Don’t fall prey to mistakes at dinner that can cause the calories to pile up or bring your metabolism to a screaming halt. Avoid these pitfalls and you will end your day in a fat-burning way:
Mistake: Skipping Dinner
While dinner should be your smallest meal of the day, that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Your metabolism slows while you sleep; don’t start the process early by not eating. When you skip a meal, your body may compensate for missed calories by burning fewer calories at rest. After time, this can lead to a lowering of your normal metabolic rate, which means you burn less fat.
Mistake: Salad Only
Many people resort to eating only a salad at dinner to cut calories or to even make up for a larger meal eaten earlier in the day. There’s nothing wrong with having a salad at dinner time; however, your body needs a bit of protein at night to ensure your metabolism remains a fat-burning furnace. So along with that bed of mixed greens, toss in some grilled chicken breast or even a can of albacore tuna, add a teaspoon or so of olive oil and you will ensure your fat burning continues long after dinner is over.
Mistake: No Veggies
Quite the opposite of having only salad at dinner is the choice of having no veggies with your evening meal. While eating your veggies won’t necessarily boost your fat-burning, they help fill you up without filling you out. Including non-starchy veggies like tomatoes, broccoli and dark leafy greens with dinner will displace volume in your stomach and help you feel fuller by eating less calories.
Mistake: Carb-Heavy Meals
Carbohydrates are the fuel you need for energy throughout the day. As you progress through the day, your carbohydrate intake should decrease. After all, you need more energy at 8 a.m. for your upcoming day as opposed to 8 p.m., right? By keeping carbs low at dinner time, you avoid having extra carbs your body may not need. Extra carbs that aren’t used have a good chance at being converted to fat and stored in the body.
Mistake: Large portions
Any calories, even from protein, eaten in excess may be converted to fat and stored in the body. If you can make dinner your smallest meal of the day, you’ll keep calories in check and allow your body to use what it needs without having any extra. This will keep your metabolism from having to handle extra calories at night when it is usually starting to wind down.
You’ve had a hard day and want to unwind with a few glasses of wine, right? Additional calories at night will likely be converted and stored as fat, so watch your serving sizes when consuming alcohol. Consuming alcohol slows down the processing of other calories, which will lead to a larger percentage of calories from your evening meal to be stored as fat. Alcohol can really hinder fat loss efforts, so keep the imbibing to a minimum to ensure fat loss success!
Everyone likes to have something sweet to eat after dinner. However, many desserts have more calories per ounce than your meal. Your tenth bite tastes exactly the same as your second bite, so share desserts when possible. If you have to have something sweet, keep your after-dinner treats to 100 calories or less.
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