To maintain a constant energy level, our caloric intake should be at its highest during the beginning of the day, not at the end, so that we have fuel to burn during our daily activities. So goes the familiar phrase, "Eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper." Yet few of us subscribe to the practice. "Most of us look forward to our evening meal and treat it as the main food event of the day," says nutrition expert Judith Wills, author of The Food Bible. Here, she gives us 11 rules to eat by when putting together a satisfying but light evening meal:
- Limit meat to once or twice a week.
- Have fish at least twice a week.
- Have a vegetarian or vegan night at least twice a week, not relying heavily on cheese.
- Have poultry or game once or twice a week.
- Remember that full-fat hard blue and creamy cheeses are high in saturated fat and calories and best used sparingly.
- Remember that pastry is high in fat, mainly saturated fat, and calories; keep it for occasional use only.
- Phyllo is better than other pastries, because you can add your own amount of fat.
- Only use as much fat as necessary when cooking.
- Check out how many portions of fruit and vegetables you've had during the day, and use your evening meal to make up the total to at least five portions.
- If you enjoy wine, add a glass to an occasional meal.
- If your main meal is large, instead of having a dessert, have a snack during the day or a late-night smoothie so you don't have too many calories all at one time.
While night eating in and of itself won't cause obesity, it is often the culprit for overindulging in unneccesary calories. If you can meter out your portions throughout the day, rewarding yourself with a larger meal at night can be part of a nutritious eating plan. Just remember to follow the guidelines above to keep overeating to a minimum.
Here's a lovely Katharine Hepburn quote: "I believe how I act today will affect the way I am tomorrow." So get with the Weight Watchers program today! You can do it!!
*source for Quick Tips: Weight Watchers UK