I don't see anywhere where it says you need to eat dinner by 5pm. The article says,
"You may have a problem with evening eating if:
More than one-third of your meals & snacks are eaten after 5:00 pm. More than one-third of your total calories are consumed after 5:00 pm."
What the above means is if you eat most of your food in the evening, you probably have a problem with evening eating. I don't know where people got "you HAVE to eat dinner before 5pm."
This, along with what other dietitians say, is a GUIDELINE. It is not a law, the food police will NOT arrest you if you eat something at 5:01 PM. I don't see ANY unrealistic expectation in this article, I appreciate the information provided!
I joined SP a long time ago, and enjoyed the helpful articles. Now reading the comments just makes me depressed. (I can't help but read them, they show up on the side of the article). I'm glad I don't write anything for SP, my self esteem would be in the gutter with all these mean comments!
I don't understand why we get so bent out of shape and take literally every single thing that someone writes in an article on SP. The time frames given are just examples or suggestions. My mom worked midnights at the post office for over 30 years. When her doctor told her that she needed to make some changes in her diet, it was difficult for her. I told her that her "morning" wasn't the same as mine...her "morning" was actually about 6:00pm...that was when she should eat breakfast. Her "noon" was around midnight and that's when she had lunch. Her "evening" would be around 5:00 or 6:00am...that was when she would have dinner. She would have light & healthy snacks during her regular work breaks. She lost 17 lbs without exercising and she slept better.
Maybe these writers need to add disclaimers to their articles to ease the minds of the readers: "This information should be tailored to the lifestyle of the individual. Any suggested meal times are general and for the purposes of making examples, they are not hard and fast rules that we expect you to live by."
Unless I misread it, I don't think it was suggesting to eat dinner by 5, but I understood it to say that IF you have trouble with binging in the evening when you do get home, take note of how much you are eating before 5 (when evening unofficially starts) and how much you are eating after 5. If most of your calories are after 5, it is suggesting this could be the reason why you are binging in the evening. If you are not binging when you get home, then don't worry about it. If you are binging, maybe adjust your meals and snack throughout the day. And if you are on a different work schedule, just adjust the time accordingly to what would be your "5 oclock" in the evening & dinner and your bed time, etc. Just another perspective. :)
Does anyone else see irony in the skinny model chosen for the photo for this article? Just wondering. I do my best to not eat after 8pm, but some nights I don't get home from work until after 6, and have a workout and dogs to walk before dinner happens, so that's not always realistic.
We have our main meal at noon because of living on our dairy and with the traditions of farming from long ago. So therefore, we're snacking pretty much the rest of the day and I try to make mine light. The men don't like a heavy meal before going out to do the evening meal, so have heavier snacks when coming back into the house, the earliest time would be around 7:30 and most of the time, it's later than that, with problems that can come up when you take care of alot of animals, etc!!
1/15/2012 6:30:44 PM
Thanks, Becky! You really covered all the bases here, from the effects of sleep on ghrelin and leptin (vitally important) to the optimal proportions of calories consumed at various times of the day to "instead-of" activities to pursue instead of eating. Well done!!
Um, Becky, many of us don't leave our offices until well after five p.m. While I do eat dinner as early as possible I don't believe I've EVER in my life eaten it before 5 o'clock.
While there was a lot of useful info in this article, these very unrealistic expectations on the part of dietitians (and, through you, SP) can set people up for an unnecessary sense of failure.
I give the article a major fail on this count alone.
1/15/2012 3:17:20 PM
I used to have trouble with "early evening" eating, because I work late (frequently until 7 or 8 pm). Previously, I'd get home, famished and dive head first into a bag of tortilla chips while I waited for dinner (often not until 9 or 10 pm). Now, I have a couple of late afternoon and early evening healthy snacks (e.g., fruit, nuts, yogurt). I usually have one snack around 3:30-5 and the second one just before I leave to go home (depending on the day, between 6 and 8 pm). That way, I'm not ravenously hungry when I get home, so I eat a healthy dinner and go to bed shortly thereafter.
I keep healthy and tasty, grab and go snacks at the office, so I'm not tempted to eat junk.
I appreciate that SP recognizes calories are calories no matter when they are eaten. I've always been a night eater and it never affects my sleep pattern - I sleep great. In fact, going to bed with hunger pangs will cause me to not get a good nights sleep. Knowing this about myself, when I started SP I decided to play to my "weakness"... Adjusting my calorie intake during the day so I have plenty left to eat my snacks in the evening. I eat most of my calories after 5 but track everyone of them. My snacks are typically fruits and/or cereal such as oatmeal. The snacks are in my tracker before I eat dinner! Have averaged weight loss of about 6 pounds a month. Bottomline ~ I say, know who you are and what has tripped you up in the past. Then work a program, you can maintain for a lifetime, around your known pitfalls.
I get home after 5pm everyday and i don't plan what I'm going to cook for my family. I usually don't get done until about 7 and I try to hurry because I have acid reflux, so it affects me when I go to bed. Sometimes I just eat whatever and count the points. It's really hard to eat before 5 especially for me, but I will try the 2 hour rule before going to bed.
1/8/2012 8:12:37 PM
Same i dont get in til after 6pm although generally week is fine i always leave 2hrs after eating before going to bed. My trigger is a certain person i find when i have any contact in person on phone i just want to eat alot of emotions come up and i think im angry and try to stuff them down with food .I do avoid this person as much as possible and try not to have trigger foods in the house .I am very aware of my reaction but dont always feel in control of my emotions i think there is alot of buried stuff there .I find i overcompensate with exercise and do 2hrs instead of 1 if i think ive ate more than i needed.
I just re-read this article and although much of it is useful, I must say I do not even get home from work until after 5:00 PM, so using that time over and over in the article makes it seem irrelevant for me. "Evening" needs to be defined so all of us full-time, 1st shifters are included!
Sometimes I feel like these types of tips are for people who don't work. I have to finish breakfast before 7:30am. Then I work starting at 7:50am, then have lunch time at 11:30am to 12pm - 4 hrs. later (not bad). Then I work until about 5pm - sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later (this puts me at 5 hrs. after lunch) and I'm ravenous. I try to have a piece of fruit at this point on my way to the gym. Then I'm at the gym until about 6:30pm, depending on the workout. Then it's time to head home (usually get there before 7pm). Hubby is usually home at about 6:30pm. Now it's been 6 1/2 or 7 hours since lunch. Can you say starving? (even with the fruit). Then there's time preparing dinner, and the eating of it can happen anywhere between 7pm and 8pm. If I were to wait to go to the gym until after dinner (which would be pushing into the 9pm hour), I'd be leaving the house again when I should be having time with hubby. I don't even have kids - so I can't imagine how hard it is to fit in the gym and work and kids and still make sure dinner is in the 5pm hour!
Eating at night is my biggest challenge to weight loss. What works for me, is to "just say No". This is what we ask our kids to do when faced with drug/alcohol temptations so, why not food temptations as well? Sometimes easier said than done but
7/21/2011 3:33:47 PM
This is so generic. Nothing new and not entirely truthful either. It doesn't matter if I eat a certain amount of food after 5 pm. I get off work at 6:00, my body is used to it. I also don't go to bed until midnight because I don't have to be up until 8 the next morning.
The only thing in this article that people should take home with them is that if you eat dinner at 9 and go to bed at 10, your body doesn't have time to metabolize all the calories you ate and it will disturb your sleep trying to digest and what doesn't get used before you lay down and don't move for several hours WILL get stored as fat. You don't burn half as many calories asleep as you do even just sitting up on the couch. If anyone out there doesn't believe it, try it for a week and see for themselves.
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