Studies have shown that eating a light dinner can have positive effects on your health. The results can almost be seen instantly. For starters, you will not go to sleep bloated and your body will struggle less to digest. Eating a lighter dinner is not only for those trying to lose weight, it really is for everyone! Here are some of our top tips to get you started on eating light dinners and the benefits of doing so…
You are probably wondering when is the right time to eat? The ideal time to eat dinner is between 5 to 6pm. Preferably, four to five hours after eating lunch and the reason for this is because you will eat in the period where your body reaches its heightened metabolic rate before it starts to slow. Following this rule the ideal lunch time would be between 12:30 to 1pm. The longer the period between your dinner and bedtime, the more your body will thank you for this. This increases the duration of your overnight fast and hence can aid weight loss.
The Key is Balance
If you are worried about being hungry, eating light doesn’t mean starving yourself. It is all about balance. Eating a heavier lunch and picking out healthy snacks throughout the day can help you to maintain a stable blood sugar level. This will help to avoid those lapses in energy you feel a few hours after eating and ensure that you can feel full whilst eating a light dinner.
What to include in a Light Dinner?
Sticking to complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread and whole-grain pasta, are packed with fibre which slow the digestion process and can keep you fuller for a longer. The result of that is you end up eating less. Other great foods to eat at dinner time include oily fish (eg. salmon), nuts, and dairy.
Benefits Of Eating A Light Dinner
- Weight Loss – studies have shown that eating between 6 and 7pm can reduce calorie intake drastically. A longer overnight fast means the body has time to reach a state of ketosis where it is completely fuelled by fat. Ketosis increases fat loss in the body as it uses stored fat for energy.
- A Good Night’s Sleep – eating a heavy meal before sleeping can increase the chance of indigestion making it harder to fall asleep and harder to wake up as well. Eating late at night, the muscles used to digest food have to keep working when they should be resting which prevents you from getting a good sleep.
- Heart Health - eating heavy meals for dinner that are rich in sodium (and other meals higher in sodium) can increase the risk of hypertension. People who tend to eat late dinners suffer from ‘non-dipper hypertension’ where your blood pressure does not fall over night. Continual elevated blood pressure increases the risk of hypertension which can then lead to heart disease.
By Pooja Depala