Follow the 4-Hour Rule to Boost Fat Loss

Follow the 4-Hour Rule to Boost Fat Loss

Usually when we think about losing weight, the first thing we think about is the food we eat. We try to change what we’re eating, whether that’s eating less of some things and more of others or just less of everything. But what we eat is not always the most important thing.

Meal timing is a huge influence on losing weight, specifically losing fat mass – what we want to lose.  If you are just starting out in your nutritional changes, the first thing you can do is change when you eat. 

The best balance is to have four meals a day, four hours apart. This gives you 12 hours to get all of your meals in during the day. Each meal will be a full “meal,” not just breakfast, lunch, small snack, and dinner. You want to keep the portions about the same size throughout the day.

When the body digests the right portioned meal, it only takes about 2-2.5 hours to fully digest. This allows for your body to digest the consumed food, and forces it to reach inward and use stored fat calories as energy, hence, this is when you burn fat mass. Being hungry during the last 60-90 minutes before your next meal is a good thing!

Now, the tricky part is you cannot consume any type of food between the four hour wait period. You may have water, black coffee, plain tea, splenda, truvia, stevia, or any type of artificial. However, you cannot have anything of substance, not even a grape!

Say you are packing your children’s lunches, and you pop just one skittle/carrot/Cheez-It/raisin in your mouth. That will disrupt the entire fat burning process! Even though your brain knows you are just going to eat one _______, your body does not know that. The body immediately says, “incoming food!” and quits using the stored body fat as fuel.

Your 4 hour intervals will begin when you start eating your meal, not when you finish it. For example, if you consistently eat breakfast at 7:30 am, then you meals will look like this:

  • Meal #1 at 7:30 am
  • Meal #2 at 11:30 am
  • Meal #3 at 3:30 pm
  • Meal #4 at 7:30 pm

If you are looking for more support to achieve your nutrition goals, check out Pursuit’s Balanced Habits Kickstart Program. Three times per year, thousands of people across the United States and Canada come together to “kick start” their weight loss journey to see what they can accomplish in just 4 weeks. Led by a Balanced Habits Certified Food Coach, this team approach creates tremendous camaraderie, support, accountability and ultimately success! Over 40,000 people have “kick started” their health & weight-loss journey with this Balanced Habits program since 2008!