Late Night Dinners... A Health Disaster?
“I worry about eating dinner so late. By the time I get home from work and get dinner made, it might be after 7:30. Sometimes it has been as late as 9:00 before we eat! How bad is this?”
How amazing it is... that after a long day at work (and especially on Bull City Fit nights) that you find the energy to put a meal on the table!! Many others share your concern however that the meal ends up being much later than you would like it to be. Relax. The body doesn’t suddenly shut down and go into sleep mode after 6:00 PM!
Now, having said this, there are a few things to keep in mind on those nights when dinner will be delayed.
For starters, try to minimize the carbs in late dinner meals, so as to avoid insulin spikes right before bed. Save the pizza, spaghetti and sub sandwiches for another night when you will be able to sit down earlier. Focus instead on protein based meals, such as crust-less quiche served with salad, OR grilled /roasted chicken and veggies. You might even consider having “make your own salad night”, where everyone simply tops their bowl of salad with the proteins of their choice (chopped egg, sliced ham or turkey, bits of left -over chicken, shredded cheese and chopped nuts).
Eat slowly and pay attention to the point in the meal when you are no longer hungry. STOP eating at this point. It can be uncomfortable to lie down shortly after eating a large meal…especially for those who suffer with heartburn or reflux.
If something sweet is “needed” after the meal, consider including a small amount of fruit. While it is certainly OK to have the occasional “real” dessert after meals, it’s best to save this for another night when the meal can be earlier (so as to minimize insulin surges before going to bed).
TIP: Try to spend a few minutes to do meal planning for the upcoming week. You will then be able to make a grocery list of needed items. This simple process can save time in the long run and may help you to get the meal on the table a bit earlier!! If you would like help with meal planning and making a grocery list, remember to ask us at your next Healthy Lifestyles visit.