I was watching a segment on CBS This Morning where the subject of childhood obesity and pizza was being discussed.
Because of pizza’s prevalence in the American diet, especially with kids, a recent study was published in the journal Pediatrics which compared caloric intake, fat and sodium, when the pizza was consumed, the age of the child, etc.
Dr. Tara Narula speculated on CBS This Morning that it was perhaps the type of unhealthy pizza that kids were eating that contributed to their weight gain (processed grains, stuffed crust, extra cheese, etc.) No doubt there is truth in this.
And then Charlie Rose commented “There was also a recent study that suggested when you eat is as important as what you eat.” Bingo! Here’s where Ayurveda comes in (I’ll get to that in a moment.)
Dr. Narula responded with another study that was done with mice (always the poor mice) that showed a variance in weight gain depending on the time frame in which they were allowed to eat. Some mice could eat whenever they wanted (they gained the most) and others were restricted to a specific time frame.
She could only speculate, however, at the reason why this happened. “We think it may have something to do with genes being turned on during the time when you’re not eating.” Huh???
I wanted to call them up and say “Ayurveda has the answer!”
We’ve all heard the old adage “Eat breakfast like a queen, lunch (called dinner in many cultures) like a king, and supper (we say dinner!) like a pauper.” This is ancient and important wisdom.
In the morning when we wake up, our digestive fire is still weak – hence, eat breakfast like a queen (not too much, but enough to get you through until lunch). We “break-fast because we haven’t eaten anything all night, but not with a lot of food, which will overload the body.
10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. is the Pitta (fire) time of day. It is when our digestive fire is strongest and therefore we stand the best chance of digesting and metabolizing our meal. Lunch/dinner like a king! Noon – 1:00 p.m. is optimal.
Eating supper like a pauper means a light evening meal (preferably between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Just enough to get us through until morning. A large supper will overtax the body, forcing it to digest a heavy meal and hinder its ability to heal, rejuvenate and burn excess fat.
The moral of this story is that pizza (or any other unhealthy food vice) eaten at a noon meal will stand a much better chance of being properly digested than one that’s eaten in the evening. Keep this in mind and your body will thank you.
I know all about pizza. I love it! Years ago on my way to work I would stop at Raimo’s Pizza down the block from my NYC apartment. I’m guessing this happened four or five times a week (I’m not kidding). I would get the first slice out of their brick oven at 10:00 a.m. when they opened. I was devastated when their landlord raised their rent and they had to close. The space stood empty for years, taunting me. I felt like my dealer had left town.
Do I eat pizza four or five times a week now? Hell, no! But because I needed a picture of some pizza for this article, I went to get a slice for my lunch, which I ate at noon. With a healthy salad. Jersey City is a dangerous place for pizza-lovers. There’s pie on nearly every corner. Yum.