When are the Best Times to Eat

When are the Best Times to Eat

You NEED to eat!  No matter your goal or dieting preference you need to eat to lose weight and gain muscle. In order to maximize weight loss, you need to eat to help keep your metabolism elevated, and to build muscle you need to give your body enough food to build muscle.


But how and when should you eat to help signal your body to burn fat and not muscle when losing weight, and to build muscle and not just build up fat while you are in a calorie surplus?


Let’s start with breakfast!  

Yes it is important and you should never skip it, even with intermittent fasting your timing should incorporate a breakfast or meal 1 at the start of your eating window.

With traditional breakfast the most ideal time is 7-8am.  This is because of our bodies normal circadian rhythm and how it affects hormones such as cortisol which is highest in the morning.  

Depending on your schedule though your rhythm can be slightly different, so overall eat breakfast no later than 10am, and eat within 30 minutes of waking up to help turn on your body's metabolic processes.

Now if you wake up and like to do fasted cardio because you find that beneficial, eat right after your cardio!  You don’t want to get into a catabolic state where your body is potentially using your own muscle as energy, aka burning muscle! 


Breakfast Summary

Ideal Time 7-8am

Don’t have it Later than 10am

Must Remember: Eat within 30 mins of Waking Up


Next up Lunch!

Every 4 ish… hours you need to eat.  Why?  Well the most important reason is that you need protein.  Protein to make sure you preserve muscle while on a weight loss program, because muscle helps boost your metabolism, and eating protein also helps boost your metabolism. If you are trying to build muscle you need to consistently give your body protein to recover.  Our body has stores of carbs and fats but the only place it can find protein is muscle, both skeletal and organs. Ideally you want to eat lunch between 12:30-2pm but no later than 4pm.  Just depending on when you have breakfast and when you plan to have dinner..


Lunch Summary

Ideal Time: 12:30-2pm

Don’t have it later than 4pm

Must Remember: An ideal time gap between breakfast and lunch is 4 hours


Last up Dinner!

Dinner should ideally be eaten between 6-9pm.  No later than 10pm, if you happen to need to wait about 4 hours after a late 4pm lunch.  Now the never ending question should you eat before bed.  For most individuals dinner should be eaten at least 3 hours before bed.  This is to allow you to have some time to digest the food and be able to relax and go to bed.  You want to try to go to bed satisfied so if you are hungry you can have a snack, but you do not want to be so full that you are tossing and turning in bed. 


Dinner Summary

Ideal Time: 6-9pm

Don’t have it later than 10pm

Must Remember: The meal should be at least 3hrs before you go to sleep


Overall you want to try to be as consistent as you can with your meal times.  This is because our hunger hormones do tend to get on a schedule.  So if you always eat lunch at 2pm, but if you happen to eat earlier at 12pm one day, most likely you will feel hungry at 2pm because your body is use to an influx of insulin at that time and the hunger hormone ghrelin has gotten on a schedule of that time.


If you have any questions about diet, meal timing or even supplement that can help you cut cravings and endless appetite, email diet@shredz.com

by Alyssa Reyes

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