Lindy wrote to me and asked what are the optimal times of the day to eat and the intervals between eating. Now, I could press the “nutrition guru, read my bestseller” button and make stuff up to sound knowledgeable. Or I could tell the truth. Let’s see how you go with the latter.
The best time to eat is when you are hungry. Yes, a crazy concept, and it won’t catch on, but it seems to make physiological sense. Then stop eating when you are no longer hungry. Whether that is a snack or a meal.
This is radically different to the “Ooh, looks nice, must try some”, “Hey, 1 o’clock, burger time”, “Man, I’m chockers, couldn’t fit in another morsel” way of dining while we live in a society with abundant food available 25/8.
I am being serious. Your body knows the best time to eat and drink. Nature comes with a clever operating system, complete with two inbuilt programs called hunger and thirst. Standard in all primates. Quite brilliant really.
Yes, it is more complicated than that. There are people who don’t experience fullness and always feel hunger. There are environmental cues that stimulate us to eat, whether we are hungry or not. The sight of Chocolate Bavarian seems to be able to over-ride all appetite cues. However, if you feel you have control of your eating most of the time, then eat when you experience hunger and stop when the feeling goes away. This is likely to be before you are full. We don’t have to complicate the message any further.