast for 12 hours every day!
Keep in mind, you may find yourself rummaging through the pantry during your fasting window if you have not consumed enough protein and calories during your eating window. Avoid this uncomfortable situation by planning out your 12-hour day with at least 2-3 healthy portioned meals and at least 1 drink protein shake for your snack(s).
2. Have your last bite and sip of calories 3 hours before bed
If your bedtime is at 10 PM, have your last bite/ sip by 7 PM. This will help keep you in the proper 12-hour window and allow your body to wind down so you get a proper night’s rest.
The benefits of the 12-hour eating window include:
Supports Weight loss & Weight Maintenance
Fewer Food Cravings
Better Sleep Quality
Stronger Digestive Health
Not eating for 12 hours (or more) allows your gut to "get through," rebuild, and rest before adding more to the pile the next day.
The Coffee Pitfall: Creamy, sugary coffee aka sneaky calories
If you can't drink it black, then you’re not drinking it for the caffeine. Don’t fall into the trap of starting your morning with a bunch of sugar and creamer in your coffee. This only breaks your fast and shortens your non-eating window.
That's it for this tip. Hope you all have a safe and healthy holiday!
P.S. Need something sweet in the evening? Try drinking some unsweetened (calorie-free) bedtime tea for a relaxing treat!