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Q&A #3 - Ideal Dinner Time

"What is the ideal dinner time? My digestion is weak and what can be done to improve it? " - a very popular question I get

The common error that I see is having dinner after 9 pm. Experts claim, that restricting your meal intake in the window of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. can reduce the overall calorie intake drastically. While I understand the challenges of modern working life and lifestyle might make this difficult, you should not leave eating dinner too late. An early dinner is good for digestion, and anything that is good for digestion aids weight loss.

If you eat around 7pm, your body is most likely to consume fewer calories as the time you have spent on eating has come down. A longer duration of the overnight fast helps with increasing fat loss as the body has time to burn the stored fat. The later we eat, the more are the chances of the food lying in the intestines, affecting digestion. On the other hand, if you have your dinner early, you reach the satiety value earlier, the body is able to utilize the food better. The body uses everything we eat. If the calories produced are not put to use, it is stored as fat.

Finishing dinner by 7 pm along with healthy eating, exercise, and sufficient sleep will aid for better digestion. It is time to cultivate eating habits addressing not only the traditional reasons including eating late when the family is together and the meal size but this can influence the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease down the road.

If you go by Ayurvedic principles, between 10 am - 2 pm it is Pitta time, meaning that heat will naturally predominate in our body. So your body will be able to digest a bigger meal. Between 6 -10 pm is Kapha time and you should eat light food that can digest before you go to bed.

You could try a combination of these Ayurvedic medicines to improve your digestion.

Triphala is commonly advised to be taken to improve digestion as well as for better bowel evacuation. Commonly used medicines are Gandharvahastadi kashayam, Gandharva hastadi erandam(Castor oil), Asta churnam, Hingu Vacahadi gutika, Abaya aristam and Dasamoola haritaki lehyam. Abyangam(full body massage), Svedanam(steam bath), and Virecanam(purgation) support for better digestion.

Do write in with any further questions

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