You hear the adage that says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Today, I want you to ask whether that statement is true or not. Why is breakfast considered to be more important than lunch or dinner?
If you have been up and down with your weight, you may be following this pattern of thinking. You try to eat a healthy breakfast at home, eat lunch at work, and then eat a small dinner. Occasionally you may even skip dinner altogether to avoid overeating.
Many diet programs follow this restriction. If you do a low carbohydrate, low fat, or low cholesterol diet, you may be skipping dinner most days of the week. But today I want you to ask how does your body feel when you follow this pattern?
I find this meal pattern to be limiting, especially when you are focusing on building a career. The high pressure and dense schedule of work often leave you a short time in the morning to eat a full breakfast. Lunch break often gives you only a few minutes, so you can only grab a bite of sandwich or bagel. If there is one moment you have time to eat, it’s dinner – but you hear that eating at night is bad if you want to lose weight.
Starving to death to lose weight is not a winning long-term strategy. What can you do to eat enough and still lose as much weight as you want?
Why not eating dinner can be difficult
Mike Levinson from Diet.com states that eating after 6 P.M is bad for you:
Not eating after 6 p.m. is crucial to weight loss. Most people eat a large dinner and then snack on sweets or salty foods at night while watching TV. They’re putting down 2,000 calories and feeling like they just ate a Thanksgiving meal every night!
To make it through the evening make sure to eat a dinner with at least two cups of steamed or stir-fried veggies or salad with low fat salad dressing (measure out your dressings). Add some lean form of protein such as chicken, fish or lean beef. For vegetarians, tofu is an excellent choice.
From what I’ve learned and practiced about weight loss, there are two rules to lose weight:
- Prolonged calorie restriction is the cause of weight loss
- You must restrict calories in a way that you can do consistently
Every diet program and method work on the basis of calorie restriction. Therefore, not eating dinner can help you lose weight if you can do it consistently. The problem is can you do it consistently?
If you’re not allowed to eat past 6 P.M, when should you eat dinner? You get out of the office at 5 P.M, and then you meet your friends or co-workers at the bar until 6 or 7 o’clock. If you’re not allowed to eat after that time after a hard day’s work, then you may give up on your diet too soon.
It becomes important to ask must you avoid dinner completely? Or is there a way that you can enjoy dinner at the convenient time and still lose weight?
Why eating a big dinner is a good idea
If not eating dinner sounds like something you can’t do for a sustained period, then there is good news for you. There is a way to enjoy dinner – even a BIG dinner – and still lose weight. Nate Miyaki tells about this diet method in his book, the Half Day Diet.
Nate explains that eating dinner is an important part of our evolution and culture. The idea of breakfast and lunch did not exist during the time of our ancestors. Our ancestors – who hunted for food – would spend most of the day hunting. They only had time to eat big at night once they returned to camp.
And yet, when you see models of restructured cavemen, you rarely find one with a fat body …
This pattern of following evolutionary diet habits is the basis of Nate’s diet program. By eating enough food in the morning and noon to keep your body energized, and eat a big and satisfying dinner at night, you can lose weight without sacrificing your natural lifestyle. This way, you can focus at work and then enjoy eating food with friends after work.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want during dinner. As Mike Levinson says, eating unhealthy salty and sweet foods at night will make you gain weight. What you must do is focus on healthy food choices. Choose real foods based on plants and animals over refined foods that you find wrapped in bright colored boxes in the supermarket aisles.
If you make just this one change, focus on real foods, then you can lose weight whether you are an avid follower of eating a healthy breakfast or eating a big dinner. However, eating a big dinner has the plus point of fitting in with the schedule demands that comes from your desire to build a career.
For more information about how to eat a big healthy dinner, read my review of the Half Day Diet.