Benefits Of Finishing Dinner Before 7 Pm While Fasting Intermittently

'When' you eat is equally important as 'what' you eat. Find out how I managed to stay fit by not eating after 7 P.M.

'Being fit doesn't mean having a slim figure but it means to be healthy and active.' 

I held on to this and decided to follow a timed-based diet. Everyone needs a written diet plan in hand to strictly follow it. But it doesn't depend on the written diet plan. You should have the will to follow it and make it work. It would be so easy if losing weight was just about reducing calorie intake! A diet plan works when you exercise and work out. 

I am a student whose schedule doesn't allow much time for exercise. Hence, exercising on the go is the only option. While this wasn't helping I decided to stop eating after 7 P.M. 

Photo by Smitty on Unsplash / Eating junk before sleep is not healthy

Eating 3 hours before sleep has many advantages:

  • It helps in digestion
  • Helps you sleep better
  • The body doesn't bloat
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Reduces the risk of various health disease
  • Improves mood and energy levels

That's what I'm talking about. It's been years I've been following this routine and my body feels better. Not eating after 7 P.M. until morning breakfast is a concept close to intermittent fasting. I fast for about 14 hours.

What do I eat?

I eat everything. There are no restrictions on my diet. Some days I'm eating salad for lunch and cheese pizza for dinner. There is a balance in the routine that helps me keep control of my calorie intake. When you're dieting based on time, you should keep 'mindful eating' in mind. 

If you can't resist taking a tour of the fridge before sleeping, eating early dinners won't help. A lot of people tend to eat highly saturated food right before sleeping and usually skip breakfast. This should be avoided to keep fit and energetic. For me, breakfast is very important which helps me kick-start the day. Be it corn flakes with milk or wholesome oatmeal, I enjoy my breakfasts. 

While the concept of intermittent fasting suggests skipping breakfast and eating lunch, snacks, and dinner in an 8-hour window, I break that rule and include 3 hours more in my window for my breakfast. This generally doesn't change much. 'Mindful eating' helps me reduce my snacking and have light dinners. 

What is Intermittent Fasting?

One of the world's most popular health and fitness trends - intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. 

There is no specific way of following this lifestyle. One can choose a time of the day when they want to eat and when they want to stop eating. There are no rules defined and studies show that this can help in weight cause, improve metabolism, and protect against disease for living a longer life. 

This diet does not say 'what to eat', it focuses on 'when to eat'. This is why you should care. 

You might wonder that you fast every day while asleep but intermittent fasting is a little more than fasting while sleeping. The most common format is called 16:8. Here, you fast for 16 hours and eat in the 8-hour window. You can choose those 8 hours depending on your daily schedule. Usually, people have their 8-hour eating window from noon to 8 P.M. 

Intermittent fasting
Photo by Jamie Matociños on Unsplash | Dieting and intermittent fasting aren't the same

Intermittent fasting keeps me energetic throughout the day

You might think if you're consuming fewer calories or fasting for long hours, how can I feel energetic? Well, that's the beauty of this routine. Eating foods that contain proteins and energy, can easily help you get through the day.

Additionally, if you exercise regularly, you stay active and full of power all day. 

Moreover, eating all day can also make you feel lethargic. This can affect your health and make you feel less productive. To feel active and fresh, you should be prepared to drink lots of water and eat healthy food. 

Can anybody follow intermittent fasting?

Fasting for 14 -16 hours including sleep time is not for everyone. If you are a young individual who works or studies without any health issues, intermittent fasting can prove to be the best routine for you. I'm sure this lifestyle will bring a significant change to your life.

For some who are on medications, very young kids or older citizens, or even pregnant women, intermittent fasting can be difficult. As medicines demand you to eat at particular intervals, it is not recommended to fast for long hours. However, you can try limiting your calorie intake to lose weight. 

Dinner dates and parties are rule-breakers

Dinner date
Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash | Dinner date after 7 P.M

Going out to a restaurant for a date or party usually happens after 8 P.M. No one would agree to an early dinner outside. Such get-togethers end around 10 P.M. or even close to midnight if desserts and drinks are involved. 

Following a rigid guide to not indulge after 7 P.M. can be a barrier when you have a date. What will do then? 

Well, just like cheat days, such occasions can be allowed in a rigid guide. But you need to take care of what you are consuming and how much you are consuming. Do not refrain from eating anything but reduce the quantity. In this way, you won't return to your home with the guilt of not enjoying the scrumptious food at that fancy restaurant.

As I've been trying this for a very long time, I can assure you that following a strict routine and mindful eating actually works. Along with mindful eating, you need to exercise to stay active and keep fit. With simple steps like these, you will achieve your goal of losing weight soon.

A writer who loves watching movie-marathons. Otherwise, you'll find her walking around the city, cafe-hopping & trying the best food around.

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