When To Eat For Optimal Weight Loss
Are you strictly adhering to paleo guidelines and NOT yet reaching your health goals?
If you said yes, don't lose hope. There is still MUCH more you can do. While the contents of your diet undoubtedly play a major role in determining your metabolism, there is also another, often overlooked, factor to consider. That factor is eating rhythm.
Eating rhythm is far more important than most people give it credit for. In fact, by tweaking eating rhythm you can transform an ordinary man into a sumo wrestler. Contrary to popular belief, sumo wrestlers are NOT ushered into the profession based on their unique genetics or body type. Rather, sumo wrestlers are made.
In the Slow Down Diet, Marc David explains that sumo wrestlers follow a strict diet and eating rhythm that allows them to gain massive amounts of weight and maintain it. The main trick they use is to eat heavily and then sleep. Their daily routine looks a little something like this:
- They wake up
- They skip breakfast
- They work out strenuously
- They eat lunch
- They take a nap
- They eat a large dinner
- They go to bed
Please note that their diets are NOT saturated with doughnuts, cookies and candy. Rather, David believes it is primarily the eating rhythm that allows them to gain and maintain massive amounts of weight.
Take a few minutes and consider your current eating rhythm....
Sadly, most Americans today, are unknowingly adhering to the sumo wrestler’s plan. Too many of us eat like birds in the morning (if at all!), have a tiny lunch and are ravenous by mid-afternoon or evening. Due to our self-induced starvation, we binge or eat excessively at night. Then we go to sleep.
In order to stay slim, healthy and vibrant we need to flip this eating rhythm around. Here's how...
Our body is inextricably tied to the rhythm of the sun. This is known as our bio-circadian rhythm. Therefore, our metabolism burns brightest at the point when the sun is highest in the sky (between the hours of 11am -2 pm). Eating your main meal between these hours gives your body a chance to burn it off and also helps you to be energetic and vibrant in the afternoon. As the sun falls, so does your metabolism. Consequently, so should your food consumption. In other words: At night, eat light 😊
If you are currently on the sumo wrestler's plan, experiment by shifting your eating rhythm in the following ways:
- Always have a high quality protein (20 grams) breakfast with high quality fat
- Consume your largest meal mid-day (11 am- 2 pm) and be sure to include high quality protein
- Opt for whole food, mid-afternoon snacks to reduce your likelihood of binging at night
- Keep dinner light and at least 3 hours before bedtime
- If you are going to eat starchy carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, potatoes, squash, etc.), do it at lunch as a side dish
Remember this rhythm with the following adage:
"Eat breakfast like a prince, lunch like a king, and dinner like a pauper."
Important note: Don’t be alarmed if appetite increases as a result of your shifted rhythm. Or if you begin to eat more overall. Your increased appetite is an indication of an enhanced metabolism. This means we are on the right track!
Always be sure your extra calories come from healthy, whole foods that would make our ancestors proud and you'll be on your way to radiant health!
Autumn Smith MSHN