We’ve been hearing it for years and it’s become common knowledge for anyone watching their weight. Eating before bed causes weight gain. It makes sense, right? Throughout the night you’re not active so you’re unable to burn off those calories. You want to eat a big healthy breakfast in the morning so you can power through the day with snacks every two hours to keep you full and a lighter dinner several hours before bedtime. That’s what we’re always told anyway. But does it really make a difference?
Let’s face facts. A calorie is a calorie no matter what time it’s consumed. A Snicker’s bar is still as bad in the morning as it is in the evening. Some people prefer larger breakfasts in the morning with smaller dinners in the evening. Some people like to snack throughout the day and some people enjoy all their calories in one big meal. No matter how you like to enjoy your calories, it all adds up the same.
So why were we always told these “rules” of dieting. It all has to do with habits. When you eat late at night, what are you most likely snacking on? I know for me, it’s junk. I always get the munchies before bed. And for me, these are all extra calories. I’m not eating at this time because my body needs it. I’m eating because I just want it! Late night snacking can be dangerous. But as long as you aren’t overdoing it on your calories and are keeping it healthy, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a late dinner. In fact the typical dinner for me starts at 8:30 or even 9:00 PM.
As far as snacking between meals, it’s all up to personal preference. If you tend to overeat at your 3 main meals, you may want to consider healthy snacks throughout the day to keep you full. I prefer to keep it simple and just eat my three meals a day. I tend to eat equal amounts at each meal but that’s just me. On the weekends I usually fast until lunch. I don’t have any strategy or reasoning behind it. I just get busy when I’m home and can usually wait before I eat.
I always say this and I’ll say it again… DIETING SHOULD BE SIMPLE! What’s up with all these rules? Here’s all you need to know about the timing and sizes of your meals.
Eat when you start to feel hungry (but not starving) and stop eating when you start to feel full (but not stuffed).
It’s not always the easiest thing to do but I’ve learned some tricks along the way that have helped me. I used to eat so fast that I didn’t realize when I was full and would end up overeating. Here’s what I do to slow myself down:
Put smaller portions on your plate
I actually like using smaller plates because it makes it seem like you have more food. I always have the need to finish everything on my plate and I think a lot of us have that mindset from how we were raised. Start with smaller portions and you can always get more if you’re still hungry.
Put your fork down after each bite
There’s no need to devour your food in 5 seconds. It will still be there for you even if you take your time eating.
Drink water with dinner
After each bite, I also have a sip of water. This is just another way I slow down my eating and make my meals last longer.
I sometimes have the habit of playing around on Facebook while eating. You want to avoid doing anything else when you sit down for your meals. You often lose track of how much you’ve had when you’re busy doing something else. How easy is it to polish off an entire bag of popcorn when watching a movie? Eliminate distractions when eating!
Whatever you decide to do when it comes to your daily meals, just keep it simple. When things become too complicated, you’re more likely to give up. Play around with what works best for YOU and remember that everyone is different.
Now over to you! How do you plan your meals for the day? Let me know in the COMMENTS 🙂