Dinner Like a Pauper
There are so many conflicting “expert” opinions and information offered about how, when, and what to eat for health that it is almost impossible for people to decide which is the correct advice. Each Ridiculously Simple Step To Transform Your Health (and Life) draws on inspiration from our ancestors who were in tune with their environment. In keeping with this philosophy of looking to nature and copying it, it appears to make sense to eat less towards the latter part of the day, however culturally it seems that dinner is the time of day when people generally eat the most.
Adelle Davis’ words Breakfast like a King, Lunch Like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper is certainly in keeping with the rhythms of the universe. If we consider food as fuel, which it is, to ensure that our machine (body) works efficiently, breakfast is preparing us for the work of the day, lunch to ensure our peak concentration and our evening meal to prepare us for sleep.
All meals should begin with a piece of raw fruit or vegetable to stimulate enzyme activity which prepares the body for healthy digestion. The calories we put into our bodies late at night cannot be burned off or processed in a healthy way. This leads to weight gain and fat storage in the body’s tissues. It has been suggested that the last meal of the day should be at 6pm, or no later than 7pm, which allows time for the food to digest and prepare the body for a restful sleep.
What we consume is as important as when it is consumed, especially in the evening. Dinner should really be a lighter version of lunch with a little carbohydrate (which is calming and prepares us for rest) and proteins to carry us through the night. Diabetics who snack on carbohydrate foods late in the evening increase the risk of a high blood sugar reading the following morning. Following the advice for diabetics is also a healthy approach to eating for everyone – light protein and vegetables. Many people who have not been diagnosed as diabetic also experience blood sugar fluctuations (hyperglycaemia/hypoglycaemia) which can be controlled by eating more and regular protein. Keeping carbohydrates to a bare minimum, especially in the evenings will help to regulate blood sugars.
Consuming food later in the evening is an invitation to the world where people are struggling to prevent weight gain and since obesity has become a real problem in the western world it makes sense to pay attention to this forgotten piece of advice to “eat dinner like a pauper. Unfortunately, many people eat late at night (and over indulge on the wrong foods) because of stress, anxiety, apprehension and other negative emotions and problems and then this ends up becoming an all-day problem. It helps to feed the vicious cycle of overeating and making poor food choices because it affects the following meal at breakfast, which is likely to be skipped, so it is not hard to see how this becomes a negative cycle of events, each dependent on the one before. The poorer the food choice, the worse the weight gain is going to be, and therefore the overall decline in health.
To follow this week’s Ridiculously Simple Step To Transform Your Health (and Life) is to consider what, how and when we eat in the evening. The following suggestions may help you avoid those late night urges to eat.
1. Adopt a hobby that keeps you occupied during the hours you feel the strongest urges to eat and avoid watching TV as there are always food advertisements to entice you.
2. Take a gentle evening stroll – weather permitting
3. Drink herbal tea
4. Brush your teeth earlier than usual before bed as this signals to the body you are ready to settle down.
5. Don’t forget to Breakfast Like a King and Lunch Like a Prince – as this will help set up the cycle for you.
Please leave your comments and suggestions.