You may have heard this before, and it is one of the rules on your TLC-Program…. Do not eat too late at night! On the TLC-Program the rule is eat before 9pm, but ideally, for your body to function optimally, you should not eat after 7pm!

But do you know why this is important?

Experts say that having a late-night meal keeps the body on ‘high alert’ at a time where it should be winding down, which can have dangerous implications for our health. Researchers have now said that we should never eat within two hours of our bedtime, and ideally, nothing after 7pm.

Our bodies follows a rhythm, called the ‘circadian rhythm’. Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. It is like an internal clock that helps the body adjust to eating, sleeping, and other activities. One of the most important and well-known circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle, and also the hunger-fasting-feeding cycle. This critical activity affects all the body parts in some way or the other. Eating too late can impact this rhythm in many negative ways.
According to health experts and nutritionists, having your last meal of the day before 7 pm allows the body to adjust and digest the food before the sleep cycle starts and does not disrupt it.

Some of the benefits of eating before 7pm:
-Weight loss
When you eat early, the body is involved in motion and movement that helps burn calories gained and as a result, it aids weight loss. Also, the routine helps you reach a state of ketosis where it is almost completely fueled by fat. So it forces the body to use stored fat for energy.

-Faster metabolism
Eating too late can affect your body’s metabolism of fat. You’ll burn your fat more slowly.

-Effective digestion
It’s a proven fact that the earlier you eat; the better your digestion. The idea is to allow the body to consume the calories taken in rather than storing them as fat.

-Sufficient sleep
Eating right before bedtime increases the risk of indigestion and heartburn, resulting in restlessness and sleeplessness. Eating late also sends a message to the brain to keep active and that prevents the body from powering down.

-Improved heart health
Meals consumed later at night can lead to water retention, high blood pressure and bloating. Eating early ensures better digestion and it also reduces cardiovascular risk.

-Additional health benefits:
According to various researchers, an early dinner reduces the risk of breast cancer, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps burn off calories in an effective manner.

So plan to optimize your body’s circadian rhythm and efficiency and plan those mealtimes before 7pm!