There are many food myths, some of them have a more or less true core, are absolute right or completely wrong. It is often heard, for example, that carbohydrates should no longer be consumed in the evening or even that one should not eat at all after 6 p.m. The advice that you should eat at least five small meals a day is no longer entirely new. But what is it about this wisdom? Is it really healthier to eat like this, is there an optimal time to eat and is it possible to lose weight?
In order to function properly, our body needs nutrients and energy. When he’s busy, he needs more of it when he’s in sleep mode, less. So it is quite logical that we should provide our body with energy, especially in the morning and noon, so that we can get through the day well. In the evening, just before bedtime, it seems less necessary. The basic rule of eating like an emperor in the morning, like a king at noon and like a beggar in the evening is therefore also fundamentally confirmed by nutritionists.
1. Important rule: Do not force to eat
However, there is one but here. Because even if experts confirm that a good breakfast is important, it is even more important to pay attention to your personal preferences. There is no point in forcing yourself down a little in the morning, maybe a lot, because that’s how you do it. If you are not hungry in the morning, you shouldn’t force yourself, then a smoothie or another small snack is enough.
Same goes for dinner. Creating artificial hurdles for yourself, such as just eating salad in the evening or not eating anything after 6 p.m., is rarely crowned with success. It is more likely to prevent a healthy diet than it will help you eat healthier or lose weight. For example, people who “are not allowed” to eat after 6 p.m. tend to force themselves to eat at 5 p.m., although they may not be hungry yet. Or they get hungry again shortly before going to bed and then cannot sleep well. The result is frustration and dissatisfaction. Such a strategy cannot be sustained permanently.
2. Rule: It is also important who you eat with
In addition, because of the daily routine, dinner is often the main meal for many people and also has an important social significance. We usually don’t want to overeat during the day at work in order not to get tired. We’d rather enjoy dinner with friends or family in the evening. The second point is particularly important for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Meals taken together are important for mental wellbeing, which also affects the body. We also tend to eat more slowly and therefore less during conversations. So all good reasons not to forbid dinner. Nevertheless, care should be taken not to ingest anything heavy so as not to negatively affect the quality of sleep. In addition, excessive carbohydrates should be avoided, as the body usually cannot do much with the extra energy at this time.
Speaking of excess – we usually eat as soon as we feel a little hungry. It is said again and again that one should rather eat many small meals than a few large ones. But that is not true and is more likely to be rejected by nutrition experts. We generally eat too often and often ingest too many calories. Here a snack in between, another bite there and we eat more than we consume. It is not so bad at all to feel hungry every now and then and not always to breastfeed it immediately. Only when we start to starve does the body go to the reserves and use up stored energy. As long as it does not lead to malnutrition, being hungry is also healthy.
3. Rule: Not all calories are created equal
Last but not least, it is of course not only important when we eat how much, but also what. It should be said that it shouldn’t be about counting calories. Because for a healthy diet it is not absolutely important how many calories we consume, but above all in what form. If you want to lose weight healthily and only count calories, you run the risk of starving all the time (even if being hungry every now and then is good, you shouldn’t have it all the time), although it might not be necessary at all. So high-sugar and high-fat dishes are high in calories. But we often feel hungry again quickly after eating them, like after a chocolate bar or a fast food dish. On the other hand, an avocado is also high in fat, but it can even help you lose weight. Or high-calorie legumes – these keep you full for a long time and help you avoid unhealthy snacks in between meals. They also contain valuable nutrients that keep our body fit and healthy.
In summary, the following can be said. Instead of slavishly clinging to food myths, you should:
- eat if you want it
- in good company and in a relaxed atmosphere
- don’t eat too often
- but high-quality food
Also let yourself get hungry
- and eat well-balanced instead of counting calories