Dinners at Home and Away

In the United States, dinners are commonly the biggest meal of the day— the reward for having survived yet another busy, stress-filled day. I invite you to start putting dinner at the bottom of the meal priority list and placing more focus on breakfast and lunch. That way, you'll have more energy to cope with daytime stresses, enjoy a good workout, and feel less in need of high-calorie rewards at night. Yes, you can and should still enjoy a pleasant evening meal—but you won't need a humongous feast, followed by endless snacks.

Active people commonly eat a huge dinner because they ate too little during the day. If this sounds familiar, experiment with reorganizing your good-nutrition game plan so that you put more emphasis on breakfast and lunch as a means of fueling up and remaining fueled throughout the busy day. Use the evening meal as a time to refuel, but whenever possible keep it relatively equal in size to breakfast and lunch or lunches.

As Gretchen, a kindergarten teacher, said, "I used to stuff myself at night as a reward for having survived a hectic day. I'd arrive home stressed and tired, then overeat and feel lousy. Now I eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. I've found that by eating this way, I have lots more energy for my students during the day and for my family in the evening. By eating a lighter dinner, I sleep much better and feel better overall."

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