Time-Delayed Eating: A Trick for Health and Weight Loss

By Dr Ernst
July 24, 2017

It’s not intermittent fasting – but I’ll give you credit if that is what you were thinking.

Time Delayed Eating (TDE) refers to you preparing (or ordering) your food a long time before you plan to consume it. Three independent studies confirm that the longer you wait between when you think about a meal and eating it, the better your health (and waistline!).

One study of 394 employee participants were asked to place lunch orders immediately at 12 noon, again at 11:30 and again at 11:00 am. The study found consistently lower calories and trans-fats with each 30-minute delay.

Another study offered 200 college students free lunch in exchange for completing a survey before class and lunch and then on the other hand, offered them free lunch in exchange for completing a survey after class and lunch. Students who completed the survey before had healthier lunch choices, choosing water and fruit over fried foods and soda when compared to the later group.

Conclusion: The longer you wait between your decision to eat and actually eating, the healthier your food choices will be!

Pizza, Fries, Cookies and Coke? Yes, if you’re making an instant decision.

Salad, grilled chicken, veggie sticks and water? Yes, if you decide in advance!

The studies showed that it’s a subconscious decision based on time between thinking of food and actually eating it!

How To Engage Time Delayed Eating At Home

Plan your meals in advance. How many meals in advance do you think about? The average American plans only for their next immediate meal. We think about breakfast when we wake, lunch as the clock strikes noon and dinner is usually an afterthought only when we get home and open the refrigerator or cabinets thinking. “What on Earth am I going to make for dinner tonight!?”

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

-Benjamin Franklin

Mr. Franklin hit the nail on the head with this quote well before the conveniences we have today with food. Let his words guide your meal planning.

Meal planning is your newest weapon against disease & weight! Not only does meal planning help you save time and money, it’s an easy way to ensure you engage in TDE and know exactly what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch & dinner each day of the week!

Speaking from personal experience, my wife and I plan our weekly meals each Friday, immediately after we have dinner that night (so our stomachs are full and we can make TDE decisions).

We visit three recipe sites:

1. AskDrErnst.com/Recipes

2. www.Ruled.Me

3. ElanasPantry.com

This allows us to chose 7 dinner options, which we double prepare to allow left overs for lunch the next day. My family personally intermittent fasts each day, so by choosing 7 dinners with leftovers for lunch it covers our entire week of meals.

From there, we make a list of ingredients needed for each meal, which creates our shopping list for the week. Once the list is created, we visit our pantry & refrigerator, crossing off any item we already have. This one technique has helped us to save hundreds of dollars each month in unnecessary food purchases and decreased food waste.

Why do this Friday and not Saturday or Sunday? Simply put, most farmers markets are open early in the morning on Saturday, which allows us to buy local, organic and fresh foods each week at discounted prices compared to major chain shopping marts. If the necessary item is not available at the farmer’s market but a substitute is available, we usually ust opt for that instead of hunting down a specific ingredient.

You can take this strategy further to plan snacks and deserts! There is a plethora of grain free, dairy free, sugar low or free options available to those who plan ahead and don’t mind making foods themselves. And don’t forget about the snacks category on askdrernst.com/recipes.

Some of the most dangerous strategies for food consumption are shopping when you are hungry, making your food choices at the time of eating and not preparing in advance for meals and snacks. Following the simple advice above will significantly reduce your monthly grocery bill, decrease anxiety over what to each for various meals, decrease food waste and prevent the common phrase “what’s in here that I/we can eat now?”


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