We're continuing our week of articles about possible cures to binge eating. You can check article #1 about the effects of adequate tea and coffee consumption here. Today, we're talking about time, and how it can help with the tendency of eating more than you feel comfortable with.
Timing your meals refers to the act of setting speficic times to when you're going to eat. You'll set a time for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, evening snack, et cetera - for each meal you consume. If you space your meals in the optimal way according to your individual attributes, you won't feel the need to snack in between the meals. 2 to 4 hour intervals work for most people. Chances are that if you stretch your meals over 4 hours apart from each other, you'll have an increased likelihood to overeat at the meal that follows the 4-hour break.
Here's an example of a day with timed meals. The waking up and going to bed times are picked randomly - you can adjust this to your schedule by adding/subtracting the difference to each time ID.
6 am: wake up.
7 am: breakfast.
10 am: coffee break, possible snack.
12.30 am: lunch.
3 pm: coffee break, possible snack.
6 pm: dinner.
9 pm: tea, possible snack.
10 pm: go to bed.
You can skip the possible snacks if your main meals are heavy enough to carry you through the day. If your meals are light (for example salad, vegetables, or fruit, with little fats and protein), I recommed having something to eat during your coffee breaks as well. This helps you keep your blood sugar at a steady level - which is handy when trying to reduce binge eating, because rapid changes in blood sugar levels often make you want to eat more than you need. So, if you can, divide your day's food intake into 5 to 7 parts and enjoy some of it during your coffee breaks as well.
Recap so far: coffee and tea breaks help reduce the desire to eat when not hungry, and spacing your meals evenly throughout the day helps you keep your blood sugar (and energy levels) steady so you'll never be starving. Tomorrow we'll see how planning your meals ahead could help cure binge eating.