“I am not losing any weight in spite of following so many things, one of my client cribbed.
“What did you eat for dinner yesterday?” I asked. His reply was, “2 Rotis + 1 bowl of Rice, Dal, Subzi, salad (as you have told) 1 bowl & 2 small gulab jamun,” and was defending his balanced meal.
“Your answer lies here….. Heavy dinner can be a reason for not losing weight,” I said. “I shall explain to you how,” I added.
Yes! Heavy dinner can be the culprit for not losing weight. Reiterating the proverb that you would have heard an umpteen times “Breakfast should be like a Prince, Lunch like King & Dinner like a Pauper”. There is definitely some truth in it.
Our body works on simple principle of demand and supply. Whenever we are more active we need more energy. Whereas when we aren’t much active we require less energy. From the time day our starts in the morning till night gradually our activity levels lowers (unless you work in night shifts). We really don’t require so much energy when we’re going to relax post dinner and ultimately sleep.
Having a lighter dinner aids digestion and helps you better utilise the nutrients. It is advisable to have a 2 hour gap before hitting the sack. This is one way to avoid that unnecessary fat and weight gain!
In order to be able to do this, you need to have a plan! If you’re not in a habit of having frequent meals, don’t have an evening meal, you’ll tend to eat more at dinner time. Also understand the psychological effect when you haven’t eaten anything post lunch except that cup of tea! You’ll land up on a feast because your brain is telling you that you are hungry.
Many scientific studies show that benefits of having lighter dinner
- Aids in good digestion and induces good sleep.
- You will be able to get up fresh the next morning
- Helps in faster gut clearing
- Helps reducing fat & weight
- Reduces risk of lifestyle diseases like type II Diabetes, Hypertension, High cholesterol etc.
- Helps in reducing PCOD & Hypothyroidism
- Improves metabolism
Ideal time for dinner is near sunset 6.30- 7 pm. If you can’t manage it, then simply split your dinner between 2 -3 small meals. Have evening meal between 5-7 pm. Ideally, at the time you feel hungry post Lunch. Have Roti/ Rice/ Bhakri/ Whole wheat bread etc. which is carbohydrate based for the first meal. Keep lighter part for the next one. That is 8-10 pm. Try to keep dinner low carb more in proteins & fibers. As this will prevent excess calories, give you proteins for muscle building throughout the night, fibers will help in gut clearing.
Options: Protein & fiber based.
Proteins: Eggs/Chicken/ Paneer/ Dal/ Sprouts/ Usal/Curds/ Yogurts/ Soya/ Tofu mixed with
Fibres: soups salads, stir fried veggies, raita, raw veggies etc.
It can be as simple as curd rice, Khichdi- Kadhi etc. But, watch the carbohydrate quantity. Avoid having fruits at this time as they contain fructose which is a simple sugar. If you feel hungry again at night have a glass of milk with turmeric powder or a bowl of soup/ salads or few nuts.
Most also worry that they cannot have dinner at the said time that one should actually have it. I would say, “Your health is more important to you. Don’t compromise on it. You can eat at your respective timings. But, make sure you eat right.”
Disclaimer: This is written keeping in mind patients of weight loss & fat loss. This may not be appropriate for growing children, teenagers, underweight people, people with medical conditions.