If are familiar with the doshic clock or the Ayurvedic clock, you know that the day is divided into six time periods with two time periods associated with each dosha. Vata, Pitta and Kapha each are prominent throughout four-hour segments of the day that correspond with different energies in the body.
The Vata time of the afternoon is between 2 and 6 pm. This is the time when we are mentally active and when we are most creative. It is followed by Kapha, which is the time when the body begins to wind down and prepare for rest.
Eating before six is an important consideration based on the Ayurvedic clock as well as based on what Western medicine and research has shown. Eating while the body is still energized and processing food in the digestive system leads to less risk of bloating, gas, digestive disturbances and difficulties in getting to sleep and remaining asleep.
Benefits to Consider
In addition to working with the natural energy in your body, eating before 6 pm can also help to:
- Have a mini-fast – if you eat before 6 pm and do not eat again until after 6 am, you have the ability to create a 12 hour fast for your body. This allows the body to burn stored energy, which can help with weight loss and maintenance when combined with a structured food intake during the day.
- Stop snacking – people who do not eat a balanced meal or who tend to eat later often eat more in snacking or “grazing” throughout the evening. These tend to be foods that are high in fats, salts and carbohydrates.
- Improve sleep quality – people in research studies that ate meals later in the evening tended to report higher rates of problems getting to sleep, restless sleep or waking up during the night.
- Lower triglyceride levels – individuals eating large meals later at night tend to have high triglyceride levels in the body. These higher levels are an indicator for a greater risk for strokes and heart attacks.
Eating earlier is a healthy habit to develop. It also allows you to rest, relax and digest before you are finally ready to go to bed.