A popular proverb encourages us to ‘eat breakfast like a king, and lunch like a prince’ in order to reap the full benefits from nutrients packed in foods that stimulate growth to the maximum. That’s good news for hearty eaters out there! You can fill up to the gills to keep you going till the next meal.
However, while you might be tempted to want to replicate the breakfast food fest at lunch, which is a good idea, we would like to chip in a word of caution at this junction: The latter part of the proverb above says to eat dinner like a pauper! Therefore, binging on food at dinnertime is a bad idea. How can that be? Read on to find out why.
The true function of a proper dinner
Dinner exists for two main reasons:
- to regulate your body sugar, which fluctuates throughout the day, and whose extreme fluctuations can leave you feeling ‘ unfriendly’, to put it mildly, because of metabolic slowness, improper digestion, etc.
- to leave your body with some energy to work with, so that you can have a proper sleep, like your body, through the energy from dinner, keeps functioning through the night to help you drop off the deep end rather nicely, and help summon great energy for when you wake up bright and beautiful the next day.
So if dinner helps to regulate the fluctuating blood sugar levels, and also help a tired soul on the verge of burnout sleep rather soundly, shouldn’t dinner be rather hefty so that the body might have more energy from it to work it? Logically, considering this simple reasoning, dinner should be a feast, but biologically, you might have to take the ‘eat like a pauper’ analogy rather seriously, as you would find out soon enough.
Why eating light is the way to go at dinner time.
While indigestion and heartburn are the end results when you eat late at night, these are not the only things to worry about when you lather food heavily on the dinner dish. Food eaten late in the night does not get digested properly. The food is converted to fat.
However, when you make it a habit of eating late at night, you unconsciously condition your body to store calories released from your food as fat, increasing your likelihood of gaining weight. Considering this revelation, what happens to your waistline when you feast like a king at dinner time? Well, your guess is as good as ours. Considering this information, one would think it’s easy to change regularize dinner meals, making it as simple and light as ever. Alas, nothing is as easy as it seems.
Why you cannot resist overeating at dinner?
Ever wonder why you can’t help but wolf down large amounts of food at dinner when you should be ‘eating like a pauper’? The following could enlighten you:
- The general notion of weight loss can make you eat more than necessary at dinner. Some folks believe that skipping breakfast can help them slim down to their desired body size. But what they don’t realize is that delayed food intake almost always encourages the unconscious desire to make up for the meal ‘lost’. This means if you constantly skip breakfast because you are actively pursuing a size-eight figure, you are want to eat more at dinner, which most definitely will not help your cause.
- The length in time between dinner and the previous meal has been known to encourage an individual’s voracity at dinner time. If for any reason, you skipped lunch, then it’s a given that you are going to have a hearty dinner. Unfortunately, it is also a given that you are putting your digestive system on its toes by not giving it enough recuperation time. Because fat burning in the body occurs only when body organs know for a fact that no food is coming, you stand in your way of getting a trimmed, healthy body when you eat late and overeat as well.
- Using food as emotional support is more common in today’s society. Stress over a period can get you to unconsciously turn to food as a means of escape, however temporary. And what better time to turn to be ‘comforted’ than dinner time.
- Sedentary life never fails to make you very comfortable; comfortable enough to make you pliable towards food, food of any kind. And of course, television helps it along. Relaxed and distracted, you would have swallowed a lot of calories’ worth of food before waking up to this fact and its consequences.
5 tips to avoid overeating at the dinner table
Are you ready for a change? Consider the following information nuggets:
- Never skip breakfast or lunch! Aside from the fact that breakfast raises your blood sugar levels and keeps it steady, improving the mood and boosting energy, going heavy on breakfast makes one thing certain: some of the pressure to eat heavy dinner has been eased off. And this is our focal point here. There, when you have your lunch, and it’s a feast like breakfast, dinner will most likely be a light affair, as it should be.
- Keep fruits and vegetables handy during TV time. If unwinding on a couch in front of a TV is your way to de-stress, and you know you cannot help but do a bit of ‘jaw work’, it’s a good idea to munch on fruits and veggies. That way, you limit your food intake to what would actually be beneficial to your body system. You can have a blend of fruits, also known as smoothies, along with your vegetables.
- Want to de-stress? Leave food out of your mouth. This goes out to folks with fast-paced professional lives. If stress is a daily reality in your life, try not to use food as emotional support. Why? Because you’re most likely going to be stressed towards the later part of the day: dinner time. And you’re most likely to eat to forget your awful day, using that food as a temporary escape from reality. You might eat more than you planned. To resist using food as props because of stress, try light exercises to get your blood pumping; cardio, skipping, maybe even weightlifting. Anything to keep you from using food to feel better.
- Strive to make your evening an interesting one because it has a major effect: it will keep you distracted from reaching for any food after you have had dinner. So what can you do? Well, that depends on what floats your boat personally. You may plan a small exercise session. Or a short night walk with close friends. Or you may even schedule a book-reading session for every evening if you’re quite the book worm.
- Always have a rich, nutrient-balanced dinner. This never cannot stop you from snacking unnecessarily at night.
Dinner should be eaten like a ‘pauper’, says the proverb. But as funny as that sounds, it does your body a entire world of good in the long run.