Who doesn’t? We spend billions of dollars and time on fad diets and weight loss. Yet, are often left bereft.
But, there might be an easier (and free) way to approach weight loss.
Compelling research and experience of many suggest the key to success may beating more fiber throughout the day and eating dinner earlier.
I experienced this personally in college because I had no choice but to eat dinner early at 4 pm a few days a week. Combined with more walking around campus, this eating pattern made me lose weight effortlessly versus gaining the dreaded Freshman 10 or 20 pounds.
Research now shows I was on to something. Little did I know this early eating was a style of Intermittent Fasting (IE), an effective eating pattern to boost weight loss.
The key is to give your body more time to process the food you consume before piling more junk on top of what you already finished. Your body will love you for the extra time to deal with what it has to process to keep you healthy! It helps with sleep too.
Ideally, with IE, you have an 11-12 or 16-hour window where you don’t eat.
That college 4 pm too early? I know that’s tough if you do not have a dining hall, personal chef or meal waiting for you at home (Think slow cooker instead). But with planning could you do 6 pm-6 am? Or 7 pm-8 am?
Plus, IE has a load of AMAZING health benefits. See what the Godfather of Sports Medicine, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, has to say:
Eat dinner much earlier like I did in college (say 4 pm or 6 pm) 3 days a week and stop munching after dinner. Drink water, seltzer or tea and do something to keep you out of the kitchen.
Need a more detailed plan? I consulted my friend Barret Butler, RD, LD, MPH, for her professional advice on IE. She tested a bunch of diets on her friends and clients a few years ago. Out of ALL the diets she tried, the most success and sustained weight loss was with…you guessed it, a high fiber version of IE.
Her 3 step plan:
1. Eat three meals a day and one afternoon snack.
2. Avoid alcohol from Monday-Friday.
3. Two nights a week, finish eating dinner by 5 pm.
Breakfast (protein, healthy fat, fruit or toast) Ex. Egg, avocado, toast, or blueberries.
Lunch (protein, healthy fat, big salad) Ex. Chicken, salmon, or tofu on a salad with oil & vinegar dressing.
Afternoon Snack (a handful of good nuts and kombucha or green tea)
Dinner (protein, steamed, boiled, grilled veggies, or a big salad). Ex. Chicken, Fish, Steak, or Beans, on top of grilled (or oven roasted) peppers, broccoli, squash, asparagus. Yum!
Extra boost: No grains or white treats after 1 pm (so if you want your bread or quinoa…get in one serving at breakfast and lunch…..before 1pm).
Protein should be the size of your palm.
Healthy fats are a teaspoon of avocado, natural peanut butter, 1/4 c pumpkin seeds, 1/4 c walnuts. Blueberries are rockstars for your fruit with all their phytochemicals and fiber. Have a cup a day at breakfast if you have to have a glass of wine after the weekday, ok. Keep it at one glass of robust red wine, and savor it within your window.
Eat dinner Earlier: Finish dinner by 5 or 6 pm 2 or 3 days a week.
Eat more veggies.
Take a walk after dinner or call a friend and move around the house: This will help move food and get your mind off food and boost the chance for the food and nutrients to move through your body. Have a cup of sleepy time tea when you return and relax with a book, juicy mag, Epsom Salt bath, or your favorite show. The day is done. Good job, friend!
Ready to give it a try? Me too.
Try it out for 1 or 2 weeks. Let me know how you do. 🙂