Clearly, no cut-and-dried formula exists for healthful eating that applies to everyone, but paying attention to both the time of day that you eat and what you eat are important. This week’s be BETTER goal is to eat your dinner earlier than normal and avoid mindless snacking. Pick a time. Commit to not eating past that time in the evening. Many people believe that time should be three hours before you go to bed (livescience.com). Here are some reasons this might be a good idea:
- It allows your body to digest your food before you go to bed. “Going to sleep on a full stomach may make sleeping uncomfortable, as the body is simultaneously shutting down to rest while still exerting energy to digest the food.”(Sparkpeople.com)
- What you don’t burn off is more likely to be stored as fat, because you are less active toward the end of the day (Time.com)
- It helps you practice mindful eating. If you commit to not having late-night mindless snacks, you become more aware of the unhealthful snack you might habitually consume.
Here are some helpful tips from Livescience.com to help you manage your nighttime eating:
- “Brush your teeth! As soon as you finish dinner, go and brush your pearly whites. The taste of peppermint doesn't go well with leftover mac 'n' cheese
- “Take a break before you start kitchen cleanup. Go outside, water a plant or walk your dog. Studies show that it takes about 20 minutes for your body – and, more important, your brain – to feel full. When you take a short break, it gives your body a chance to feel satisfied, so you'll eat fewer leftovers during kitchen cleanup.
- “Have a substantial afternoon snack. If you know that a late dinner is in the cards, have a snack in the late afternoon that includes some protein, carbs and veggies. It will help take the edge off your appetite. You'll eat less at dinner, which will greatly help your weight-loss efforts.”
Good luck, be BETTER. We know this is a hard one because those huge dinners and late- night snacks are yummy. But for this week, try really hard to set a time to quit eating, and stick to it.