It’s Not Just What You Eat ― But Also When ― That Matters

Reset your 'food clock' for success

What time of day is best to eat

Most of us know what we eat can impact our waistlines. But what about when we eat? Wellness guru Michael Roizen, MD, says it’s time we start paying attention to our ‘food clock.’ 

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“As we eat late, we get fat,” Dr. Roizen says. “It adds to our waist size, it adds to inflammation and it adds to type 2 diabetes. Studies show people gain weight when they eat calories at night.”

Why the time of day makes a difference

Our bodies become more insulin resistant throughout the day, Dr. Roizen explains. This means sugar stays in your bloodstream and is transformed into fat. That’s why, he says, it’s best to avoid eating after dark.

In fact, he recommends eating 75 percent of our daily calories before 2 p.m., with breakfast and lunch being our largest meals, and dinner the smallest. Before long, Dr. Roizen assures, it will become habit.

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Eat early for the best health, before 2 p.m., and try and eat only when the sun is up. Your body clock shifts to wanting to eat and feeling hungry in the morning, and not hungry in the evening.

Tips for making the change successfully

Getting plenty of protein and healthy fat in the morning and at lunchtime will ward off hunger. And being open-minded about what we’re eating can help the transition, Dr. Roizen says.

“Stop stereotyping food,” he says. “I’ve gone to having salmon burgers for breakfast ― they’re wonderful ― or avocado toast, and even oatmeal for dinner.”

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Dr. Roizen suggests eating within a 12-hour window or less ― only when there’s daylight ― for three days and then working up to a week or more.

And don’t worry if you fall off the wagon while resetting your ‘food clock.’ Dr. Roizen insists you can always get back on.

You can even reap health benefits by adopting daytime eating just five out of seven days per week, he notes.

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