For the longest time, there has been a lot of confusion on what should be the ideal time to have most of your food or the heavy meals. Some say you must eat your breakfast like a king, since that is the time your body needs fuelling and a satiating breakfast will give you that energy to kick-start your day. Some experts believe that you should split your meals into smaller meals and keep eating them in regular intervals. But most experts agree that you should keep your dinner light. As the day progresses, your metabolism tend to take a dip, it becomes increasingly tough to digest what you eat; therefore, it is a wise idea to reduce portion size during the evening. Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu discipline of healthy and natural living, also recommends eating light later in the day and have most of your calorie-intake during your lunch. In other words, your lunch should ideally be the biggest meal of your day. Here's why.
Most of Ayurveda's eating principles revolve around digestion. Digestion is so intimately tied with so many aspects of your overall health. Unhealthy digestion is said to cause weight gain, constipation, bloating, acidity etc. Ayurveda says that the digestive agni is maximum during lunch time. Your body is wired according to the movement of sun and your digestive agni is naturally high when the sun is the strongest. Therefore, as the sun goes down, you should also gradually reduce your heavy food intake.
According to Ayurvedic expert Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi, "your body has its own body clock, disrupting which can cause imbalance in doshas or the energetic forces of nature. In Ayurveda, a healthy state is defined as the state when all your doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha are balanced. Vata, pitta and kapha increase and decrease in different time intervals of the day. For healthy digestion, pitta is said to play a crucial role. During typical lunch hours, say from 10 am to 2 pm, your pitta rises. Since your pitta is naturally at an enhanced state, whatever you eat is digested easily. Pitta is present through other parts of the day too, but during these hours it is at its peak, so it is recommended that you eat most of your heavy, greasy or sugary food around this time. So, that it is digested well."
Dr. Tyagi added, "It needs to be understood that these guidelines are meant for a person who is in his natural healthy state. If there is some prevailing disease or you are on some medications. It is not recommended that you eat heavy at all, be it at any time of the day. If a diabetic, eating desserts in lunch could also potentially cause blood sugar fluctuations."
(Also Read: Know Your Prakriti: Are You Vata, Pitta or Kapha?)
Consuming heavy meals later in the day not only hampers digestion, but it also comes in the way of your sleep and also result in toxin overload, due to which you wake up tired the next day. There are plenty of ways you can make your dinner interesting while keeping it light. Opt for soups, filling salads, grilled or boiled foods.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.