The famous saying “have breakfast like a king, eat like a prince and dinner like a beggar” has distorted the concept of what a balanced diet is and has caused more damage to our habits than we think , dangerously rooting the false belief that eating a little is thin .
This fictional story has made the time you eat more important than what you consume throughout the day, favoring changes in weight and on the body composition of people , with its long-term effects. Do you want to know why little or no dinner really doesn’t lose weight?
Stopping dinner is NOT the solution
Not having dinner just because you want to limit the calories you consume is not the way that will lead you to lose weight in a sustained way over time; less if you want to avoid the rebound effect and maintain your ideal weight. Although when you start to eat less, the body initially enters a state that favors weight loss, regularly skip dinners and continue a hypocaloric diet favors metabolic alterations and weight gain .
Part of this loss will be at the cost of muscle, which will slow your metabolic rate. Why ? Remember that muscles are the ones that use calories and, the less muscle, the less energy your body will need for the day. That is, the less mouths (muscle) you have to feed at home, the less food you should prepare (eat) if you want to prevent your body from storing what is left over as fat .
This practice will put you into a state of adaptive thermogenesis, accustoming your body to reducing calories, reducing energy expenditure, and preventing the energy that is stored in the form of fat from being released. Hence the famous phrase “but if I hardly eat anymore, why don’t I lose weight?” . The ideal is to carry out an adequate practice of intermittent fasting , where normal food consumption alternates with controlled periods of restriction.
Snacking instead of dinner can be a double-edged sword
The fact of “nibbling” something for dinner does not have to be negative. The problem is that many times it invites more abuse than control since it is difficult to visualize the total amount you are eating. To stimulate the satiety center and start to feel full, your body needs between 15 and 20 minutes, but if you peck all night this will not happen , because you do not stimulate the brain enough so you understand that you have eaten enough.
Keep in mind, also, that when you arrive home late and tired, you don’t usually think about preparing a healthy snack, resorting to the easy and fast , such as Ultra-processed products, full of sugar and trans fats , which instead of filling us up, cause hunger in a short time, and are not healthy . If you want to eat something smaller than what you usually eat for dinner, eat it preferably sitting, consciously, and continuously so that you can stimulate the satiety center and feel full after eating.
Can I have fruit for dinner?
If you are one of those who is afraid of fruit at night , you should bear in mind that the bottom line is what has been eaten throughout the day, and not the time to the one that has been eaten. Ultimately, this will determine whether the energy that that apple or that peach gives you will be burned or stored as fat in your body. With a balanced diet and you are used to eating throughout the day in moderation, having a fruit for dinner will not make you gain weight. Of course, it is better to choose fruits that have a low glycemic index to prevent your blood sugar levels from skyrocketing with the consequent compensatory drop that will only make you feel again starve faster than you think.
In conclusion, the fruit itself does not lose weight or make you fat , its effect on your body will depend mainly on what you eat during the day . The fruit is not magical enough to make you lose weight, nor evil enough to make you fat. However, ideally, you should include other food groups that less affect blood glucose levels, such as vegetables and proteins.
Begin to be aware of the totality and quality of food that you give your body in the day. Eliminate all those ultra-processed foods rich in simple sugars and trans fats . Begin to support the process of change and adaptation to new habits through the inclusion of other healthy habits such as doing physical activity and managing your emotions.