All Health's Breaking Loose: Don't call me late for supper

When asked what his name was, old Uncle Lester used to respond, “Call me anything but late for supper.” Once in a while Uncle Lester came up with a good idea but looking back, this might have been one of his best.

Many of us eat dinner late because of work schedules. Some of us snack late at night out of habit or boredom. Even if you have what seems like a valid reason for eating late, it won’t change the impact it has on your body.

Our bodies, just like everything in this universe, have cycles. We rise in the morning, rest at night. Eating right before going to bed is giving your body a job just as it is about to shut down. Late-night eating forces your body to use energy for digestion and, as you lie down to sleep with a full stomach, the digestion process becomes slow and inefficient. This “bogging down” may cause bloating, gas and discomfort. Your stomach and colon have trouble trying to operate horizontally and your body cannot fully rejuvenate itself for the next morning. This also hinders your toxin elimination process, which is so important for the healing and recovery necessary for all body functions.

While your digestive system is operating more slowly, nutrients in food are not fully absorbed. This triggers the conversion of food into fat— which is why the training of sumo wrestlers includes sleeping right after eating very large meals.

But your body will try as it may to handle any test you choose to give it. Sure, it will do it’s best to gear back up and “handle” food eaten close to bedtime but as your metabolism revs up for digestion, sleep will be interrupted. Instead of quieting down to rest, your system now has work to do and is gearing up. This causes restless sleep, fatigue in the morning, indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux — and crankiness.

Your body loves routine. Stop eating about three hours before your regular bedtime. If you have to have a snack, avoid high fat foods and meats because they take longer to digest. Try having fruit or a slice of whole grain toast instead, and keep portions small. You’ll wake up with a flatter tummy and fresher breath, feeling lean and perky. You may even lose a few pounds.

Yes, Uncle Lester was a quirky guy. But I have to say, this time, he was right.

I’ll see you in two weeks,

Love & health,


LOA BLASUCCI can be reached at She teaches a Mind & Body Sculpting class at the community center Tuesday mornings for all levels of fitness.

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