Last week I was talking to an acquaintance. She has been desperately trying to lose weight ever since I can remember her.
She told me that this time she’s quit sweets for good and that she no longer eats after 6 PM. She was visibly happy about it but even more noticeably tired.
I asked her some more details about her lifestyle, and she told me that she never goes to sleep earlier than 2 AM. And then I asked, “And do you think it’s a good idea to put the lock on the fridge at 6 PM?” I could see the light in her eyes.
Half-truth and Half-myth
This “healthy principle” has its roots back in time, when people had different habits. Therefore, it’s half-truth and half-myth.
Our parents’ schedule ended at 10 PM the latest, and most of them were sound asleep by that time. Having this in mind, it was somewhat normal that the last meal was about when the sun was setting.
Their habits were also more self-directed and disciplined. Rarely was there somebody who didn’t have their breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day.
Nowadays, the situation is different – most people stay up late and eat hastily throughout the day.
It’s a vicious cycle: not enough sleep makes you want to eat more and having irregular meals interferes with a good night’s sleep.
Therefore, how can you break this vicious cycle?
- Eat at about the same hours every day. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just keep yourself healthy, try as much as you can to be consistent. Skipping one meal leads to skipping another one, and you end up either overeating or feeling drained of energy.
- Don’t starve yourself. If you don’t eat enough during the day, there is no doubt that you will feel hungry before bed, when your mind is the most relaxed. Keep at hand healthy snacks such as vegetables, nuts or seeds, to make it through the day.
- Don’t eat right before going to sleep. Wonder why? Because your body will have to accomplish two tasks at the same time – resting and digesting. Needless to say, none of them will go well. However, that doesn’t mean that if you’re going to bed at 1 AM you can’t have a snack or a light dinner at 9 PM. Be it a salad with yogurt or cheese/ tofu and two wholegrain crackers, they will be easily processed before resting.
The only restriction I’ve imposed myself after 6 PM is meat. Because it takes the most time to be digested, I avoid consuming it that late in the day.
Otherwise, a small meal four hours before going to bed will prove useful. You will wake up energized, and ready to start the new day!
Satisfy your hunger with healthy foods and changes will start to show.
Do you eat after 6 pm?
Tell me in the comments below.