Nov 19, 2020

Benefits of eating an early dinner

 One major positive change that I made in 2020 is to have an early dinner before 7PM. I have mentioned this in a few posts but I believe this one needs a separate post in itself. 

Until last year, I used to finish my dinner by 8PM on most days. I slowly shifted the timings to 7:30, 7:15 and now 7PM. This shift by just an hour has made a huge difference in my life in multiple ways.

(1) I automatically feel sleepy by 9:30-10PM 
(2) Since there is a good 3-hour gap between the time I finish my dinner and the time I go to bed, the food I eat gets digested easily
(3) My stomach feels light when I wake up the next morning
(4) Bowel movements are regular 
(4) Sleep quality is much better
(5) I start to feel hungry by 8:30-9AM and my stomach is ready to eat a proper breakfast
(6) I have lost a few inches around my tummy. These were quite stubborn inches, by the way :-) And people with PCOD would know how hard it is to lose weight around the tummy
(7) My mind feels fresh and active the next morning. No sluggishness or lethargy

My dinner menu is quite simple. Usually, it is either dal rice, kichdi, dosa+chutney/sambhar, sambhar rice, rasam rice etc. Yes, I prefer to eat rice for dinner, as it suits my body and it digests easily. No soup, salad or rotis. Figure out what foods work for your body and choose accordingly. There are no universal guidelines applicable for all. 

Whenever I talk about early dinner, I get atleast a couple of DMs asking whether I would feel hungry around 9-10PM. I don't feel hungry after dinner and I don't eat or drink anything else. I usually chew 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds (sombu/saunf) after dinner. This helps to ease the digestion. At the same time, this habit acts as a signal to my brain (and tummy) that no more food would follow from hereon.

Having an early dinner helps our body and mind in so many ways. Do give it a try. Take it slow, shift it back by 15-20 minutes at a time, continue it for a few weeks and then shift it further. 

P.S. If you sleep late by midnight or post that, then you might end up feeling hungry if you have an early dinner. Try to fix your sleep routine first, before changing your dinner timings.

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