With our intense work schedules followed by practice schedules and appointments, the average family spends less time eating nutritious meals as a family before 7:00 at night than ever before. With the benefits of eating dinner early, you need to make the time to bring this tradition back into your life. Studies have shown that the overall health level of a family who eats dinner before it gets dark outside, have lower obesity levels and health related medical problems related to weight than those who eat dinner after dark.
The key to healthy weight loss is through diet and exercise. This is primarily due to the fact that weight loss is a direct result of burning more calories than you consume in addition to your body’s ability to metabolize calories consumed and used as energy instead of being stored as fat. Some of the reasons late night eating has been linked to weight gain include decreased sleeping metabolism, loss of sleep, and eating related issues such as heartburn and having to use the restroom throughout the night.
Eating late at night up to and including right before you get into bed, or even while you are in bed can increase weight gain. People who eat early, or before 6:00pm, gain less weight from their meal. For those who eat dinner around or before 6:00pm aren’t as likely to sit down on the couch for the remaining time they have before they retire for the night. More than likely, those people are going to walk around, do chores and maybe even engage in a physical activity or family sport outside before it gets dark. This allows their body to use the food that was most recently taken in from the dinner table as energy fuel. People who eat after dark, or more likely burned out from the day’s activities and may feel drained. After using all of the stored energy from lunch, a full stomach may encourage you to hit the couch or go to bed sooner, never giving your body the opportunity to use the calories consumed from dinner, instead they are stored as fat because as you sleep, your metabolism decreases drastically. Read More at weight-loss-center.net
Eating dinner late can also alter your sleep pattern, which too been researched and studies have found that a lack of sleep can also result in weight gain. A full stomach can cause discomfort and in some cases heartburn that can keep you from getting a full night’s rest. After eating fatty pr acidic foods, laying down permits them from raising out of your stomach and into your esophagus causing pain and discomfort than keep you tossing and turning for hours. Furthermore, digestion and having to use the restroom can interfere with your sleep cycle as well. A lack of sleep will lead to a decrease in your energy for the following day, putting you now 2 days behind in your weight loss attempts. This habit can cause a snowball effect or a continuous cycle making weight loss frustrating and weight gain inevitable.
If it is absolutely impossible for you to eat dinner more than three hours before you go to sleep there are a number of measures you can take to ensure you are not setting yourself up for failure when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. One of the important things to remember is to NEVER go to bed hungry, choose a healthy alternative. The first thing you can do is decrease the length of the interval between meals. Instead of having three large meals, have four to five smaller meals throughout the day with healthy snacks when you feel hungry. Additionally, eat healthy foods after dark that include fruits, vegetables or whole grains. Avoid fatty foods, spicy foods and foods high in sugar content as they will make it more difficult to fall asleep. Also avoid fluids late at night; this will prevent your sleep cycle from being interrupted by having to make a dash to the bathroom.