Are You Eating Backwards?

Dining OutManners aside, I’d never given much thought to whether I was eating “correctly” while growing up.

Meals were served to me three times a day, and I ate them dutifully.

This didn’t change much until 7th Grade, when I took my first Home Economics class.

(Back in those days, it was a requirement for all female students).

That’s when I first learned there were RULES to eating food.

Things like – it’s important to vary color throughout a meal, so you should never serve a meal that is “all-white” like chicken, white rice and cauliflower.

(I like to think that those first lessons on color have served me well as an interior designer).

We also learned the importance of including the four food groups at every meal – meat, dairy, grains, plus fruit and vegetables.

(My, how that one has changed!)

This was my introduction to the basics of nutrition, and many years later those early lessons have served me well.

However, the older I get, not only do the basic rules keep shifting, but new ones are introduced all the time.

For example, I now know that it’s perfectly OK to avoid dairy – even though it’s one of the basic food groups.

In fact, if you continue to eat the food you’re actually allergic to, chances are you will be…

anything but healthy.

Not to mention that your immune system will be on high alert.

At the same time, if you are allergic to any one food, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be unhealthy.

And dairy is a perfect example.

Here’s another Rule that I like:

Your biggest meal should be first thing in the morning.

In other words, eat breakfast like a king, dinner like a pauper.

Otherwise, you’re eating ‘backwards’.

Why is this even important?

When you consume a big meal at night – especially late in the evening, or just before bed – your body has to work that much harder during the night, to digest your food.

And that detracts from the real work you’re body needs to do while you’re asleep.

In fact, if you’ve ever woken up and not felt the least bit hungry for breakfast, that’s because you’re still digesting your dinner!

(Kind of gross, if you think about it).

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid a large evening meal – especially during the holiday season, or when you’ve been invited to someone’s home for dinner.

But usually that’s the exception instead of the rule.

Ideally, you don’t want to eat anything for at least two to three hours before bed.

So, if your goal is to be in bed by 10:00 pm, that means dinner should be over and done with by 7:00. (If that seems too restrictive, you can push the time back to 7:30 or 8:00 pm at the very latest).

Try and keep the meal light.

You’ll also want to avoid dessert or caffeine late in the evening. (Simply plan on having them earlier in the day).

And then – observe closely and notice whether or not you’re sleeping better.

(There are even apps that do the calculation for you).

Bottom line:  you will likely experience improved digestion, and better sleep just by making this one simple change.

That’s right – eating backwards!

Speak Your Mind