According to a recent study published in Public Health Nutrition having a set meal routine is one of the strongest factors associated with healthy diets.
What that means is you may know what to eat and you may even be eating the correct foods. If you are eating them at the wrong times though it may be derailing your overall health goals.
We tend to focus at times too much on the types of foods we eat such as no gluten, or fat is bad, eat only quinoa or kale. We are quick to jump on fads and hot trends circulating in the media.
Now not all those hot trends are bad for us, but what it is doing is distracting us from the master plan. It is one thing to eat healthy foods, but if we eat too much of them or eat them at the wrong times they won’t do us any good.
How and where you eat is an important factor to your overall meal plan quality.
This study looked at the dietary habits of 1013 college and university students. What they found was that those who took the time to prepare meals at home and ate at regular times were more likely to have a healthy dietary pattern.
Those who ate on the run or bought food out even if it was healthier food were less likely to have healthy diets.
Another interesting finding was that for those who ate regular breakfast and evening meals consumed less fast food, ate more vegetables and drank fewer sugary drinks than the participants who ate on the run or skipped meals.
So how do you form these consistent habits of timed eating?
It is actually pretty simple. Here are 3 steps to eating consistently each and every day.
1. Plan out your day the night before
You may not be able to plan out exactly the foods you will eat. If you can great. If not that is ok. At least get it in your schedule in regards to when you will be eating. Particularly breakfast and dinner. These are just like meetings or appointments at work. Build them into your schedule.
2. Create a specific “on the run” plan
If you know you are going to have to eat on the go then plan out where you are going to eat and what you are going to eat when you are there. If it is eating at a restaurant or just eating out figure out where you are going to be at the time you will be eating. Research a little and find what healthy places are near there and what they have on their menus. Go in with an exact plan. This will keep you from deviating from the plan.
3. Eat slower
Here is a short video on why eating slower will not only help you eat consistently and cut down on the binges, but it will help you eat less calories and lose weight.
What other methods have you found to be effective in keeping your meal times consistent? What have you tried that just didn’t work for you?
Leave your comments below. I would love to see where your struggles are and be able to come up with some solutions in those situations to help you.
Do you need help with your meal planning? Would you like to hire a Registered Dietitian for a few pennies per day? You can have access to everything you see on those books as well as private access and consultation with a Registered Dietitian.