You are when you eat. It’s not only what you eat -- it’s how much, how often, and when.
If limiting your intake of calories is helping you lose weight, then cutting back, even more, should be a fast way to lose weight, right? Not necessarily. There is a science to weight loss, and Jenny Craig has been a leading expert for more than 30 years. Here are five key tips on how often you should eat and how you should set your portions for optimal slimming power.
1. Don’t Skip Meals
It may seem counterintuitive, but skipping meals can actually hinder your weight loss. By skipping meals during the day you’re likely to become extremely hungry, which can lead you to make poor food choices or overeat later. One study1 even found that skipping breakfast may put men at higher risk for coronary disease compared to those who fueled up in the morning. In addition, eating breakfast and the right foods can help you stay fuller longer. This helps you stay on track for your weight loss goals.
2. Eat Your Snacks
Whether you’re filling up on fresh and free foods or enjoying a snack, it’s important to eat healthy snacks twice a day. The same principles that apply to skipping meals also apply to snacks; not only do they keep you experiencing a dip in blood sugar (and energy), snacks and fresh and free foods will ensure that you continue to stoke the fires of your metabolism throughout the day.
3. Eat All Your Food
If you’re just starting a planned weight loss program, you may be surprised at the sheer volume of food—meals, snacks, free foods and even desserts—that make up your daily plan. You may even feel that you’re eating too much! But trust us: over time, eating more of the right things and less of the wrong things will help you distinguish between cravings (which typically pass in about 15 minutes) and real hunger. If your meal plan calls for added vegetables or piece of fruit, don’t skip it! It’s an important part of your nutritional intake for that day.
4. Stay On Schedule
Controlling hunger and balancing your blood sugar are both critical to your body and weight loss success. In fact, studies show2
that eating smaller meals with regular snacks can help you balance your “good” and “bad” cholesterol, along with managing your appetite and blood sugar. How often should I eat? This is a common question many people have when starting their weight loss journey. For best results, your meal frequency should be spaced out and snacks at regular intervals, between 2 and 3 hours apart. Example: if you have breakfast at 7 a.m., you can enjoy a snack at 10 a.m., lunch at noon, your afternoon snack at 3 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.
5. Time-Restricted Feeding
Another food intake strategy that is gaining support is called Time-Restricted Feeding. This is the science behind Jenny Craig’s new Rapid Results weight loss program. Time-Restricted Feeding uses our bodies natural circadian rhythm and metabolism to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Essentially, there is a 12- hour nourishment period during the day to consume your daily calories. After that, your body goes into a 12-hour rejuvenation period. This rejuvenation period is especially important and beneficial to weight loss, as your metabolism naturally slows down at night. This is why late-night eating stacks the deck against you. An example of eating timing could be that you start the day with breakfast at 8 am and finish eating all your meals by 8pm.
With so many different opinions, it can be confusing when deciding how often you should eat to lose weight. Remember, the same food schedule won’t work for every single person. Listen to your body and find a strategy that works best for you and makes you feel good.
To learn more about how eating at the right time can help you lose weight, contact us for your free appointment.
Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig