Having a wholesome breakfast is indispensable to sustain a healthy lifestyle, and many nutritionists and health experts around the globe have named it the ‘king of all meals.’ This certainly doesn’t mean that other meals of the day are not as crucial.
Few believe that eating after sunset will make them obese; hence, they skip dinner. In some cases, this may disturb not only the system but also encourage weight gain. It turns out, ‘when’ you eat can prove to be as vital as ‘what’ you consume.
For the longest time, Ayurveda and health experts have been stressing on not just a light dinner but also a wholesome one. As per Ayurveda, there are a few foods you must avoid consuming at night since they create an imbalance in the Kapha dosha(1).
Meals high in GI (glycemic index) and packed with simple carbs like packaged frozen foods, oily foods, ice creams, should be skipped at night. If you still wish to consume them, take them in moderation. Consuming such foods at night may slow down your metabolism resulting in weight gain.
According to Ayurveda, the final part of the day is dominated by Kapha; therefore, whatever we take should be able to balance Kapha and not aggravate it.
Best Foods To Eat at Night, According to Ayurveda
1. Eat low-carb and healthy foods at night
This is mainly because low-carb diets are digested quickly. Eating heavy food at night will disturb your sleep, and you will feel uneasy the next morning.
2. Replace curd with Buttermilk
If you love eating Dahi or curd at night, then it’s time to avoid doing that. According to Ayurveda, curd has both sweet and sour properties, and it increases Kapha dosha in the body. During the last part of the day, there is a natural predominance of Kapha in your body.
This imbalance could lead to excess mucus development in your nasal passages.
3. Moderation is the key
Fix a limit for the intake of food, particularly during the evening. Ayurveda advises keeping your dinner moderate as it will help you to sleep well. Moreover, our digestive system is sluggish during late hours, meaning it becomes challenging for our body to digest dense food.
Don’t eat excess at a meal than the amount of food you can hold in 2 cupped hands. Overconsumption expands the stomach so that you will feel the requirement for additional food. Overeating also builds up toxins in the digestive tract. Also, give a minimum of 2-3 hours between your dinner and bedtime.
4. Include more high protein foods at night
Add lentils, pulses, curry leaves, and green leafy veggies to your dinner meal. It is good to consume fewer carbs and more protein at night to keep your digestive system efficient.
5. Avoid salt after 6 PM
Yes, that’s a little challenging, especially when you have a dinner party planned. Make sure you reduce salt after sunset on as many days a week as possible. Salt is supposed to increase water retention in your body. As we go on adding more sodium to our dinners, we put our blood vessels and heart to a higher risk of overnight blood pressure.
6. Include more spices in your evening meals
Spices come with many health-improving properties besides giving aromatic flavors to your food. Spices aid weight loss by curbing appetite and also increase warmth in your body. Add more spices like fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, and fenugreek, to your dinner meals.
7. Say yes to honey and no to sugar
Skip the sugar, in-or-with your evening meals; better more, replace it with honey. Intake of honey will not only enhance the taste but will help in reducing the mucus and also facilitate weight loss.
8. Focus on the food you eat
When you are taking food, just eat! Don’t be distracted by too much conversation or watch TV. Eating food with attention becomes a meditation, and when you are eating with awareness, you will not overconsume; you will eat just the right portion.
9. Drink low-fat milk
If you are used to drinking milk at night, then prefer having low-fat milk. But make sure you do not have chilled milk; always boil the milk before consuming it. Low-fat milk or warm milk makes it easy to digest. You can also add a little amount of cardamom or ginger to the milk.
Eating healthy is all about making wise food choices. It keeps your body fit and improves your overall health. Just like you are asked to eat a healthy breakfast, it is also essential to be mindful of your dinner meal. It has always been advised to eat light at night, and even Ayurveda recommends the same.
As per Ayurveda, the final part of the day is controlled by Kapha (the water and earth elements), so whatever we eat at night should be able to balance your Kapha.
Many tend to have food cravings towards the dusk. This can be a hindrance to maintaining weight, particularly if you have a sweet tooth. It is certainly not possible to fall asleep with that uneasy feeling in your tummy. But if you chow down a bag of chips, or reach out for that leftover lasagne, you are in for trouble.
[Also Read: 7 Healthy Foods to Eat]
Does taking food at night make you obese?
There are chances. Since your body does not involve any physical activity at night, it requires little energy. If you take food in large quantities at night, the energy produced from the food gets stored in the body in the form of fat, which finally leads to weight gain or obesity.
The fixed rule you must follow while having your dinner is to make sure that whatever you consume, you should not get a feeling of uneasiness in your stomach. Instead, your stomach must feel easy so that you could sleep well.