There are many myths that revolve around diets and how to lose weight. One of them is that “to lose those pounds you shouldn’t eat dinner.”
In this article, we tell you why you shouldn’t skip the last meal of the day if you want to lose weight.
Does eating dinner make you gain or lose weight?
Some people decide not to eat dinner because they’re trying to lose weight. However, this habit actually has the opposite effect.
The reason is very simple:
When the body doesn’t receive food for a certain amount of time, this “awakens” a state of alert, similar to when the body is put in a dangerous situation. In this state, the body stops consuming energy, as it stores it to cope with the situation.
Therefore, instead of consuming fewer calories not eating causes the body accumulate them. However, this doesn’t mean that we should go to the other extreme and overeat at dinner.
The body will suffer in both cases.
In Spain, for example, they say: “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.” This is very helpful to remember how to organize your daily intake of calories.
In the morning, you need to eat more so that your body has all the energy and nutrients it needs to cope with the day.
At noon, you still need some “fuel” to continue.
However, at night, your body needs only the basics, since you’ll be going to bed soon. Having a light dinner isn’t the same as eating nothing.
Therefore, we recommend that you don’t completely eliminate this last meal of the day.
If you don’t eat dinner, you may wake up at dawn feeling so hungry that you open your fridge and consume anything you find (this is known as the night eating syndrome).
Conversely, if your dinner every night (or several times a week) includes foods that are rich in fats and carbohydrates, then it’s more likely that you’ll either gain weight or find it difficult to lose weight like you want to.
Carbs and fats are stored in the body and are difficult to eliminate, especially because we sleep and don’t exercise at night.
If you’re looking to lose weight, we advise that you don’t skip meals, especially dinner. Instead, you can choose to eat healthier foods, such as yogurt, a salad, soup or some pieces of fruit.
The important thing is that you limit your intake of calories, but not so much that you’re hungry just before bed or sleep on a completely empty stomach.
Dinner allows us to lose weight
When a person wants to lose weight but doesn’t want to follow a very restrictive diet, the key basically lies in changing their dinner menu.
Currently, many make the mistake of skipping breakfast. Then, we eat something light at noon so we can continue working and at night we take advantage of enjoying heavier foods, and hence eat in restaurants or order out.
This habit can make weight loss very difficult. After dinner, we only do activities that burn very few calories such as watching television, having a conversation at the table, reading, or sleeping, etc., so our body stores the calories. That’s why this last meal should be as light as possible.
What would be the perfect dinner, then? The perfect dinner is one that doesn’t leave us feeling “full” and isn’t full of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. Of course, you also ideally shouldn’t consume alcohol during dinner.
Therefore, you should focus on eating foods rich in protein at dinner. These should come from foods that are low in fat, such as turkey breast, hake, salmon and green leafy vegetables.
Weight loss dinner recipes
Perhaps consuming more protein and fewer carbs at night may seem a little difficult to do.
After all, most of us are so accustomed to flours and fats that we may not know that there are thousands of recipes that meet the requirements and can be part of the “perfect dinner.”
Here are some examples:
Read this article: Is it Bad to Eat Flour-based food at Night?
Chicken with avocado and tomato sauce
This is an ideal choice for those who are starting a diet and who are looking for meals that satisfy your cravings and appetite.
- 1 diced chicken breast
- ¼ cup diced cheese (30 g)
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup of spinach (30 g)
- 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce (45 g)
- Salt (to taste)
- You can prepare the chicken in advance. Otherwise, you can either boil it or saute it with very little olive oil.
- Boil the spinach leaves for a few minutes to make them tender.
- Peel the avocado and remove the pulp.
- Mix the chicken, the cheese, the avocado and the spinach in a bowl
- Pour the tomato sauce in and mix well.
Tuna and vegetable salad
This is a cooler recipe that works well for summer dinners and will satisfy your hunger without you spending hours in the kitchen.
- 1 can of natural tuna
- 1 onion
- 8 or 10 black olives
- 1 pepper
- ½ can of palm hearts
- 1 tray of mushrooms (about 250 g)
- 2 tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt (to taste)
- Dice the onion and the pepper.
- Slice the olives and the mushrooms.
- Place the tuna in a bowl and mix it with the other ingredients.
- Garnish with a little salt and olive oil.