Here are the 5th and 6th resolutions.
Untimely and midnight snacking
I typically have dinner anytime between 8 pm and 9pm. Later than that doesn’t suit me. I also have a habit (recently developed) of snacking on a few almonds before going to bed. This happens around 10pm every night. Studies do show that eating one to one and-a-half hours before bed could be beneficial…if we eat the right foods. I go to sleep around 11pm. I am a diabetic with a dose of metformin at night. Included in this group are, a cup of yogurt, a small piece of fruit or some nuts. None of the refined, processed and packaged foods count here. We have to also consciously ensure that we do not eat too much just before going to bed as that has negative effects like causing our digestive system to work extra. This could also affect our sleep and leave us irritable and groggy the next day. And as a diabetic the added calories don’t help at all. Over a period of time, this habit could lead to weight gain, in turn impacting our glycaemic control negatively. The same rules apply to daytime snacking. Snacking in between meals can be equally dangerous if being done for no reason. I would define ‘no reason’ as follows:
- Love to eat and can’t resist
- Can’t watch a movie without snacking
- Can’t read a book without snacking
- I am working and hence a snack is justified
- It’s cold and my body needs more food
Healthy snacking is good as a much needed form of interim relief, mini energy booster or a way to ensure that your sugar levels aren’t too down. Unhealthy snacking as a meaningless habit can turn dangerous and can be really difficult to break as a habit.
The Indian way of eating late dinners
Indian metro cities and corresponding corporate cultures have pushed people into working long hours,forming unhealthy sleep patterns and indulging in untimely and unhealthy eating. One of the victims of this lifestyle is – dinner and along with it the entire household. Our habit to try and fit everything into a day has led to the trend of pushing off dinner until really late. What’s more, for many families, dinner tends to be the biggest meal of the day. That one meal that has the luxury of time and leisure. Let it be worth it. Even on days when real work is done and one has the opportunity to have an early dinner, office parties or socializing with friends takes over. Whatever the reason, what ultimately suffers is our health. And along with it comes the increased probability of lifestyle and metabolic diseases like a hypertension, heart problems or diabetes. The habit of eating too much food just before going to bed leads to acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion. For healthy individuals, it takes a few hours for a stomach to empty its contents. The best way to avoid this is to eat your big evening meal earlier.
For Indians, supper – a lighter, informal evening meal will be a good habit to acquire to ensure sustained good health.
7, 8 and 9 to follow…