Late dinner – is it bad for us?
There are number of different opinions concerning our dinner and the time we eat it. But what is the truth about it? Is eating after 8 pm really that bad? Here are some answers from dietitians.
There is no one established hour which is perfect for having dinner. The time at which we should eat our last meal during the day depends on our lifestyle. If someone gets up really early in the morning, he or she can eat dinner for example at 5 pm. But people who go to bed late at night, may eat supper even at 10 pm. Most dietitians claim that three hours before bedtime is the best time to eat your dinner.
Another important thing is to remember that we should eat only when we are hungry. External influences, such as eating out with friends, cannot be the reason to eat dinner, when we actually don’t feel hunger. In such situation, our body do not need calories, and they are stored as fat.
The time when we eat isn’t as important as the kind of food we have and the amount of it. Heavy dinners are not good for us, as we simply don’t need a lot of energy at night. What is more, if we decide to eat greasy and high-fat meals in the evening, they will be digested much slower, and also may cause reflux or heartburn. In addition, after that kind of a dinner we can feel tired in the morning. What kind of food should we avoid then? For example, carbohydrates-heavy meals consisting of pasta, bread or fried food.
If we eat our dinner early in the evening, we may sometimes feel hungry later in the night. It is not a bad thing, and we can have some snack, but we should remember that it have to be of good quality and small. Snack after dinner need to be protein-based, like whole grain crackers, greek yoghurt, a little bit of almonds, string cheese or almond butter with an apple. What’s more even after a snack, we shouldn’t go to bed for at least one hour.
Eating schedule is not as important as regularity, so we should do everything we can to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at appropriate times. Of course, everybody has such days, when we only have dinner in the morning and do not eat anything until late afternoon. But we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen too often, as our body may lose the hunger and fullness signals that way.