Enjoy Your Dinner



A healthy dinner is important after a long day. Not only is it enjoyable and satisfying, but it also enables your body to perform vital functions while you sleep. If you are thinking of skipping dinner to save on calories and time; think again! This is your final opportunity to consume the last third of daily metabolism boosting nutrients.


As with lunch, your dinner plate should consist of around ¾ of a plate of vegetables, ¼ of a plate of ‘healthy’ protein, some ‘healthy’ fats and limited carbohydrates. Increasing your carbs at dinnertime will increase your blood levels, and thus lead to weight gain. Eating less veg will lower your nutrient intake and lead to poor health and eating less protein will affect your overall strength and impact on muscle repair.


Because the recommended foods for dinner are the same as for lunch, dinner suggestions are naturally the same ‘S-meals’ that were suggested for lunchtime:


  • Soups: Vegetable based soups with protein, sprinkled with flaxseeds.

  • Stews: Vegetable based stews with protein.

  • Stir-Fry’s: Stir-fried veg with protein. Served with avocado.

  • Slow Cooked Meals: Slow cooked meals made with grass-fed butter and protein.

  • Salads: A colourful plate of veg served with protein, drizzled with a flaxseed vinaigrette.

  • Steamed Veg: ¾ of a plate of steamed veg served with protein and avocado.

  • Smoothies: Vegetable based smoothies with avocado and protein powder.

  • Super Traditional Meals: Take a traditional meal, such as bolognaise, curry, pasta sauce, stroganoff, and reduce the portion to ¼ of your plate then add ¾ of cooked or raw veg. Leave out the carbs that normally go with these meals (pasta, rice, bread, etc).

  • ‘Second Hand’ Meals: Prepare double dinners or double lunches leaving half for later.


With regards to when to eat dinner, there is no hard and fast rule. In fact, the current evidence shows no physiological reason why eating dinner late causes poor health or weight gain. The perception of late-night eating being associated with weight gain, appears to be related to the types of foods eaten rather than the time. In other words, high carb foods eaten before bed will increase overnight blood sugar levels, and thus will contribute significantly to weight-gain. However, there is a benefit to eating early because this makes it easier to increase your overnight fasting window. Ideally, your goal should be 16 hours of fasting each day, but anything over 12 hours has been shown to have amazing weight-loss and health benefits.

Groups of mice on various diets (normal food or foods high in sugar/fat) were either allowed to eat around the clock or forced to fast for 12 hours a night. The results found that the mice that fasted for at least 12 hours gained less weight overall than mice that were fed the same type and amount of food but, had the run of the feed through all 24 hours. Even when the fasters got free “weekend passes” to gorge anytime, in the end they still put on fewer pounds. Furthermore, when the non-fasting obese mice were put on the 12-hour fast, they dropped 5% of their body weight - even though they were eating the same calories! The researchers theorize that overnight fasting makes the body switch from burning carbs to burning fat.

In summary, eat lots of veggies for dinner and add in some protein and good fats. Keep your carb intake low and try to achieve at least a 12-hour overnight fasting window, to prevent insulin levels from remaining high during the night.




Further information:


Book Reference:

  • For more information on health and weight loss see ‘The Meta-Keto Diet’. This book is available as an eBook (£6.99), or in paperback (£15.99), via the Secret Healthy Eater Shop; www.secrethealthyeater.com/shop.


Credits:

  • drawing by zimo qin


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