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The Timing of Eating to Maximize Fat Burning

The Timing of Eating to Maximize Fat Burning

Current research and clinical studies have given us new insights into the roles played by various hormones that control or influence our fat burning metabolism. These hormones include Leptin, Cortisol, Thyroid, Insulin, and Glucagon. Further, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and HGH (human growth hormone) also play a significant role.

Leptin – The Appetite Hormone

Byron Richards, author of How Fit Is Your Fat, states the following: “Fat cells produce the powerful hormone leptin, a primary force instructing metabolism, weight loss, and hormone balance. Leptin communicates directly to your brain, telling the brain how much fat is in storage. It controls appetite, energy, and metabolic rate. Leptin problems are the primary reason for food cravings, overeating, faulty metabolism, the obsession with food, and heart disease.”


Insulin is a fat storage hormone. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Simply, the body does not produce insulin. Type I diabetics do not produce insulin. Type II diabetics generally have insulin resistance. They still produce insulin, it just does not work very well. Type 2 diabetes occurs when cells do not respond correctly to insulin being produced by the body. Insulin Resistance is a major factor in PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).


Glugacon is the fat burning hormone. It does not work well when insulin is released in our body (or floating around due to insulin resistance). Think of insulin and glucagon as being opposites. When you eat, you cannot be burning fat. Further, if you are a “grazer” (meaning you snack a lot and eat frequently throughout the day), you will be suppressing your glucagon.

To ensure that insulin and glucagon are working in harmony and that you maintain a your appetite hormone in a healthy state, you might consider the following “rules” that were set out in the book How Fit Is Your Fat.

According to the author, “The rules listed below reflect a lifestyle, as opposed to a diet, that promotes health and restores balance to the various hormones affecting the body’s hunger and satiety signals and the body’s fat burning and fat storage systems. The five rules are effective in restoring balance to the hormone Leptin. This hormone has a primary influence on body weight and is directly influenced by following the five rules.”

Rule 1: Never eat after dinner. Allow 11 to 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Never go to bed on a full stomach. Finish eating at least 3 hours before bed.
Rule 2: Eat three meals a day. Allow 5 to 6 hours between meals. Do not snack.
Rule 3: Do not eat large meals. If overweight, always try to finish a meal slightly less than full, the full signal will catch up in 10-20 minutes. Eating slowly is important.
Rule 4: Eat a high protein breakfast.
Rule 5: Reduce the amount of carbohydrates eaten.

If you sometimes have to violate Rule #1, due to circumstances like working late, a meeting, taking the children to some activity, make sure you eat a high protein, healthy dinner and do not eat again for 11 to 12 hours – even if you have to eat a late breakfast.

If you have any questions about your eating or weight or hormones, please email your question or questions to

By NBH, Director of Education & Research

NBH Lifetime Health Weight Loss & Hormone Clinics, Medline South


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