I might be a weee bit exaggerating, but there is absolutely something to be said to eating the early bird special. Or if not the early bird special, at least moving up your dinner time.
A few years ago, back in 2012, 2013, I was in a relationship and my now ex-boyfriend (this is just one reason why..!) always wanted to eat dinner later than I did.
He never seemed to start thinking about dinner (what I was going to cook, when he wanted to eat) until around 7:30 or so. This meant we were never sitting down to eat until gone 8pm.
Dinner @ 8pm. Then came the clean up from the aftermath of dinner. After which I'd always want to just sit a bit and let my food digest. But somehow it would be already 9:30, 10pm or so.
You know how parts, section, hours of your day just fly by without you realizing it? This would always happen every night after dinner.
One minute it would be 7pm. The next minute it would be 10pm. Ugh.
Truth be told I hated it.
I hated eating dinner so late and I hated going to bed so late (usually gone 11pm by the time all was said and done.) It made me feel as if I was rushing my evening and that I never got a chance to unwind in a nice, slow way, prepping my body for bedtime.
You'd better believe when I finally broke up with him (dinnertime was just one of our many disagreements), I very clearly remember thinking, "I'm now eating dinner earlier and I'm going to bed earlier"
Fast forward a few years to 2015 and while I may not be showing up for the Early Bird Special quite yet, I make a concerted effort to eat dinner around 6. It means at 5 or 5:30 I start to tell myself it's dinnertime (because I've usually got my nose in some email, project or something or other and have to wrap that up.)
75% of the time, I've got dinner prepped and I just put the pieces together and eat.
Since sitting down to eat regularly at 6pm, there's a few things I've noticed.
- My evenings, post-dinner and pre-bedtime are wayyyy less stressful. They aren't rushed and I feel as if I've somehow found a few extra hours in the day. I'm inevitably wrapping up my work around this time anyway because I'm either hungry, done with the day's work or going cross eyed from too much computer screen (usually a combo of both.) Back in 2012-2013, this would just be time wasted. I would putz around without focus, desiring dinner. Now I eat, clean up and have around 60-90 minutes before I go to bed.
- I've amped up my self care routine with the extra time. Now after dinner, I grab a book, take a looooong epsom salt bath and go to bed.
- I'm sleeping better because I'm easing my body into bedtime vs just pivoting right from a full tummy + TV to bed.
- Usually my computer is off at dinner (or just on for music). Less screen time is a bonus for everyone. It allows my brain to shut down and turn off. All things that are incredibly helpful to me when I sleep.
- I'm snacking less. I eat breakfast by 8am at the latest. Lunch usually happens around 1pm. And then dinner at 6pm. I've cut out my 4pm afternoon snack and all my pre-dinner snacking as I prep for dinner.
What time do you eat dinner? Will you consider joining me at the early bird special?