Health and Fitness

When to Eat

This past week I found a great book in my local library which I was able to check out and read through the Kindle app on my phone on the airplane. This is a technology that provides great convenience. No more needing to drive to the library to search for and request a book you may want.

The book was titled “What to Eat When” by Michael F Rozien , MD and Michael Crupain, MD, MPH. In it, they wrote that you should eat at least 75% of your calories before 2 PM. There are many reasons why this is true. Insulin resistance becomes worse throughout the day and is worse late at night. This decreases our ability to metabolize food and the subsequent increased insulin in our system stores more fat.

Further, the levels of the hormone leptin which helps us lose weight compared to ghrelin which makes us gain weight, worsen throughout the day. A large, rich breakfast just does not have the same negative affect on our weight and metabolic balance has the same food eaten after dark.

I’m not saying that there is never exceptions to this rule. Obviously the joy and love that comes with the rare late night holiday meal is worth every bite. Christmas Eve meatballs with people we love or homemade delights can remind us of the joy of eating.

But as a daily rule, when it comes to nutrition, “timing is everything“. In addition to what you eat and how you prepare it, when you eat is essential. The authors state that this is critical for maintaining a good weight, preventing and curing some diseases, and living a long energetic and happy life.

Ultimately, what you choose to put into mouth is most important. Close behind however is when you choose to consume your nutrition. Timing your food consumption with your circadian rhythms and eating majority of your calories before the mid afternoon will lead to better health. As a general rule, never eat after the sun has a set.

Stay well!


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