Wednesday, August 10, 2011



By Monika Tarkowska-Carter, CPT, LWMC, HLC 2

Where did this come from? Well, there is some truth to it, but not in such an exact sense. Eating large meals at night is not healthy and not good if you are trying to lose weight. However, if you go to sleep at 11 pm or later (which is not healthy in itself!) eating at 6 would be very counterproductive not only to the way you’d be feeling, but also to the very quality of your sleep. Let’s say you go to sleep at 11.30 pm, as many people do. From 6 to 11.30, that’s 5 ½ hours. That’s way too long for your body with no food. If for some reason you truly need to, or want to, have dinner at 6 pm, because you have little kids, for example, and would like to have dinner with them, make sure to have a small snack later on – not a big one, but something balanced, with some protein, carbohydrate and fat. This way your blood sugar will remain steady during the night and you will have a much more restful night. And here’s the reason: when your blood sugar drops drastically during the night, your adrenals have to release cortisol, because this stress hormone has the ability to bring the blood sugar back up to normal levels. Unfortunately, this is not only very stressful to your adrenal glands, but cortisol is a “wake-up” hormone. In a healthy body, it is produced in large quantities in the early morning hours, to prepare you to wake up and get going. But when you have a sudden surge of this hormone in the middle of the night, it will wake you up unnecessarily, leaving you wound up and exhausted.

As far as eating in the evening is concerned…..a lot of people make the mistake of eating their largest meal at night and then being surprised that they have trouble losing weight.

The clue to successful weight loss is dividing your calories in a smart way throughout the day and eating MORE of your calories in the first part of the day, when your body needs them the most to support all your daily activities.  Breakfast and lunch should be fairly substantial, while dinner moderate. If you really don’t have much appetite for breakfast, have something small and then add a good size mid-morning snack, but never skip it. Research shows that people who skip breakfast have metabolism that is slower by about 10%-15%. That’s a lot, and over time it’s bound to show as unwanted, extra fat.

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