The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eat Right at Night

I can't go to bed without dessert. I admit it. It's a bad habit, I know, especially after reading the latest Health issue. Turns out, those who eat after 8 P.M. rack up 248 more calories than those who finish eating after dinner. Well, duh. I actually thought it would be more. That's not the real killer. The killer is that your body wants to burn off fat at night, which is while people who get the full nine hours weigh the least. Your body is like a machine. Even when you're asleep, its gears are still working, but it needs fuel. It's not getting food so it takes fuel from fat. It's a great system.

Problem is this mode can't begin the second your head hits the pillows. It takes time to burn the calories. Health recommends eating dinner late and going to bed an hour later, so you don't have time to eat dessert. The body needs about twelve hours to convert that fat. Basically, eat dinner at eight, eat breakfast at eight. For the summer, sure I can do that. For the rest of the year, not so much. I wake up at 5:45 A.M. and eat breakfast at 6:00 A.M. Then I eat dinner between 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. I don't go to bed at eight. I usually go to sleep between ten and eleven. So no I'm not one of those people who gets the full nine hours.

Here's my rule: Don't focus on the 12 hours. Focus on the old rule that says no eating after nine. Before that I'm not giving you a pass. Don't eat whatever you want. Try to eat something with a little fiber content. If you get cravings at night, give in, but only a little. If you want chocolate, eat a Fiber One Brownie, not a giant hot fudge sundae. Dessert won't wreck your diet, as long as your careful of the time you eat and the content of your treat.

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