Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Battle of the Bulge: NDD

When receiving an invitation for a wedding scheduled after a three-day yontif, I could have sworn I heard a dun-dun-DUN!

Even though I was a good girl (relatively) over the yontif, my problem area (meaning my belly) was protruding.

Whenever I consume a hearty lunch, whether it be Shabbos, Yontif, or weekday, my plan is to then abstain from food for the rest of the day. Supper is either non-existent or a modest amount of fruit; a hefty mid-day meal usually keeps me satisfied until the following morning. But being in the house with a fully-stocked kitchen sometimes proves too much a temptation.

But, holding out results in a major shortcut. To illustrate: 

One Shabbos my self-control had an extra boost; I had gone to a shiur that afternoon and ending up shmoozing nearly all the way to os, and I takkeh only had a banana for supper. 

The next morning, my stomach was caved in. Oh, happy day!

It's amazing how good one feels when going to bed with a somewhat empty belly. I sleep great, I feel great, and breakfast tastes great. 

There is sufficient chatter to prove that it is not only what one eats, but when one eats it.
I know that my appetite roars into being in the mid-morning, then tapers off as the day goes on. The digestive system isn't open for business 24 hours a day. Even if one eats less-than-ideally, it makes a difference if it was a sinful lunch as opposed to a decadent dinner. 

I found a post advocating "The No-Dinner Diet," ("NDD") by Paul Nison. Don't let the copious amounts of beard scare you.
Studies have been done to show even if a person doesn’t change anything in their diet, but fasted at night after 5pm, giving up dinner, that nighttime fasting causes 15 percent loss of body weight in obese woman on average. So even if a person consumed the same exact amount of food throughout the day but avoided late-night eating, their health will improve.
. . . Our body works more efficiently during the day to digest food and starts winding down towards the end of the day. Everything begins to slow down as the body gets ready for rest and sleep.
He even has Biblical proof! 
In the Bible, the daily offering times of the Jewish people and eating times were around 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
That ties into: 
According to the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the time of optimal digestive power is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
If I don't have to get to work in the mornings, I won't eat breakfast until 9 or so. I'm just not hungry yet.
Even if I don't eat bad foods late at night, but rather copious amounts of the good stuff, I still don't sleep so well. My stomach feels like I swallowed a lump of cement. I just can't eat at night, and apparently, for optimal health and weight management, I shouldn't. It just does a number on the body, which isn't designed to work that hard at that time.

If the body is working on digesting when one is sleeping, than the body isn't fully resting. Then the next day's energy is affected.
Another post of Nison's gets into technical detail about when to eat (the rambling bit about Yahweh aside, it's quite informative)—he says snacking between meals or eating small meals throughout the day isn't good for the body; it needs rest periodically from the digestive process. He advocates only two meals a day, which I could technically do if I was able to lug a cooler to the office every day, but in the meantime:
If that is too hard, try to eat just two (or three only if you must) meals a day but not within one hour of waking up and 5 hours of going to sleep. That doesn’t mean, eat late at night and stay up later. Your last meal of the day should be no later than 6pm to start, but the earlier the better.
The best time to fall off the wagon is around noon, not at 9 at night. I had to keep that in mind for this holiday week (motzei Shabbos Chanukah party, no no; Sunday Chanukah brunch, have fun).


Yocheved said...

I think this plan would work just fine if you're a morning person.

I'm not sure how that would work for me. I'm naturally a night person, and as I've gotten older I'm up later and later. To complicate things, I seem to run on a 36 hour day, not a 24 hour one.

I also wonder how this would work for someone who works 2nd or 3rd shift. I know that if your body is sleeping at a certain time, it's also still reacting to whether it's daylight or not.

Princess Lea said...

Yes, I am a morning person, and so it is not too difficult for me.

But the body does run on its own rhythm, and I try to take that into account; biologically, I have little control, I can only accommodate it as much as I can. It is possible to retrain night owls to become morning people (my brother, for instance) and so many pieces just fall into place getting up earlier as opposed to later.

Like digestion, for one.