Do Time-Based Diets Really Work? Experts Weigh In

What you eat is important for your fitness journey and so is WHEN you eat! Ayurvedacharya Dr Partap Chauhan shares how you can maximise your weight loss with an easy eating time table.

You may have often heard that getting in the best shape of your life is all about 70 per cent diet and 30 per cent workout. What you eat and drink does play an integral role in your weight loss journey. The key is to maximise nutrient-rich, healthy food while cutting down on empty calories and junk food. However, it turns out that your meal timings play an equally important role in your fitness

Do Time-Based Diets Really Work? Experts Weigh In

What does Ayurveda say about meal time...

According to Ayurveda, there are three kinds of rhythms to the day, corresponding to the three bodily natures or the doshas - vata, pitta, and kapha. During certain times of the day, the rhythm of our bodies and the natural environment is conducive to certain kind of activities and foods. Learning how to eat according to these patterns can help you keep up with your diet and even include a few cheat meals!

"For instance, morning 6 am to 10 am, the Kapha time is the best to start your day with activities such as yoga, meditation, self-massage to the body, and a light breakfast. In the period between 10 am and 2 pm, there is a natural increase in the Pitta dosha in the body. This is the ideal time for a heavy meal when the digestive power is at its highest. So, if someone wants to have sweets while keeping a count on the weight, this is the best time to have them. Dinner should ideally be eaten by sunset and should be light. If that is not possible, eating at a time that allows you at least two hours for digestion before going to bed would be ideal," says Ayurvedacharya Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda.

Eat with the sun

Your daily routine should vary according to the time of day and the seasons. Being out of sync with these natural rhythms can aggravate certain doshas, create an imbalance in the Agni (digestive fire) and Agni of fat-carrying tissues. Following a healthy, regular diet routine will help balance the doshas and provide adequate nutrition to your body cells, which is necessary for a healthy metabolism, and body functioning.

Dr Chauhan says, "Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the energetic forces or the doshas that govern the tides of our life, and understanding these forces can tune us into the natural rhythms of nature to make informed choices to help steer their life in a healthy manner." He suggests the following timeline:

10 am to about 2 pm:

"During this time the sun is at its zenith and is guided by the Pitta dosha. This daylight Pitta time is energizing and thus perfectly suited for working and having the largest meal of the day, as the digestive ability is strongest at that time."

6 pm to about 10 pm:

"Another example is evening Kapha time. During this time, one should avoid eating heavy foods and try having an early dinner. Otherwise, the food may remain undigested or partially digested, which may create ama (toxins) in the body and may give rise to digestive issues and other health problems."

How to set your body clock?

How to set your body clock? Want to set your time table according to the sun? Well, you may have regulate your sleep schedule. "I have observed a common problem among people these days i.e. 90% of the people don’t sleep well! They have sleep issues or do not get enough sleep. This is mainly because of our habit of using phones until bedtime. Try not to agitate your mind by spending excess time on the net or watching TV before bedtime. Have a light, early dinner. The second most common problem is having digestive issues. Eliminating waste from the body is as important as providing proper nourishment to the body. Drinking a glass or two of lukewarm water helps clear bowel movement," advices Dr Chauhan.

He adds, "To maintain a healthy mind and body, it is also important to be in harmony with nature. If you work a job of pre-set hours, it may be challenging to follow exactly the Ayurvedic recommendations activity. However, simply adjusting yourself to a few healthy daily routine things may improve your health status significantly. The simplest way to lead a healthy life is to follow this routine that involves waking up two hours before sunrise, eating at the right time, sleeping on time, performing light exercises, and practising yoga daily."