ORLANDO. Fla – When you think of jet lag, you think of traveling. Whether it is from Los Angeles to Miami or from New York to Paris, that time change can throw off your inner body clock causing poor sleep, daytime fatigue and problems with your stomach. But traveling is not the only way to cause it.
Breakfast at seven … lunch at noon … dinner at six … it’s easy to keep to the schedule during the week…but then comes the weekend!
A study in Cell Magazine found that changing your eating schedule on the weekends can cause your body clock to get out of whack and cause metabolic jet lag.
Another study by Cell Press found that most adults eat for fifteen hours a day. But on the weekends, people wake up later, start eating later and they eat for longer periods of time, literally throwing their body into jet lag.
The jet lag comes with some serious health consequences like diabetes, obesity and high blood sugar. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up brunch. The same study found that instead of eating 15 hours a day if you only eat for 10 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. This can reduce your calorie consumption by 21% and keep your body clock in synch on the weekends.
If those late-night cravings do show up try to eat apple slices with your favorite nut butter, carrot and celery sticks with hummus or plain air-popped popcorn. These snacks are low in calories and high in nutrition.
Knowing what kind of eater you are can also help prevent metabolic jet lag.
Did you skip meals today? Too busy to stop for lunch? It happens, but now you are hangry and ready to storm your pantry for the quickest, most filling meal.
There is brain fog blocking your view in this storm of hunger. It’s not easy to choose a healthy meal when you’re ravenous.
The best course of action for you is to recognize you're a storm eater and plan ahead. Meal plan and have healthy snacks ready to grab.
A routine eater will eat in the morning because it is time for breakfast, eat at noon because it is lunchtime and make sure to eat something in the evening for dinner.
This can be good because you like to plan your meals. This can also be bad if you feel like you have to eat at mealtime even when you are not hungry. The trick is to keep this healthy pattern of eating but listen to your body’s hunger cues. That doesn’t mean waiting until you’re ravenous but it does mean you should avoid eating just because the time of day says you should.
Do you go to brunch when you’re not hungry or down a cocktail just because someone handed it to you? You go with the flow, but you are letting friends dictate how you consume calories.
For social eaters, the weekend is not your friend, but it can be. Everything can fit into a healthy diet if eaten in moderation. That means you don’t have to be antisocial to keep your diet in check, but you should remember moderation which is easiest to stick to when you’re not overly hungry.
One simple change can be eating breakfast. Breakfast is easy to skip on weekends but will set you up for failure by making you overly hungry when you meet friends for lunch or dinner. You’re more likely to eat double the calories when you’re looking to fill up on calorie-dense foods like a hamburger or nachos.
Do you have plans to eat out or head to a happy hour so you’re saving your calories to binge them all at once? Bad idea.
Your body can only absorb so many calories in one sitting (this varies based on gender, height and activity level). Consuming too many calories at once leads to weight gain.