New Diet.com blogger Mike Levinson, author of Buff Dad, is here with the reason you should not eat after 6 p.m. Please welcome Mike and be sure to read his No-Nonsense Weight Loss blog on a regular basis.
Being a dietitian and fitness author, I get this sort of question a lot: what should I eat and when should I eat? My general rule of thumb is simple -- make sure to eat small meals throughout the day and never get full.
The aim should be to satisfy your hunger until the next meal.
I tell my clients all the time it's OK to be hungry. Trust me... you will not die from going to bed hungry.
My #1 rule besides eating small meals throughout the day is to not eat after 6 p.m. I am huge believer in this.
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.
Eat no breads, pastas, rice, potatoes or other forms of starchy carbs at night. So basically you would eat a large salad with chicken breast or lean beef. That equates to about 3 to 5 ounces cooked or stir-fried veggies with chicken or beef.
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!
The problem is they'd then go to bed and not really metabolize the food for energy or fuel for the brain and body. Instead, the food will be stored as body fat.
Then what tends to happen is you wake up in the morning and you're not hungry for breakfast. You skip breakfast but by 11 a.m. you are now starving. You go eat a large lunch and then not eat again until dinner. Bu then you have starved yourself all afternoon so you eat like a sumo wrestler, stuffing their face with anything not nailed down in their house.
Side Note: Sumo wrestlers eat one large meal a day. It's roughly 10,000 calories consumed within two hours.
So ask yourself when you are about to eat all that food at
once: Am I training to be a sumo wrestler?
I think the main goal for most of us is to get lean and fit.
So I suggest my clients eat most of their carbs (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, baked potatoes, brown rice or other higher fiber starchy carbs) in the morning and taper off the carbs at the day goes on.
At dinnertime you eat only veggies and a lean source of protein.
You will be hungry at night and that is OK. I promise you will wake up in the morning and feel great.
You should be hungry so eat a well-balanced breakfast and repeat day after day for a month and watch your body fat fall off.
Check out the original Diet.com feature on Levinson's Buff Dad book.
Mike Levinson is a former amateur bodybuilding champion and registered dietician who holds dual degrees in sports nutrition and physical education. He has worked extensively as a nutritionist with the California Angels baseball team and with famous athletes such as Charles Oakley, JT Snow and Sean Rooks. He also worked as a nutritionist for the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders.