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Eat Light at Night!

March 15, 2021, 10:53 a.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 466 views)

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The popular saying “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” is the easiest way to remember the eating pattern one should follow throughout the day.

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In earlier times, our grandparents, many a times, used to just have khichdi at night or a glass of milk or sometimes maybe even a fruit. This was a quite a common practice in many parts of our country over the years, and it made sense that to have a good night’s sleep and rejuvenate the body the lightest meal had to be the dinner.

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Majority of us after dinner tend to either watch tv, fiddle with our laptops, mobilephones, i-pads and hit the sack. We don’t indulge in any activity that requires the body to utilise energy. The only thing the body does is digest food. As a result, whatever we eat at night, is generally stored as fat. So the heavier the dinner, the more fat is going to get stored.

Therefore, a meagre meal at dinner is a generally good idea whether you are a prince or a pauper. But however meagre the meal is, it still needs a balance of vegetables, carbohydrates in the form of grains (rice, roti), proteins in the form of dals mostly moong. It should be taken in small quantities only, with light spices or fish that is easy to digest and cooked with minimum oil. Having a heavy dinner will ruin the sleep and sleep cycle, putting stress on the body, so the body does not get enough time to digest the heavy meal.

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Avoid spicy food as it causes heartburn and acidity which can lead in the formation of ulcers. High-fat dinners will make you to feel heavy and bloated making you toss and turn the whole night.

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Please avoid whole pulses such as chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans. Also avoid vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber in the evening as these tend to cause flatulence, indigestion, burping, etc. which can keep you awake at night. Therefore sensible choices are lady finger, brinjals, white gourd, pumpkin, the entire gourd family, French beans and most water-based vegetables.

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Maximum digestion of your entire food intake for the day happens at night when your body is at rest, so before you switch to a light dinner, it is more important to switch to an early dinner. The ideal time for dinner is 7 pm. It should be at least three hours before you sleep because that is the amount of time your stomach takes to digest food. You eat light and early there will be better digestion. The thumb rule for dinner – not too heavy, nor too light and in small quantities.

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