Switch off the TV

Since the dawn of TV dinners in the 1950s, we have become more and more accustomed to eating in front of the TV. But it has some serious side effects. Because you are distracted while eating, you are likely to eat more. You don’t realize you are satisfied, and end up consuming more than you would have if you ate at a dining table. Depending on what you watch, you could also eat faster than normal, leading to indigestion.

Take your time and eat slowly

There’s a reason why many Europeans take long lunch breaks. The process of eating is not meant to be rushed, yet for millions of us, our lunchbreak is usually a hurried affair – trying to scoff down our sandwich so we can get back working towards out deadline. But there are actually a number of health benefits to eating more slowly. If you don’t wolf down your food, it gives your body enough time to realize it’s full. This will lead to a greater feeling of satisfaction, and you will ultimately consume less calories. When you eat your food slowly, it also makes it easier for your body to digest the food, therefore preventing excessive gas and bloating.

Make dinner a special occasion

Food should be enjoyed. If you have moments to spare, make dinnertime a special occasion. Set the table. Take your time and savor each bite.  The best time to eat is between 6pm and 6:30 pm, but this is quite difficult for most, due to hectic work schedules. If you can’t eat that early, try to eat at least 3 hours before bedtime, which will improve digestion. If you live with family, make dinner a time to catch up on each other’s lives and strengthen personal relationships. If you’re not able to do this every night, try do it at least once a week. And remember to keep it ‘screen-free’. That means no television, phones, or other distracting electronics.

Leave condiments for the weekend

Ketchup, mayonnaise and other sauces are delicious, but adding them to every meal can rack up your daily calorie intake. Additionally, many people add salt to their foods purely out of habit, which unnecessarily increases sodium intake. Make sure your weekly dinner meals are seasoned properly, and leave the ketchup for weekends.

What’s your best dinnertime tips?