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Debunking Dinner Myths

Suman Agarwal is an award-winning celebrity nutritionist with several years of experience. She breaks down a few dinner myths and imparts wise truths on the right way dinner should be had.

We live busy lives, but at the end of the day, we finally get a chance to unwind and spend time with our families. This is why dinner is a relaxed meal that we can have slowly and savour the experience. However, there seems to be some confusion about the best time to have dinner and how much to eat. Here we examine some of the myths surrounding dinner and explain why they are wrong and what we should do instead.

Dinner Myth 1: Eat an early dinner.

Many people believe that dinner should be had latest by 7.00 PM to stay healthy. Here’s why that doesn’t work; because of our city lifestyle the majority of people don’t go to bed before 11.00 PM. Keeping such a long gap between dinner and bedtime often leads to hunger pangs and late-night snacking.

Dinner Fact 1: Eat dinner closer to bedtime.

As a general rule, there should be a four-hour gap between each meal. So, if you have breakfast at 9.00 AM, lunch should be at 1.00 PM, teatime snacks at 5.00 PM, and dinner at 9.00 PM. These four-hour gaps keep us feeling satisfied throughout the day and prevent binging late at night. Eating dinner two hours before bedtime ensures that you don’t go to bed hungry or wakeup feeling weak.

Dinner Myth 2: Eat a light dinner.

The myth says that dinner should be the lightest meal of the day. This causes many people to have just a soup or salad for dinner. But just like in Myth 1, this too can lead to you being hungry at bedtime and being prone to late-night snacking or binge eating. If you are able to stop yourself from snacking, and sleep on an empty stomach, you could wake up with a severe headache.

Dinner Fact 2: Eat a satisfying dinner.

Dinner should not be a light meal, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be too heavy. The guidelines to follow are: snacks should be lighter than breakfast and dinner should be lighter than lunch. In this way your teatime snacks are the lightest meal of the day, whereas dinner is a full meal that satisfies you without making you feel stuffed. Eating a good dinner will stop the snacking after bedtime, help you sleep better and prevent morning headaches. A very heavy dinner, however, can lead to obesity, so remember to keep it balanced.

No matter which meal you are having, make sure to include all the required nutrition like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Pledge to eat healthy for better fitness.

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