7 Dinner Habits That Are Making You Gain Weight
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Don’t end your day with these mistakes.
By K. Aleisha Fetters
When it comes to weight loss (or on the flip side, weight gain), every meal counts—but dinner definitely wins the award for most likely to be indulgent. Here are seven dinner habits that threaten to derail your weight-loss efforts.
Making It Your Biggest Meal
"When you hit your body with so much food at dinner, it can be difficult for the body to digest and process it all," says nutritionist Jaime Mass, R.D. "The extra can be converted into fatty acids and lead to weight gain." Check out these 11 tips to prevent overeating.
Eating It Right Before Bed
Filling up on fuel right before climbing under the covers can make it hard to sleep—and stay asleep. “Sleep is essential for your metabolism, your blood-sugar regulation, appropriate hormone balance and energy health,” says Mass. Learn when to eat dinner if you don’t want to pack on pounds.
Likewise, sipping soda or a post-meal coffee (even decaf) can screw with your sleep. However, it’s worth mentioning that drinking caffeine throughout the day may actually support weight loss, says Mass.
Sure, if you are running a 10-K the next day, have at the pasta, potatoes, and bread. Otherwise, eating oversized portions of carbs can send your blood sugar roller-coastering, leading to potential weight gain, says Mass. Plus, if your blood sugar crashes before bed, you could end up raiding the kitchen at midnight.
Never (we repeat, never) zone out come mealtime. It’s a surefire way to torpedo your enjoyment and satiety, says Mass. (Think: “Wait, where did all of my food go?”) Try this simple way to eat more mindfully.
Serving Foods “Family Style”
When you’re sitting in front of heaping bowls and oversized serving spoons, overeating is inevitable, says Mass. Plus, it makes it hard to gauge how much you’re eating. One caveat: you can eat seconds of veggies you want. Check out these 19 ways to measure perfect and healthy portion sizes.
Overdoing it on the Alcohol
A glass of wine is one thing, a bottle is something else. Besides having a way of making you think “so what,” alcohol can actually throw off your satiety hormones and lead to overeating, says Mass.
More from Women’s Health:
5 Fatty Foods That Make You Skinny