Reasons Why You Should Eat Dinner EARLY
You must be familiar with the fact that you need a healthy diet to maintain your overall health. But did you know that apart from what you eat, the timing of your meal also has an impact on your overall well being? Modern lifestyle with hectic work schedules and long commute times has forced many people into erratic eating habits including late night dinners. But these habits can wreak havoc on your health causing weight gain, heart problems and other troubles. For your well being, try to eat dinner early, roughly 3-4 hours before you sleep. So what are the benefits of eating an early dinner? From lower blood pressure, better sleep, improved digestion, better metabolism to reduced obesity risk and more, watch till the end to learn about all of them.
Restricting your meal intake in the window of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. can reduce your overall calorie intake drastically because the time you have for eating has come down. Also a longer duration of overnight fast, helps with increasing fat loss. This is because your body gets enough time to reach a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a natural state for your body, when it is almost completely fueled by fat. In other words your body is using stored fat for energy. When you have an early dinner, you will feel full sooner and your body will utilise food better. Have you or anyone you know ever jumped on the Keto Diet bandwagon for weight loss? Tell us down below in the comments section!
Lower Heart Attack Risk:
This one’s an especially important advantage. In general, when you sleep, your blood pressure decreases by nearly 10 percent. This allows your body to rest. In the morning, before you wake up, it begins to increase again. This pattern repeats daily. When you eat dinner just before bedtime, this pattern gets disturbed and impacts your blood pressure. Since your blood pressure remains at a high level, there are more chances of a heart attack. Eating dinner early, at least 3 hours before bed, will decrease this risk significantly. In a study, adults ate 3 meals and 2 snacks every day only between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. for 8 weeks. Then they switched to eating only between noon and 11 p.m. for 8 weeks. When the subjects ate later in the day, they gained weight and had increases in insulin, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides—a dangerous type of fat in the blood. Each of these changes can harm your heart.
Not waiting for dinner until right before you sleep gives more time to your food for digestion, no matter how heavy your meal is. When you sleep soon after eating, your body doesn’t get enough time to digest food. The digestive system gets slow as a result, causing you to experience gut trouble. Slow digestion causes you to feel bloated, uncomfortable and possibly even full when you wake up. When you eat early, you are more likely to be sitting up, engaging in moderate activity at home, and maybe watching T.V. In that posture, digestion is better and you will go to sleep when you are not really bloated with food. The later you eat, the higher the chances of food lying in your intestines, affecting digestion.
You’ll Sleep Better:
Heartburn caused by eating near bedtime can interfere with restful sleep. Eating late, particularly large amounts can also disturb your sleep by causing abdominal discomfort. Drinking too many liquids before bed, like milk, juice or soup and the like can lead to frequent waking to relieve your bladder. Rather than eating large meals before bed or going to bed hungry, try eating a small, balanced snack. Cereal with low-fat milk, yogurt with granola and oatmeal are all very good options.
Lower Cancer Risk:
In a prominent study on cancer, it was found that people who eat dinner a minimum of two hours before their bed-time have a lower risk of developing cancer. Another study found that men who ate their last meal early have a 26 percent lower chance of developing prostate cancer. Turns out that women who ate an early dinner also had a 16 percent lower chance of developing cancer.
Reduced Obesity Risk:
When you eat late, the calories which you consume are not required by the body to gain energy. As a result, they end up getting stored in your body as fat. This means that anytime you have a late dinner, your body ignites a cycle of calories stored in the body as fat. It, in turn, could lead to weight gain. In the long run, it could be a potential cause of obesity.
Lesser Acid Reflux:
According to experts, having dinner late, and going to bed shortly after is one of the major causes of acid reflux. The discomfort you feel is increased if you have a heavy dinner. This happens because your body allows acids to spill out of your still full stomach and leak into your esophagus causing acid reflux. It can be pretty uncomfortable and may make sleeping difficult for you causing another set of sleep related problems.
Better Headstart The Next Day:
When you eat late and stay up late, you are likely to miss breakfast the next day. Not eating meals on time and waiting all day for dinner causes your body to respond by storing insulin. This ups the risk for body fat storage. On the other hand, early dinner gives you a headstart the next day and provides plenty of time for breakfast. Eating dinner on time and not missing out on the next day’s breakfast will also keep your energy levels high and intact the next day. An early dinner allows your body more time to stabilize the blood sugar levels. This plays a pivotal role in ensuring that you do not feel irritated throughout the day. Postponing meals can also zap your energy levels leaving you with low blood sugar and fatigue.
If you are naturally lean and don’t care much about gaining weight, here is something that should keep you from delaying dinner. Research shows that eating late is associated with decreased resting-energy expenditure, decreased rate at which carbohydrates are metabolised and decreased glucose tolerance. Simply put, this means that eating a late meal is detrimental to your metabolic health. It increases your risk to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, diabetes Type 2 and heart diseases.
Higher Cognitive Abilities:
A study found that eating late at night may alter your brain physiology. According to researchers, if you eat at a time that is normally reserved for sleep, it may lead to a deficiency in the type of learning and memory controlled by the hippocampal area of the brain. Late night dinners can also affect your circadian system, which in turn affects the brain’s ability of learning, concentration and memorizing.
Lower Risk of Diabetes:
Having early dinner can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes can occur when your body cannot use insulin properly. When you eat 2-3 hours before sleep, your body utilizes insulin properly, by converting our food to glucose. So,by maintaining proper insulin level, the risk of diabetes decreases. Several studies have shown that late evening or late night meals increase the levels of glucose and insulin in your body, which are associated with diabetes.
You’ll Exercise Better:
As we said before, early dinner gives sufficient time for the food to get digested. As a result you feel active and light the next day, and better motivated for exercise. If you wake up tired then there is every chance that you may not feel like exercising at all in the morning.
Lower Blood Pressure:
According to a study, eating late at night can increase blood pressure levels, especially among those who are already dealing with hypertension. Researchers tracked 700 people with high blood pressure and found that those who ate within two hours of bedtime had higher blood pressure levels overnight compared to those who didn’t eat anything before bed. The researchers noted that late night eating raised blood pressure more than eating a high salt diet. Typically, sodium is the biggest concern when it comes to hypertension. They speculated that when people eat late, the body stays on alert, producing more stress hormones like adrenaline, and that elevates blood pressure. Did you know that apart from eating an early dinner, you can also keep your blood pressure in control by eating the right foods. To Find out what these foods are, watch this video titled “5 Types Of Food That Help Lower Your Blood Pressure”. Now back to early dinner health benefits.
Lesser Late Night Food Cravings:
One of the best reasons for having an early dinner is the process of allowing your mind to think of eating only good foods rich in proteins and nutrients and eating them quickly. You can even have time for dessert when you have an early dinner. Sleeping earlier will also keep you away from snacking late night which can lead to weight gain. Do you eat dinner early or prefer eating it late? Has eating dinner late or early affected your health? Let us know in the comments section below!