Lunch (Main Meal)
Lunch provides the energy needed to sustain us throughout the afternoon without pulling on the body’s reserves. Lunch helps keep our blood sugar level (the body’s fuel system which draws on glucose) stable.
If we skip lunch, our blood sugar level drops and we become irritable, sluggish and lose concentration. Our brain and organs rely on glucose, which is broken down from carbohydrates to provide energy. If we don’t eat lunch, our body starts to scream out for glucose and our blood sugar levels drop. If we stop eating for over seven hours, the body starts to self-cannibalise. This means the body will dip into its own reserves and burn up the body’s own fat. If you skip meals in an attempt to lose weight you may find it has the opposite effect. Metabolism slows down because the body thinks it is being starved, says Maria. Rather than losing weight, the metabolic rate will become so slow, the body will stop burning fuel.
The middle of the day is when the body is best able to digest a large amount of food. Traditionally, the biggest meal was eaten in the middle of the day when the sun was the highest and the digestion the strongest. Eating big at lunch will curb afternoon sugar cravings and reduce the risk of overeating at dinner. Eat lunch between around 11 and 2 pm.
Leptin generally peaks in the late evening and it’s at its lower point when you wake up in the morning. So normally, your appetite is going to be the lowest before bed, because, as a review, leptin is secreted by fat cells. The signal when you’ve got high levels of leptin is ‘turn off the appetite; we’ve got plenty.’ So when you’ve eaten a big meal, leptin levels rise and it signals the hypothalamus that we don’t need any more appetite, turn off the appetite. It signals the pancreas: ‘We don’t need any more insulin; we’re fine.’
Leptin has a 24-hour rhythm, and it’s high in the evening because we want to turn off the appetite. Remember the importance of not eating before bed. If we eat right before bed, we get spikes of insulin and that turns off growth hormone. And that allows our body to spend a whole lot of time digesting food instead of doing the metabolic clean-up.
This rhythm is one of the reasons we recommend you eat dinner no later than 6:00 pm to match your leptin baseline. As the evening progresses, leptin goes up till it peaks at around midnight. So as the leptin levels are rising in the evening, your appetite is falling, which makes sense, especially if you eat at 6:00 pm. You should be pretty full for at least an hour or two because the leptin levels are high and your appetite’s being turned off. As a result of the leptin levels being high and the release of growth hormone, you’re going to have maximum fat-burning. It appears that fat-burning starts at around midnight. At about 8:00 am the leptin level comes down, you start to lose the fat-burning and you start to get hungry as the body’s cycle naturally prepares you for breakfast.
General Timing and Meal Spacing Rules
The rules are, eat three meals a day, do not eat overly large meals, eat a high protein breakfast and reduce the amount of carbs you eat. Don’t eat after dinner; you should have at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast (fasting period).
Use the 15-day Eat to Live Plan and swap some of the ideas we have given you with these delicious recipes. They can be eaten on their own, or you can add a raw soup or a salad to go with it, for a variety of nutrients from both cooked and raw foods.
For information on how to take advantage of the medicinal value of these delicious ingredients, by incorporating them into your daily diet – follow the link to our “Food As Medicine” page or you can read more on the specific Therapeutic Foods, Supplements and Herbs that DBM use frequently in their health programs, on this link.
|We’ve sacrificed cooking for convenience and lost the sacredness of sharing a lovingly prepared meal” – Unknown