- If you’re trying to eat healthier, then there are certain foods you should stay away from around dinner time.
- Eating certain foods could cause heartburn, prevent you from having a good night’s sleep, or hinder your weight-loss goals.
- You should avoid meals with lots of carbs, as well as spicy foods and greasy, fatty foods.
We all know there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat in the morning, but many don’t think about it as much when it comes to dinner. There are several foods you may be eating for dinner that are keeping you from losing weight or getting a good night’s sleep.
INSIDER spoke to several experts to find out which foods are better off avoided for dinner.
Stay away from starchy foods.
Potatoes, pasta, and rice are all examples of starchy foods that are very commonly eaten for dinner, however, Tracee, a health coach and personal trainer for HighEnergyGirl, said that “these foods simply metabolize down to sugar and create elevated blood sugar and insulin. This is not good as it will not be burned for energy and will be stored as fat instead. I tell my clients to eat protein and vegetables instead.”
Don’t eat spicy foods.
Surprisingly, spicy foods aren’t good to eat at dinner. Karen Z. Berg, MS, RD, said, “They can cause heartburn, especially if you are going to lay down shortly after consuming them.”
Avoid eating simple carbohydrates.
While carbs can be good for you in certain circumstances, they’re usually not good to eat at night.
Nutrition expert Kieron Foster explained, “These, in general, are foods that are high glycemic index which basically means it gets absorbed into the bloodstream at a fast rate. So, if you are not exercising and burning these sugars as a source of fuel, it will get turned into fat and stored in the body thus putting on weight. These should be avoided at all costs being consumed at night.
“This includes foods such as potatoes, pasta, cakes, pizzas, sodas, raw sugar, syrups, glucose, fructose, fruit juices, breads, and most breakfast cereals should be avoided at all costs at night. These are contradictory to anyone trying to lose weight.”
Try not to have any greasy, fatty foods.
As satisfying as greasy food is, especially after a long day, you should resist the temptation of having it for dinner. Berg said, “In general these foods should be limited as part of a healthy diet, but more so at night since they are hard to digest and take a toll on your GI [gastrointestinal] tract.”
Skip the alcohol.
Most adults drink alcohol with dinner, however, Samantha Morrison, a health and wellness expert for Glacier Wellness, explained, “Drinking alcohol can actually make you hungrier and crave carbohydrates. In turn, this can lead to overeating, which will only make your night worse.
“Alcohol is technically a toxin that impacts the body and mind and may cause stagnation. Although many people turn to alcoholic beverages to cope with their stress and anxiety, they are better off finding a more suitable healthy substitute. In fact, alcohol can trigger the release of cortisol, the notorious stress hormone. Likewise, alcoholic drinks can put you in a vulnerable state which aggravates anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
“Furthermore, while alcohol may help you fall asleep, studies show that it significantly lowers the overall quality of sleep. There’s no denying how important a good night’s sleep is for maintaining your mental health, so be sure to keep your dinnertime alcohol consumption to a minimum.”
Chocolate isn’t good to eat around dinner time.
As much we all want chocolate for dessert, Berg said that “it has caffeine and can prevent you from falling asleep.”