Weight gain and obesity is in the news all the time. If you are like most people, you are looking to lose at least ten pounds and maybe more to attain your optimal weight.
Trying to find an easy diet plan, exercise plan, and stress management plan to help you get rid of those unwanted pounds? I might have an easy solution for you.
What time you eat could be the key to losing weight. Changing that one behavior might help you jump-start your weight loss until you can start incorporating other basics like a whole foods diet and exercise.
Eating a late dinner or late-night snacks can create an inability to lose weight or weigh gain. If you have a busy schedule you might not be getting home until late, say 8 or 9 or 10 p.m. at night. If that is the case then you might not be eating dinner until very late at night.
I’m sure after an extremely long day you are ready to have a great night’s sleep to get rested and restored for the next day. However when you eat late, you have the potential to create weight gain and have less quality sleep than if you eat dinner in the earlier evening around a traditional dinner time before 8 p.m.
From a nutrient perspective food is fuel, so when we eat we need to consider when to eat release fuel into our systems. When we eat shortly before we go to sleep we are creating a situation where all the fuel and nutrients in food get released when we no longer need energy and food.
It is always better to eat during the day when we need energy for our daily activities. Sleeping is the time we need the least amount of energy so eating and having our food release energy when we sleep is counterproductive to a good night’s sleep and causes the body to store those calories.
Storing calories from late night snacks results in weight gain especially if you are eating late on a consistent basis. A study conducted by Northwestern University also noted that people who tended to eat late tended to eat higher amounts of calories and more fast food than people who ate before 8 p.m.
Ideally I recommend that people eat three to four hours before they are going to sleep to give the digestive system time to process and digest their meal before they go to sleep. This allows you to use some of that fuel while you are still awake.
It also allow your digestive system to calm down and prepare for sleep. When you eat three hours or less before you go to sleep you activate your digestive system, stomach acid, pancreatic secretions, and the muscles in the intestines to begin to process the food. That prevents the relaxation of the body for sleep.
In a culture that is always looking for a quick way to lose weight, eating at a traditional dinner hour before 8 p.m. might be the easiest behavioral change that can have a big impact on your goal to lose that last 10 pounds.
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's Bio:
“Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who treats the whole person using safe and effective combinations of traditional and natural methods to produce optimal health and well-being in the lives of her patients.
"Insomnia - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2012. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187
"Later Bedtimes and Weight Gain - The Insomnia Blog - Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, PhD." The Insomnia Blog - Sleep Doctor Michael Breus, PhD. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2012. http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2011/11/later-bedtimes-and-weight-gain.html
Reviewed May 16, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith