When it comes to losing weight, how much you eat is almost more important than what you eat. There are certain foods you should eat earlier in the day and others that benefit you later on. Dinner is always my weakest point in the day. I can seemingly go all day on coffee and a few protein bars, but when it comes to dinner I want to eat everything in sight. In order to curb this bad habit, here are some tips to creating the perfect suppertime meal plan that will contribute to weight loss as well as fill you up effectively.
Calories are something we are always counting. During the day you have more leeway, but if you are trying to lose weight, at dinner time try not to go over 450. In order to maintain weight you can go as high as 550, but do not go over that number unless you want to start packing on the pounds again.
Carbohydrates are always tricky. You can actually indulge in carbs at dinner without worrying about having to burn them to avoid weight gain. More than half your dinner can be carbohydrates and you should be fine as far as weight gain goes. You can also get your eight percent of nightly fiber in with your carbs if you choose whole grains, starch-rich vegetables and beans. As long as you aren’t going over your calorie count for the day, don’t pass on that russet potato.
Protein should add up to about a quarter of your dinner’s calories. Lean protein contributes to rebuilding muscles, especially during the night when your body does most of the rebuilding. There is also a satisfying element to eating protein at dinner. It helps make you feel full, like you just ate something unctuous and filling. If you leave the table with your belly full you will be less likely to snack after hours.
Healthy fat should be more than your protein intake, coming in at about 35 percent of your meal. Stay away from animal fats when possible and go more towards plant-based monounsaturated fats such as avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and olives.
There is also the issue of timing. As opposed to what we have been told before, eating a late dinner is actually not detrimental to your diet. As long as you don’t go over your allotted daily calories, you can eat at pretty much eat anytime of day or night. One rule of thumb to remember though, try and eat about 3 hours at the most after your lunchtime meal. This will allow your metabolism to stay on track.
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