How many times have you opened your fridge secretly to fulfill your midnight snack craving? And while you do so, are you constantly afraid of being caught by someone to give you an earful of advice about not eating at ungodly hours? Can you recall all the times when people (especially older people) kept telling you to ditch the late night dinner and start eating early?
Looks like our fears and their wisdom have been confirmed. Eating your dinner early helps your body and provides long term health benefits. We know that finishing up your dinner by 6 or 7 p.m. sounds hard and leaves you wondering how to spend the rest of your evening. Moreover, with the pandemic creating a flexible time frame and building up an endless list of shows and movies to binge watch, it can seem very difficult to get on the early dinner wagon. However, it is these very challenges that drive the need to get our health and eating habits in place.
Doing the right thing, making better choices for yourself is a habit that needs work. Let us help you with a checklist of the benefits you shall derive by having an early dinner. So you can make an informed choice.
- Eating dinner before 9 pm is associated with 20% lower risk of cancer (source- study published on July 17, International Journal of Cancer.)
- Leaving a couple of hours gap between your dinner and sleep increases your body’s ability to process sugar and digest food better.
- Eating early offers your body more time to stabilise nutrient absorption and helps your digestive system wind down before you enter your deep sleep / REM cycle.
- Meals taken before sunset translate into more energy for the body as opposed to meals taken later that translate into stored fat.
- Early dinners help you lose weight as you consume fewer calories and reach your satiety point earlier.
- Preponing your dinners will prevent gastro-intestinal discomfort such as bloating, acid reflux and gas arising from immediately lying down post meals.
- Eating early will also prevent the accumulation of triglycerides (a fatty acid responsible for coronary complications)
You might wonder what all of this has to do with the time of your eating. As the day follows the 24 hour cycle, our bodies attune to its circadian cycle. To put it simply, imagine yourself as a plant. Most of the plants function better during the day due to the availability of light needed for photosynthesis. Similarly, the human body functions and processes food better during the day as it synchronises with the daylight and food intervals. This is where the idea of eating before the sun sets comes into picture as the 12 hour window is ideal for consuming food. It’s time to pay attention to our body clock. Your time is ticking!