“Eat breakfast like a prince, lunch like a king and dinner like a pauper.” These are the words of famed nutritionist Adelle Davis, whose advice still holds true today. This simple phrase breaks down the importance of meal size in conjunction with the timing of your meals.
This dietary time-line advocates for a well-balanced breakfast, a hearty lunch and a light dinner. This is different from the dietary plan that many people follow. Breakfast is often small and hurried, lunch is the most commonly skipped meal during the day, and dinners are usually the largest meal of the day.
During your medical weight loss program you’ll be making changes to what you eat, but it may also help you to change when you consume the bulk of your daily calories. This is suggested by a team of researchers in Spain who found that eating early in the day is optimal when it comes to losing weight. They published their findings early in 2013 in the International Journal of Obesity.
Does Time Matter for Weight Loss?
The study evaluated more than 400 overweight and obese individuals and tracked their eating habits over time. Half of the participants were instructed to eat the majority of their calories earlier in the day, making lunch the primary meal instead of dinner.
The researchers found that when all other aspects of their diet were controlled, those who ate earlier in the day lost about 5 pounds more on average than the others.
This indicates that the early eaters did have slightly greater success with their weight loss endeavors than those who ate their calories later in the day, but it does not mean that eating earlier is the end-all and be-all of weight loss. All participants in the study followed a low-calorie diet plan and engaged in regular physical activity, two lifestyle factors that greatly encouraged their weight loss.
During your medical weight loss program your weight loss doctor will provide you with guidance and support to help you develop a healthier lifestyle. This will likely include things like nutritional counseling and personal fitness training to help you overcome any previous weight loss obstacles.
Making fundamental changes to what you are eating and how much you are moving are going to make a huge difference in your life. Simply changing what time you are eating without changing what you are eating isn’t enough to prompt serious health and wellness changes. However, if you tend to consume the bulk of your calories in the evening, you may want to consider making a few changes to your dining schedule as you try to lose weight.