Generally the timing of meals is not the most relevant factor when trying to lose weight as your metabolism works all throughout the day and night (even if it does slow down at night). What is more important is that you are eating the right kinds of foods and in appropriate serving sizes in the evening. Making sure your meal includes a lean portion of protein, a large serve of salad or vegetables and a small portion of carbohydrates is a good place to start. Serving sizes depend on your age, activity levels and your habits throughout the day. If you would like more specific information on the best serving sizes for you, consider consulting an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
It is OK to have a snack after dinner if you are still hungry, but try to keep it to a low kilojoule/low GI snack such as a piece of fruit, a small tub of low-fat yoghurt or a small handful of nuts.
Whilst it is not a specific recommendation for weight management, allowing half an hour between eating and going to bed is recommended as lying down can cause reflux of the undigested contents of your stomach into your food pipe. As stomach acid is irritating, this can cause heart burn and reflux symptoms in some people. Liquids are digested more quickly on the other hand so a glass of milk before bed, for example, is less likely to cause reflux symptoms.
If you would like to discuss these issues (or another food related question) in more detail, the dietitians at Discover Health would be more than happy to assist you. We have centres in Eltham, Fairfield, Kew, Burwood, Endeavour Hills and Doncaster. Contact us on 9431 4337.
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