The Importance of Sticking to a Meal Clock

The most important aspect of losing weight, is burning calories. And what is burning calories for us throughout the day? Our metabolism. The more calories you want to burn, the higher the rate you want your metabolism to be running. The thing is, your metabolism shuts down if you don’t eat frequently enough. So, while you might think “oh I’m on a diet so I should be eating less”, you’re actually shutting down your metabolism by eating infrequently and then when you do eat something – even if it’s healthy – your body is going to hold onto those calories in the food you ate. The #1 rule you need to know is: don’t ever go more than 4 hours without eating.

On the reverse side of the coin, a meal clock can save you from overeating out of emotions and boredom. How many times have you eaten a meal and then an hour or so later go “wow, I’m so hungry”? Chances are it was because you were bored, stressed, upset, or craving something you saw or thought about. The food clock is great here because you can tell yourself “I just ate recently and it’s not time to eat again. Let’s figure out what reasons aside from genuine hunger might make me be feeling like I want to eat right now.” If it’s none of the reasons I listed above, chances are you’re dehydrated and you should drink a big glass of water. Our bodies recognize thirst and hunger the same way and we identify them both as hunger unless our mouth is literally dry. The rule here with overeating is: wait 3 hours before you eat again, assuming what you ate was protein-, fiber-, and nutrient-dense. There are two ways to go about creating a meal clock: either eat all small meals or have meals and snacks.

If you are going to be eating all well-rounded (protein, fiber, nutrients, healthy fat) small meals, stick to eating every 3-4 hours. Your day could look like this:
7:00am – small meal #1
10:00am – small meal #2
1:30pm – small meal #3
5:00pm – small meal #4
8:00pm – small meal #5

If you are going to be eating well-rounded larger meals with smaller snacks in between, you should have longer stretches of time going from meal -> snack than from snack -> meal because your meal will fill you up more than your snack. Still do not go more than 4 hours without eating and make sure not to snack too frequently. Your day could look like this:7:00am – breakfast 10:30am – snack1:00pm – lunch 4:30pm – snack7:00pm – dinner

Your new high-powered metabolism will help you reach your health and fitness goals!