Dinner is the most important meal of the day and determines your diet and weight. Having too little or too much to eat at dinnertime can be directly related to the production of fat in the body.
You hardly use any energy and burn calories during the night. Therefore, the majority of your calorie intake should occur during the first half of your day.
Whether you gain or lose weight is greatly dependent on the foods you eat and don’t eat at dinnertime. So it’s very important to have a balanced meal at dinner. You may have heard the saying, “Have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” The only way to improve your quality of life is by controlling your daily calorie intake and losing weight in a natural manner, even when you’re fast asleep.
Does dinner really make you fat?
Absolutely not. However, you can easily get fat by not eating dinner the right way. Unfortunately, this is something we all go wrong with, on a daily basis, because of the reasons mentioned below:
- Using night-time snacking for relaxation. Although many of us eat lightly or eat a balanced diet during the rest of the day, we’re so hungry and anxious by the end of the day that we snack on whatever we can find in the refrigerator. When that happens, we unknowingly (or sometimes even knowingly!) end up eating high calorie food items which are rich in fats.
- Getting home hungry. In many cases, our job responsibilities are such that we can barely manage a quick breakfast and then grab something for lunch on the go. When we finally get home and open the fridge, we end up eating whatever we can lay our hands on.
- Having dinner very late. Sometimes you may get home so late that you have your dinner at the same time as you would normally hit the sack. This is the worst thing you can do for your body. You should ideally have your dinner at least 2 hours before bed, giving your body ample time to start digesting the food.
Foods you should avoid eating at night
Certain foods have too many calories and are difficult to digest later in the day. Avoid eating them at night. Not only can they cause weight gain, but also deprive you of a good night’s sleep. It is best to stay away from fatty, fried and heavy foods, as well as caffeinated or carbonated beverages during the evening. Avoid these foods, too:
Sandwiches are a easy choice at night. However, it’s all too easy to load them up with meat and cheese, which are not light foods. Eating lots of bread is not recommended at night either, especially for people who are sensitive to carbohydrates. These people’s bodies don’t digest the carbohydrates properly, resulting in the accumulation of adipose tissue and bad cholesterol.
Garlic and onion
You must completely avoid eating raw onion and garlic in the evening, as they’re both difficult to digest.
Pizza, rice and pasta
Avoid going overboard with pizzas, rice and pasta at night. Furthermore, eat them only in small quantities if you really need to. If you must consume some carbohydrates, vegetables are a far better choice than rice and/or pasta.
Foods you should eat at dinner time
As dinner is usually the last meal of the day, you can use it strategically to balance your daily nutritional needs. Hence, your dinner must always include plenty of vegetables. You could try sautéed or grilled vegetables, gazpacho, or another soup and a small serving of turkey or salmon.
You might even like to have some low-fat yoghurt and a little fruit, seeds and agave nectar or honey on top.
Some good examples of light dinner meals
- An apple, or zucchini soup with hake.
- Tomato salad prepared with shrimp and a few slices of mozzarella cheese, along with some salmon on toast.
- A low-fat cheese omelette, some sautéed mushrooms and a slice of watermelon or melon.
How about doing away with dinner completely?!
Skipping meals is something that’s not recommended at all. Many times skipping main meals causes anxiety, leading to bigger than normal meals later or the following day. Eliminating dinner from your daily diet may also bring down your blood sugar level. As a result, you may end up suffering from hypoglycaemia and your health may soon start deteriorating significantly. Skipping dinner completely is not at all advisable.
Which is the best dessert for after dinner?
Low-fat yoghurt with some dried or fresh fruit is the best dessert you can have after dinner.