Did you know that when you eat is just as important as what you eat? That is why you need to know when to eat, as well as have a meal clock that meets your work schedules and energy levels.
Ideally, the times you need to eat vary from person to person, and it’s mainly based on work schedules and activity level, but having a healthy meal clock will help you enjoy your meals with low health consequences.
Eating your meals at the right time each day helps you keep a healthy weight, and also keeps your blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels under control.
Breakfast, which is the first and most important meal of the day, is usually eaten before 8:00 am, i.e. between 6 am to 8:00 am.
Eating breakfast provides your body with adequate energy to kick-start your day, but skipping snacks on high-fat and sugary foods at mid-morning hours, which later contributes to weight gain.
An ideal breakfast meal should be made with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes which make it nutrient-dense and high fiber to keep you fuller for longer hours till the next meal and keep your blood sugar and pressure levels under control. Some local breakfasts you can consider include corn/oats/ wheat porridge with bread, beans pudding (Gober), and waakye.
The next meal is lunch, which is also eaten between the hours of 12 pm to 1 pm. This meal replenishes your energy stores to continue your day with more energy and to be productive.
Your lunch should also be balanced and nutrient-dense and avoid fast foods which are high in sugar, fats, and salt.
The four-hour difference between your breakfast and lunch was designed to help you expend all the energy from your breakfast without having an extra store, which would contribute to weight gain.
The last meal of the day is our supper, which is usually eaten before 6:00 pm, i.e. between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm respectively. This meal takes you through the long night of fasting till the next morning meal.
Supper also provides all your body parts including your body organs like heart, liver, etc. with an adequate amount of energy for their activities while you sleep or go about your night duties.
This mealtime does not apply to every individual because we all have different work schedules and activity levels and so for individuals who have a poor appetite, and cannot much at a seating or have tight work schedules and high activity or energy levels, we supplement their meals with healthy snacks i.e. mid-morning snack @ 10 am, mid-afternoon snack @ 3 pm and bed-time snack at 8 pm.
So that you always reach your energy requirement for the day, even if you miss a meal.
This piece was put together by Nii Amartei, dietitian on DIET TV (YouTube) | +233 209 330 918