How To Eat Round The Clock
Have you ever been so caught up with work throughout the day that you accidentally skipped lunch? We definitely have, and were surprised at how easy it can be to power through the workday without any nutritional fuel. However it definitely left us feeling hangry, exhausted and completely opposed to getting anything else done after work.
When the problem is not time management and meal prepping, usually it’s figuring out what to eat and when, and that can be pretty daunting.
It is said that your best bet is to sync your eating patterns with your circadian rhythm (it’s what constitutes your body’s inner clock that guides you to wake up and sleep), as well as structuring your day so you’re eating smaller and more frequent meals. This will keep your metabolism up and running so you’re constantly burning calories, and will stop you from getting so hungry throughout the day that you binge during any one meal.
It’s also about eating all the right things: a varied intake of carbohydrates, protein and fat. The combination of these 3 elements is outright magical.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to eat your way around the clock, with a few tips and tricks here and there!
Breakfast: 8:00 – 10:30 AM
The best nutrients we can think of to eat for breakfast have got to be fiber and protein. This is the exact reason why overnight oats and chia pudding have skyrocketed to popularity in breakfast foods: their richness in fruit as well as the chia seeds give you all the fiber you need to gentle ease into the workday, and the oats themselves contain tons of protein and complex carbohydrates. Bonus points if you add a dollop of yoghurt in there, because nothing beats an addition of probiotics to amp up your gut microbiome in the morning.
You could also substitute these options for egg on whole-wheat toast, especially if you have a preference for savory foods (I sure do). Keep the yolks in though! The fat in them will keep you full, and honestly eggs don’t taste as good with just the whites. It’s the yolks that give them flavor.
In-between snack: 10:30 – Lunchtime
Whatever you decide to snack on in between meals (which you totally should!), the important thing to remember is to keep it under 200 calories, because once it surpasses that you are now getting into meal territory. This particular snack is optional because it all depends on how big your breakfast was. However, if you had opted for a light one or if you’re having a late lunch, make sure you snag something mid-morning that will pack a punch.
Something like a handful of nuts, a piece of avocado toast, some berries or even a little cheese will do just fine.
Lunch: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
If there was a single time and place in the day for vegetables and complex carbohydrates, it would be lunchtime! They are incredibly high in fiber and will keep you energized and focused enough to get through to dinner. Now is salad’s time to shine.
An example of an ideal lunch would be a big colorful salad that will make you feel like you’re eating the rainbow, with some goat cheese or feta, avocado for good fats, and lean protein like shrimp or chicken. If you are dairy-free you could also blend some nuts into your dressing with olive oil to give it a creamy consistency instead of the cheese, but we recommend you add nuts to your salad anyway! Other examples would be brown rice or whole wheat pasta with plenty of roasted or sautéed veggies (do this instead of steaming them, it gives them so much more flavor) and protein.
In-between: 4:00 PM – Dinnertime
Typically, those who don’t bother to have an afternoon snack will end up feeling ravenous by the time dinner rolls around, so they completely overeat when that time comes or hoover their entire kitchen while making dinner at home, and only then will they actually eat dinner. This is entirely normal, as your body absolutely needs to refuel. And no, coffee is not enough.
An apple or banana with peanut or almond butter is a fantastic snack idea, as well as salted edamame, or even a little omelet in a mug! The latter is perfect for office hours because all you need are eggs and a microwave.
Dinner: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Whether you are eating out, cooking or ordering takeout, ensure you build your dinner around vegetables as well as fatty fish or lean chicken or turkey. Salmon, tuna or trout contain tons of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D enable the production of serotonin in the body, which could enhance your sleep quality. The same goes for chicken and turkey, but instead of omega-3: they contain an amino acid called tryptophan which can also improve sleep thanks to serotonin and melatonin secretion.
Some delicious miso-broiled salmon with brown rice and roasted broccoli or cauliflower will do nicely. Other options include whole-wheat pasta with chickpeas and beans, or even some cheesy chicken enchiladas.