Generally when trying to lose weight, there is an obvious need to reduce calorie intake. But once a workable diet and exercise pattern are perfected, it is often possible to go above the estimated calorie need.

And to compensate for these periods of extra calorie needs, weight loss candidates are advised to eat at a time when the food intake (i.e. the calorie load) stand the greatest chance of being converted into energy by the body. Question is: when would such time be? And generally, when is the best time of the day to eat when a person is trying to lose weight?

Many nutritionists believe that the best time to eat food is when a person feels hungry since this is unarguably the body’s natural way of signaling that our energy supply needs replenishment. Sounds reasonable: except that there are persons who seem to be always hungry! For such persons, heeding these regular signals may just be a highway to overweight and obesity.

In view of this dilemma, many experts now believe that whereas there is need to eat whenever the body needs extra nutrition, it is best to answer this call when the body’s metabolism is at an elevated level.

One of such peak periods is in the morning. Typically while you are asleep your body has had no energy supply for upwards of 10 hours. Thus, your digestive enzymes are primed to work on the food you eat in the morning.

There’s therefore the highest chance that your body will use up all the new supply of energy for muscular nutrition if a good, nutritious meal is eaten in the morning. So start your day with a good breakfast!

But since we all wake up at different hours in the morning, it’s a bit difficult to say with exactitude what time in the morning breakfast should be eaten. But a general rule of the thumb is to have your breakfast no more that an hour after waking up.

Another ideal time to eat, especially for those working on their weight, is just after exercising—say 30 to 45 minutes after an exercise session. What happens is that during and shortly after an exercise, the enzymes responsible for energy production in the body are most active while at the same time the hormones responsible for energy storage are stifled.

In other words, at this time there is the least chance that energy from meals would be stored as fat in the body; carbohydrates will quickly be converted and taken up to replenish low glycogen levels caused by exercising; proteins will be used up to help the recovery and growth of muscle tissues;

the fat contained in the meal will come in handy as they’ll provide the fuel that will sustain these processes. What this means is that after a good exercise, most of what you eat will be completely utilized by your body. Isn’t that great?

Conversely, nighttime, especially just before going to bed is the worst time to eat, because then your metabolism slows down considerably. Most of what you consume at this time will simply settle in your stomach and turn into fat. Picture that!

Finally, endeavor to eat at regular periods each day. A research done at Northwestern University established that there’s a clear relationship between meal timing and weight gain. Take advantage of the points presented here and get the best results from your weight loss efforts—and from your meals!

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