The evening snack time — or rather the time between lunch and dinner — is something that keeps us on our toes. It is, in fact, a time when we tend to either overeat or not eat at all, leading to stomach issues. If you are one of those who is looking to replace those unhealthy and oily snacks with something that is both filling yet light, so as to make space for dinner, celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar suggests what you should consume, depending on your daily routine and meal hours.
Diwekar, who is currently running the 12 Week Fitness Project, shared in an Instagram post, “A quick guide to wholesome meal options between 4-6pm – – will ensure that you don’t eat junk food at the most vulnerable time of the day. It will ensure that your dinner stays light and you can sleep better.”
As part of the guideline, she mentioned that for those early risers looking to finish their dinner by 7-7.30pm, 4-6pm meal options could include peanuts, foxnuts, chikki, homemade chakli and fresh seasonal fruit or banana. This is most useful for people with lifestyle conditions like diabetes/blood pressure and PCOD and insulin resistance.
If dinner is possible only by 9pm, then snack options could be roti with ghee and jaggery, idli podi ghee combo or curd rice with jhalmoori. This is ideal for people with low haemoglobin levels and those whose commute time is longer than 90 minutes. In Diwekar’s words, evening snacks like these could help improve sleep quality, relieve constipation and improve energy levels.
But, if someone whose workload increases in the evening, or if their dinners are erratic and they routinely work late into the night, the ideal way to beat mood swings and mid-night cravings, prevent lethargy and leg cramps and weakness is by including options like poha or upma or homemade dosa, gond/besan/rava laddoo or egg toast or protein shake or homemade khakra or thepla. This is also useful for people who have a party to attend to, says Diwekar.
So, the next time you are mulling over what to have, keep in mind that you grab something healthier.
*Go for meals and snacks full of a variety of nutrient-dense, healthy foods instead of relying on packaged and processed snack foods.
*Consume a larger proportion of calories earlier in the day, making breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks higher in calories than dinner and evening snacks.
*All this helps in boosting metabolism and regulating sleep levels.