How much should I be eating?
Have you ever heard the saying 'Eat Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper'? I hadn't heard it in a long time until recently when I was talking to one of my friends over lunch. I got me thinking, what is it all about and should people do it? The short answer is: it's a good start!
To start with, let's look at your typical day. Breakfast is going to be your first meal of the day (we hope!). Given this, it is the first chance for your body to regain essential vitamins, minerals, energy and glucose lost during sleep. Therefore, breakfast needs to be the biggest meal of the day! Studies have shown that eating small portions for breakfast (or even skipping it entirely!) can lead to slower cognitive function, lower blood sugar levels, slow reaction time and lower productivity. To put it simply, your body and brain is a steam train and without coal (breakfast) your body won't perform as it should. The same is true for lunch, although this is where the phrase comes into play. At lunch, your body is still working to turn the proteins, fats and carbohydrates into sources that can fuel the body. Therefore, less should be consumed to assist this process and to ensure that the body doesn't have excess unused food. However, eating medium sized portions at lunch is still important in order to provide your body with energy to get through the afternoon.
By dinner time, your body is ready for its smallest meal. If you are eating large meals at dinner then your body will try and find ways to store the food as you sleep. Given little energy is being used while you sleep, your body is forced to turn this food into fat instead, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. Evidence has also shown that too much food during the night can cause sleep disturbances.
With all of that said, it's important to note that everyone is different and you should cater your eating habits to your individual lifestyle.