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Alexander Pan
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 13:27

These eating times are ruining your diet

LEWIS & LOWE

It turns out ‘when’ you eat is as important as ‘what’ you eat.

When on a diet, one of the most important things dieticians tell you is to watch what you eat. But according to a recent survey from a UK supplement company, it’s not as simple as that.

The survey found that there are three times during each day when we are in danger of overeating – 11.01am, 3.14pm, and 9.31pm.

Specifically, the survey determined that dieters consumed an extra 750 calories a day during these three times. It makes sense as each time coincides with a brunch run, an afternoon tea run, and the post-dinner snack.

For those who can’t hold back their snacking habits, here are a few tips to keep your calorie intake in check, and your waistline slim.

 

The 11.01am Snack

At this point, it’s been a few hours after breakfast and you’re feeling a bit peckish. Despite that diet plan, those high-calorie muffins and cakes at the coffee shop are just too good to resist.

The problem is that 11am is very close to lunchtime, and snacking now means pushing lunch to later, which is not ideal.

Take control of that pre-lunch food craving with a small snack a couple of hours after breakfast but before 10.30am. Ideally, this snack should only be around the 100-200 calorie mark, have a decent amount of protein, and be a healthy option such as Greek yoghurt or a couple of wholegrain crackers and cheese.

 

The 3.14pm Afternoon Hunger

CHOCOLATE

At this point, it’s been a few hours after lunch, your blood glucose levels are dropping, and those vending machine snacks are looking better by the second.

Unfortunately, the survey found that dieters are prone to snacking on sweets and junk food at this time of the day, which is not good for that waistline.

To get around this, plan a protein-rich snack a couple of hours after lunch. This can be a nutrient-rich nut snack bar, or crackers with hommus or cheese. Not only will this help the food cravings, but the protein will help keep that hunger at bay until dinner.

 

The 9.31pm post-dinner munchies

night snacks better sleep

It’s now a few hours after dinner, you’re relaxing at home, and the thought of some dessert sounds like the perfect way to finish off a long day.

And this is how biscuit, chocolate, and ice cream manufacturers get you. They know people crave sugar-filled snacks after dinner, and they know that people are more prone to snacking if they’re seated in front of a TV.

To get around this, set an eating cut-off time at around 8 or 9pm a day. If you can’t get over those hunger pains, some options include a small individual serving of ice cream, a few squares of dark chocolate, or a hot tea.