“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” is a saying we have heard often. Dinner is blamed for all the unnecessary pounds you put on. You don’t need much energy at night and the extra calories of dinner are converted into fat. You cannot remain hungry at night but dinner can be planned in such a way that it does not pile up weight.
- Have an early dinner. Eat a couple of hours before bed time so that your body can digest and metabolise whatever you eat.
- Empty your fridge and pantry of high calorie snacks that tempt you at night. If they are not there, you cannot eat them. Do have some snacking options like carrot sticks and low fat hung curd dip for the times when you simply must have something to eat.
- Begin your meal with a salad. Prepare a bowl of salad with deseeded cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and apple and orange segments. You can make it tasty with fat free dressing. You can add a sprinkling of low fat cheese and nuts. Your stomach will be half full before you eat your main meal which is usually high in calories.
- Choose less of carbohydrates and more of protein for your night meals as protein will make you feel full for a longer period of time. Fish, steamed chicken and boiled eggs are good options. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain, fruits and legumes are better as they are less likely to be stored as fat. Avoid simple carbohydrates like starch and sugar.
- Substitute herbs for butter and cheese which have a high calorific value so you can indulge in pepper, basil, garlic and lime juice to flavour your food.
- Limit the number of dishes you cook for dinner. The more dishes there are, the more you will eat as you will want to try them all out and may end up consuming more calories than you intend.
- Use smaller plates to eat dinner. More food can be served on a large plate and in all probability you will finish the food on your plate adding to your calorie count. On the other hand smaller portions served on a small plate will fill it and your brain can convince your stomach that you have had a satisfactory meal.
- The last thing you should have at the end of the day is a large glass of cold water. The cold water will bring the body temperature down and the body will burn extra calories to bring the temperature back to normal. This will mean an increase in metabolism. A glass of water will burn around thirty calories.