The hustle and bustle of the day can make it difficult to maintain regular eating times. Breakfast is one of the meals that is most often skipped or forgotten. Lunch or dinner is also sometimes missed. In itself it is not a disaster in a society where food is available on every street corner. But nevertheless, maintaining a fixed eating pattern is better for your health.
What is meant by an eating pattern?
An eating pattern is a daily schedule with fixed times for eating. A good diet consists of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. The times will differ per person as not everyone has the same daily schedule. But what matters is that there is regularity and that the meals are consumed in the mentioned parts of the day.
Why is it important and good for your health to eat regularly?
The body becomes accustomed to these fixed times for eating. Without an eating pattern, we quickly fall back on snacks. These snacks are often not healthy and also have a low nutritional value. This ensures that the body sends out an appetite signal again after a short interval. If fixed times are maintained for the three main meals, these signals will emerge to a much lesser extent.
Can I eat snacks in addition to the main meals?
Of course, snacks can be eaten in addition to the three main meals. There are several hours between meals, usually three to four hours. When you are concentrated or physically busy, the feeling of hunger can come before the next meal arrives. Due to the exertion, the body needs more fuel, this is completely normal and a snack can be eaten for this purpose. Nutrition specialists generally recommend limiting the number of snacks per day to a maximum of four.
In addition, it is of course important what is eaten as a snack. There are plenty of snacks available these days, but not all options are equally healthy. We see that many snacks are full of sugars, salt and fats. These unhealthy snacks are often not nutritious. As a result, after a short interval, the body quickly returns with the feeling of hunger. Eating the wrong snacks is therefore an obstacle for many people to achieving their target weight.
Which snacks are recommended?
As mentioned, there are a lot of snacks available these days. There are many that are not healthy and therefore not recommended, but fortunately there are also plenty that are healthy and nutritious. Below are some snacks that are recommended. This is just a short list of the many possibilities.
- Vegetables (candy tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumber, radishes, lettuce)
- Rice waffles/crackers
- Dark Chocolate 70% cocoa
Example of a daily eating pattern
Below is an example of a daily eating pattern. The times can of course be shifted if you get up later.
- 08:00 Breakfast
- 10:30 Snack
- 12:30 Lunch
- 3:00 PM Snack
- 6:00 PM Dinner
- 8:00 PM Snack
If this schedule is maintained, the feeling of hunger will arise less. This is because the time between meals lasts a maximum of 3 hours. The example shows three moments for a snack, so there is still room for one additional snack to reach the maximum recommended number of four snacks. Keep in mind that the feeling of hunger is not directly bad for the body. If this is immediately followed by eating a snack, the body will get used to this. Especially if you want to lose weight, being hungry is not a bad thing, because the body will then use its fat reserves to obtain energy.