As the old adage goes, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" - and there is some truth to it, backed by science. Since our body is most active during the morning hours, a heavy breakfast can be digested quickly. However, it is crucial to follow it up with a light lunch and an even lighter dinner. Unfortunately, many of us follow this routine in the completely opposite direction. We tend to skip breakfast and overindulge at night due to our hectic routines, unhealthy eating habits, or social events. Unsurprisingly, this leads to excessive calorie intake and unwanted weight gain.
What Time Should You Stop Eating At Night To Lose Weight?
To promote weight loss, try to finish eating two to three hours before bedtime, recommends consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta. This allows your body time to digest food and prevents calories from being stored as fat during sleep. Eating late disrupts your circadian rhythm and can lead to weight gain. By creating a longer fasting period overnight, known as intermittent fasting, your body can tap into fat stores for energy, explains Datta. Additionally, this habit improves sleep quality, supporting weight loss efforts.
If you find yourself overeating at night, there are some simple tips to help you avoid it, regardless of where you are or what you are eating:
Here're 5 Smart Ways To Avoid Overeating At Night:
1. Don't skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast can make you feel famished throughout the day, and tired by the end of it, leading to overeating during dinnertime. Having a nutritious breakfast can keep you energised during the entire day and help you eat normally at night.
2. Eat frequent meals
Eating smaller meals at regular intervals throughout the day can help you feel fuller, making it easier to eat less at night. Plus eating small meals is good for your waistline too. A great trick is to pick a smaller plate which makes your small portion look like a full meal.
3. Drink lots of water
Drinking water throughout the day will keep you full and hydrated. Having a glass or two of water sometime before your last meal of the day can help you feel satiated and prevent overeating. Avoid drinking water during your meal as it may interfere with digestion.
4. Include protein in breakfast and lunch:
Protein has the incredible ability to induce satiety. Eating protein-rich foods throughout the day can help you feel fuller, give your body lots of energy to ward off fatigue and curb your hunger at night.
5. Eat slowly:
Eating slowly and chewing your food properly can give your brain time to signal when you are full, preventing overeating. When we eat fast, we go beyond our capacity before we realise that our stomach is full.
It is important to remember that our digestion system is weakest at night, and eating more than required for dinner is a major cause of weight gain. So, if you want to lose weight and lead a healthy life, adopt healthy eating habits and eat according to your stomach's capacity.