When to have dinner and what foods to prefer

Svetlana FusFood
When to have dinner and what foods to prefer

I think you've heard the recommendation that you should eat dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime more than once. But why this particular time interval?

It has to do with the hormonal system of our body and the functioning of the digestive system. In the evening, our "night hormones" should be activated: melatonin and somatotropic hormone, which trigger the body's use of fat reserves for energy needs ⠀

But the well-coordinated work of these hormones is possible only when we observe the diet and sleep patterns ⠀

We should go to bed on the same day we wake up. That is, the most optimal time to go to bed is 23:00. 

According to circadian rhythms, the pancreas should reduce its activity no later than 21:00 (the level of insulin released at the last meal should gradually decrease and normalize the amount of glucose in the blood). It takes about 3-4 hours to form and digest a food lump, depending on what foods you choose for dinner.

Hence, by simple arithmetic, we find that dinner should be 3-4 hours before bedtime, i.e. 23:00-4 (3) hours = 19:00 (20:00). This applies to everyone: both those who are losing weight and just those who want to be healthy.

What to eat for dinner, what foods to prefer?

And here everything is very individual, you need to independently monitor the reaction of the body and choose your option. What you need to pay attention to: dinner should give satiety and comfort to the gastrointestinal tract, but not puffiness and + on the scales in the morning.

According to the classics of the genre, I recommend protein + vegetables for dinner. Protein should be chosen more easily digestible – fish, poultry, and eggs.

If after eating raw vegetables for dinner you feel discomfort in your stomach or intestines and feel hungry, it is better to use cooked vegetables (steamed or stewed/baked). Be sure to add fats as well.

Some people can also add cereal or whole grain bread (about 50 g) to make them feel full. Choose cereals with a low glycemic index: buckwheat, quinoa. Some people are comfortable eating only porridge and vegetables for dinner

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