Eat an early dinner. Seriously. Just do it! If you eat a late dinner regularly, you risk slowly (or quickly) gaining weight and before you know it, you won’t recognize your former self.
Current studies show over and over again that eating a late, heavy dinner leads to weight gain. The ancient wisdom of Ayurveda teaches that eating an earlier, lighter dinner is the first, and most important self-care practice that will lead to a healthy, happy body (and thus, happy mind and spirit ~ they are all connected, you know). Two cultures collide and support one another. That just doesn’t happen often, so pay attention!
I know it’s a tough concept since our culture (shared by many, many cultures) has built itself (in recent years) on sharing late, heavy meals together – coupled with wine and drinks – finished off with a nice, sugary dessert.
What’s wrong with this scenario? Well, for most Americans, absolutely nothing, but considering over 65% of all people in the US are overweight, maybe it’s not such a great trend. Only you can decide what’s right for you, though. Read on for reasons to kick the late, heavy dinner scenario…
- Eat your heaviest meal at lunchtime. This is when your digestion – or in Ayurvedic terms – agni – is at its peak and is in the best shape to digest and process your meal;
- Avoid processed foods with all your might! “Highly processed and refined foods quickly raise blood sugar levels after they are eaten. This means fast food, most packaged foods, foods made with white flour and white rice, white bread, foods with artificial sweeteners, foods with high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, sugar-heavy drinks, etc.” (Dr. John Douillard);
- Fat metabolism slows down if the body does not have enough time between dinner and breakfast (or breaking of the fast). So eat an earlier dinner and don’t snack afterwards. Close your kitchen and move away from the food. Allow the body to rest and digest for a minimum of 12 hours, though longer is even better;
- Finally, less food in the stomach allows cortisol levels to drop and allows us to get to sleep earlier, more quickly, and provides a deeper, more productive and nourishing sleep (Dr. John Douillard). When this happens, you wake earlier without a heavy gut and constipation which then leads to brain fog, achy joints, and overall physical and mental grumpiness.
Hmmm…..sounds a lot like a vicious cycle, doesn’t it?! It does not need to be. Interested in learning more about ways to improve your overall health and wellness through the simple habits of Ayurveda? Join my 11-week Healthy Habits course in March of 2018. Learn self-care strategies that will make you feel amazing and happy to see your reflection each day.