Ever wondered why you easily get away with a heavy meal had during the day but a heavy meal later in the night results in discomfort and a disturbed sleep. You wake up feeling lethargic and low on energy the next day. Your efficiency level at work or at studies is also not very good. The reason for this is the timing of the meal and also digestive system’s response to the meal. You might be surprised if I said that your body is primarily regulated like a twenty-four hour clock. Our body’s digestive function has been designed according to the sunrise-sunset pattern. So, you need to plan your dietary intake keeping this in mind.
Relationship between time of day and your digestive strength
According to Ayurveda, our digestive strength (Agni) is the best when the sun is at its brightest. So, according to this, the main and the biggest meal has to be between 12 noon and 2pm.
As the sun goes down, so does the digestive fire; slowing down the digestion. The indication here is that you should eat most of your day’s calories before the sunset or latest by 7 pm. The food eaten thereafter does not get properly digested and you face the problem of indigestion.
Body’s metabolic rate slows down during these hours, as there is no or little physical activity. Also, eating a heavy dinner overloads the digestive system and slows down the metabolic rate. So eating heavy and hard-to-digest foods at night can promote fatigue and weight gain. This also will result in you being less efficient the following day. So, dinner being the last meal of the day should always be light in terms of calories but should have a high satiety value. Satiety value is the degree at which food gives a human the sense of food gratification, the exact contrast feeling of hunger.
Problems due to late and heavy dinner
Having late and heavy dinners will eventually lead to
- Foul smell in the breath
- Increase in weight
Another important reason why you should avoid eating late is due to the effect it can have on your sleep cycle. People who practice early dining have better digestion and hence have a better sleep cycle. Problems like acidity and heartburn can keep one disturbed at nights.
Benefits of early dining
When your digestion is good and you have had a good night’s sleep, you are guaranteed to get up fresh and full of energy the next day. Your body is more efficient at performing all the physical and mental tasks. So, if you need to feel right you will have to eat right and also make sure at the right time.
By doing so we are sort of connecting our body and mind with our environment.