You have probably heard of the expression “ Have breakfast as a King, lunch as a Prince and dinner as a Pauper “. Which means having a good breakfast, make lunch your biggest/heaviest meal of the day and eat light at dinner. This is following the circadium rhythm, which follows the rise and fall of the sun. Having a good breakfast gives you energy for the day ahead. Lunch time is when the sun is at it highest. This relates to your digestive fire, which is also at it highest between 12.00 and 2 pm. At the end of the day when the sun goes down, you eat light. At least 3 hours before you go to bed. Your body can during the night repair and restore itself in that way.
Most people eat breakfast as a Pauper, have lunch as a King and dinner as a Prince. And with Intermitting fasting being so popular, most people skip breakfast all together. This gives all kinds of digestive and health issues. I was one of them. I did intermitting fasting and skipping breakfast for 9 years. In the beginning I was fine with it, but later on it worked against me. As long as I didn’t eat I was fine, but as soon as I started eating for lunch I was already hungry a few hours later. Most of the times I was also bloated after dinner and fatigued.
When I studied Ayurveda, it made so much more sense to me to start with a good breakfast. To get your metabolism going and giving your body the nutritions it needs. A good breakfast means eating high in protein to get the motor running. Coffee and bagels or cereals only gets you into a sugar roller coaster. Driving your insulin out of wack. It makes you want to eat every 2 to 3 hours, which is too much for most people. During lock down it was easy to make lunch my biggest meal and have a light dinner. I was amazed that I didn’t feel bloated afterwards or needed a nap. What a difference just eating at the right time can have on your body.
In the past people worked closer to their homes and had a big warm lunch at home. In some countries they still do it most of the time, like France. Retired people often change their biggest meal to lunch time because they notice it is easier to digest that way.
With our current work schedule it is not always possible to make lunch your biggest meal, although lots of people are working from home now. Start with doing it on your days off and build up from there. See what a difference is makes in your energy levels if you have a good breakfast and lunch. No afternoon crash or need for the 4 pm snack. You are not even that hungry at dinner any more because you are filled up with good proteins and fats during the day. A smaller meal for dinner is just fine. This stimulate your need for a good breakfast as well. It may take a while to get used to, but it is not about perfection, just making progress.
Having a big dinner at 8 or 9 pm when our digestive fire is low or just before bed isn’t good for the body. Digestive issues, insomnia, high blood pressure, insulin resistance are just a few of the issues that our influenced by our way of eating. Simple changes like eating according to nature’s cycle can have great benefits for your overall health.