Eat like clockwork

On-time, every time

The following tips are a guide to manage your eating schedule. While most of us should aim to eat 3 meals a day, certain body types and situations mean some people fare better on one or two meals a day. Current thinking on restricted eating is that it can positively impact on health by reducing the potential for disease to arise.

Eat breakfast by 9am  

For those of us living at a fast pace, eating within an hour of waking is more critical than the actual time you eat as it can affect your neuro-endocrine balance. For the majority of us this means eating before we start work, approximately around 8am. 

If you follow the proponents of the overnight fasting for at least 16 hours and fitting all meals within an 8-hour window, then the last meal of the day should be eaten by 4pm. However, for a wide range of reasons not everyone can entertain that length of fasting so starting with 12 or 14 hours between meals may be a better bet. 

Eat lunch at 12-1pm 

For most people, eating every 4-5 hours is optimum to maintain a good blood sugar level, energy production and mental focus. Your ‘digestive fire’ is strongest at noon which means that’s when your digestion is at its peak efficiency. Your lunch needs to be substantial enough to keep your energy stable until dinner but light enough to stop you from falling asleep by mid-afternoon.

Eat dinner by 7pm 

Many of us can end up eating our last meal late in the day, not giving our gut enough to properly digest it all before we go to sleep.

If, for example, you ate breakfast at 8am, lunch around 12pm, then having your evening meal at 4pm is actually the best idea! That’s unlikely to be practical for the most us so if your work schedule doesn’t allow that, eat as soon as you get back from work and definitely for at least 2 hours prior to bedtime to avoid indigestion.

We’re becoming more familiar with the idea of fasting and it’s benefits for body and brain repair when our body doesn’t have to focus on digestion. Therefore, the longer the break between our last meal of the day and our next breakfast, the better. 

A quick word on snacking

It is not a good idea to snack between meals, despite the many confusing messages from a variety of sources (unless it is medically required for you to do so, e.g. when you are experiencing untreated blood sugar imbalances). The body needs time to rest from working on breaking the food down, as this allows it to burn fat, give it time to regenerate, slows down ageing, accelerates renewal and thus protects us from many diseases of our times. 

This self-care health hack is from Superfied expert nutritional therapist Beata Rachowiecka

Meal frequency and timing in health and disease

To find out more, read our ‘Rethink your wellbeing’ guide