Don’t eat anything after 6 p.m. if you want to lose weight? Or would you rather cut the carbohydrates from the meal plan and go to bed with a growling stomach? It doesn’t have to be! Better: serve the right foods for weight loss.
There are many myths about dinner. You don’t have to go completely without food in the evening to lose weight.
If you pay attention to your diet, you can lose weight with the right foods and delicious recipes.
In the long term, you will also benefit from this method more, as extreme diets and abstinence often lead to food cravings and the yo-yo effect. We’ll tell you what to look for in a healthy dinner.
Does it make sense to skip dinner?
The idea of skipping dinner to lose weight as quickly as possible is widespread and has something in itself – especially if you embed this method in an intelligent nutritional strategy – such as intermittent fasting.
And of course, you save calories if you skip dinner. But nobody likes to go to bed with a growling stomach.
Falling asleep with a grumbling stomach not only feels uncomfortable, but it can also affect your sleep and slow down muscle building.
Especially if the calorie deficit is too high, it is not conducive to the weight loss plan. On the contrary: the basal metabolic rate adapts and the body uses less energy to maintain vital functions.
Apart from that, skipping a meal has nothing to do with healthy eating habits. Better: eat a healthy dinner.
With the right foods in the evening, the fat metabolism is boosted, muscle building is promoted and sleep is improved.
The right time for dinner
The French do it, just like the Spaniards or the Portuguese: They eat very late in the evening – and often they are particularly rich. That can’t help you lose weight, can it?
Of course, it largely depends on how many total calories are consumed over the day and how high the total personal turnover is.
Germans love their snack in the evening, but breakfast and lunch are often a bit bigger. In southern countries, however, people prefer a small breakfast and serve it up properly in the evening. So it depends on the right ratio.
But: If you eat very late in the evening, you will be more hungry the next morning.
The reason for this is that the body is busy digesting well into the night and immediately speaks up again in the morning because it has nothing more to do.
The liver is also happy to have a meal break at night since at this time it should be busy with detoxification processes instead of using food.
Also, late dinner disrupts fat burning overnight.
Tip: Eat around 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the latest and then allow your body to rest for twelve hours before continuing with breakfast – even better, a break of 14 to 16 hours.
The best food in the evening
With these foods in the evening, fat metabolism is boosted, muscle building is promoted and sleep is improved.
- Tofu and lean meat contain high-quality proteins that promote muscle building and keep blood sugar levels constant.
- Fish is also a very healthy source of protein. Salmon, herring, and tuna also provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids and tryptophan (essential amino acids).
- With their high value, eggs are the epitome of muscle building and have a positive effect on your sleep, as they contain lots of tryptophan.
- Low-fat dairy products such as cottage cheese, cottage cheese, or Skyr saturate long, are low in carbohydrates and also full of protein. But be careful: not too much of it – a maximum of 50 grams is sufficient.
- The oleic acid in avocados supports weight loss and protects against nighttime food cravings and junk food cravings.
- Almonds stabilize the blood sugar level, the calcium they contain also promotes fat burning. And almonds keep food cravings away. About 15 grams of nuts are enough – no more.
You can combine these foods with plenty of fresh vegetables, lettuce, and fiber-rich sources of carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice, or legumes – such as beans or chickpeas.
Here you will find the nutritional composition and energy density of the foods mentioned, which have a positive influence on sleep, muscle building, and fat metabolism. What they have in common: high protein content, few carbohydrates.
Healthy snacks in the evening
For those who like to snack in the evening, a rule of thumb is recommended: Evening treats should generally not have more than 200 calories.
And instead of a handful of salty chips, crack a few walnuts, which have a relaxing effect due to their tryptophan content and also provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Do you feel a slight craving in the evening? You can access these nine figure-friendly foods.
You should avoid these foods in the evening
In general, the body’s blood sugar level must remain as constant as possible. As a result, the metabolism runs smoothly – that is, the body can process the nutrients optimally.
A constant blood sugar level not only helps you stay slim but also helps you fall asleep.
However, foods rich in carbohydrates in the evening can have a negative effect on weight loss.
White flour products, polished rice, fruit juices, or sweets, in particular, can cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket – and drop again just as quickly. The result: new hunger.
So it is better to focus on protein-rich foods, vegetables, and healthy fats for dinner so that the insulin release remains within limits.
You don’t have to do without pasta and rice, but it should only be a small portion.
A mixture of carbohydrates and proteins is best for the benefit of proteins – which enables the body to release the happiness hormone serotonin, which in turn can send the sleep hormone melatonin on its way. So: only consume rice and pasta as a side dish.
Also, please refrain from raw food, as the body has to concentrate too much on digestion at night instead of being able to regenerate.
It shouldn’t be exclusively protein in the evening, because it also has a stimulating, waking effect on the metabolism (carbohydrates, on the other hand, calm you down).
When it comes to the protein source, go for fish, lean chicken, eggs, tofu, soy products, legumes, or nuts.
Very processed or fatty meals are also not recommended in the evening. They put a strain on the body, you cannot sleep well afterward and you feel overwhelmed.
Does fruit make you fat in the evening?
Often people say “stay away from the fruit in the evening” – and that’s only because fruit contains a lot of carbohydrates. But, as is so often the case, it depends on the amount and type of fruit.
Low-fructose fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, or papaya can also be consumed in the evening.
Fruits with a high concentration of magnesium, such as bananas, can help relax muscles and nerves – but be careful, bananas are also high in fructose.
That is why the tryptophan content in the evening is so important
All amino acids must be supplied to the body. The amino acid tryptophan should be made available to the body with dinner.
Since this protein component cannot be produced independently by the organism, it must be taken in with food. Tryptophan ensures that both serotonin and melatonin are produced, making you happy and sleepy – a great combination of restful sleep.
Foods with a high tryptophan content are, for example, salmon, milk, cashew nuts, and soybeans.
The right combination makes it easier to fall asleep and wake up fit in the morning. For example:
- Fish served with brown rice provides a good basis for a good night’s sleep.
- Cashew nuts as a topping on a vegetable pan provide many nutrients that the body can optimally absorb.
- The sugar in warm milk with honey supports the absorption of tryptophan from the milk and promotes relaxation.