5 things you should never do after 6 p.m. 5pm if you are trying to lose weight, according to a dietitian

A woman looks in a refrigerator at night on a designed background

A woman looks in a refrigerator at night on a designed background

Adobe Stock / Andrey Popov

Don’t worry, we will not tell you to stop eating after noon. 17. However, you can do some things from logging off work until you hit the hay, which prevents you from watching the weight move. While a small, sustainable calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss, new research on circadian rhythms, timing of meals and intermittent fasting shows that when you eat can be just as important as what you are eating.

Related: The best way to lose weight and keep it off in the long run, according to experts

From thoughtless eating to being up late, here are five things you should never do after 6 p.m. 17, if you are trying to lose weight, according to dietitians.

1. Bingeing late in the day

Do you have insatiable hunger in the evening that causes you to eat everything in sight? Maybe it’s a cheese board at happy hour or a pint of ice cream before bed. First of all, you are not alone. Second, it is easier to remove this habit than you think. Going on diets has conditioned you to “eat less.” Therefore, you probably do not eat enough during the day, which results in setbacks at night, leading to you overeating.

To prevent bingeing in the evening: “Make sure you have enough time to eat to meet your needs during the day,” says Nicole Stefanow, MS, RDN, a culinary nutritionist from the New York City area. “This way, you do not feel voracious when we come out. When we let ourselves get too hungry, we are more likely to overeat before our bodies know we are full,” she says.

It may seem counterintuitive to eat more during the day when trying to lose weight, but eating balanced meals with protein, fiber and fat every three to four hours will prevent overeating at night and help you end the day with a calorie deficit. instead of a calorie content. surplus. And add a snack of fiber and protein, such as an apple with peanut butter, so you do not meet hungry in the kitchen at 5pm and overdo it with snacks before dinner.

2. Eat straight out of the bag

“Do not eat straight out of the bag or box,” says Ruth Houston, author of the upcoming book Eat Smart and Lose Weight: Scientificly Proven Ways to Lose Weight without Diets or Exercise. “You risk losing track of how much you’ve eaten. Measure a serving for yourself (maybe two). And put the box or bag away and leave it.”

Eating chips right out of the bag leads to pointless eating, especially if you do so while also scrolling on your phone or watching TV. Before you know it, you can be consuming the calories of a meal. “Instead of snacking on the mentally ill, make a plan for what your evening snack will contain (think of products and proteins that fill you and keep you happy) and enjoy it. Turn off the television and the phone and just eat,” it says. registered dietitian Julia Stevens, MPH, RDN, CPT.

To be up late

A study from 2021 in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition associated eating late at night with decreased weight loss efforts and elevated triglycerides. The later you stay up, the more hours there are to eat. In addition, most people do not reach out for the healthiest snacks late at night. Of course, if you feel hungry, eat. However, setting a bedtime can help prevent noshing at night that can prevent the weight from rocking. “When you lack structure in your bedtime routine or are up late at night, it gives you more time to snack – whether it’s out of boredom or out of habit. Instead, set an hour each night to remind yourself to relax. of and keep Netflix deafening to a minimum, “says Melissa Mitri, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian and owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition LLC.

Not getting enough sleep can also cause you to eat more the next day, according to a new study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Researchers found that people who got less than seven hours of sleep per night ate more snacks the next day than those who got more than seven hours of sleep. And snacks were higher in calories and lower in nutrients (think: chips, cookies and soft drinks). This is due, among other things, to an increase in the hormones cortisol and ghrelin, which increase the next day when you do not get enough sleep.

“Seek to put your phone away an hour before bedtime,” says chef and registered dietitian Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD, FAND. “It’s tempting to catch up on social media or respond to emails before bed, but the blue light can make it hard to fall asleep. Try a short meditation or drink some decaffeinated tea to help calm one down. good night’s sleep. “

4. Skip carbs at dinner

It can be tempting to skip carbs (or other food groups) for dinner, but if your dinner does not fill up, you will find yourself rummaging in the closets a few hours later. “When you do not have a balanced dinner, you will probably end up consuming many more calories (and not the nutritious kind!) When your hunger catches up with you,” Mitri says.

“Carbohydrates fuel our brain and central nervous system, and fats help absorb certain nutrients, reduce the glycemic impact and also contribute to satiety and fullness. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle and have the ability to increase metabolism and keep us full and full. “Eliminating an entire food group can promote feelings of deprivation, and it can lead to you eating too late in the evening,” says Mariana Dineen, MS, RD, a dietitian and mother of three who specializes in in sustainable weight loss.

Make sure your dinner is also satisfying, says registered dietitian Judy Barbe, MS, RD, author of Your 6-week guide to LiveBest. Dinner can be healthy without tasting good, but “If you nurture your soul and eat well, you will be less likely to snack later without thought,” Barbe says.

5. Opening the refrigerator without a plan

Physical hunger is not the only reason we eat. Eating is pleasant and comforting, which is why we eat when we are stressed, bored or wanting something specific. None of these reasons to eat are wrong, but having a plan in place for each scenario can keep you on track toward your weight loss goals.

First, prepare for success by getting temptingly highly processed foods (such as potato chips, candy, and refined snacks) out of the house and filling your refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards with more nutritious alternatives, such as nuts, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins. Second, make a plan. “Plan your desserts so you do not always reach for high-calorie sweets that may not have many nutrients,” says Andrew Akhaphong, MS, RD, LD, a registered dietitian for Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, “Consider having fruit, granola and low-fat plain Greek yogurt in the fridge to make a parfait instead of grabbing a bowl of ice cream filled with added sugar, or maybe having dessert hummus – which is packed with protein with a touch of sweetness – you can dip fruit in . “

No need to feel guilty or ashamed if things do not go as planned. What you do most of the time means more than what you do once in a while, but having a flexible plan in place can help.

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