I am like many people, in that I wore braces on my teeth as a child. I was in the sixth grade and I only wore them for a very short six months. As I entered high school I stopped wearing my retainers and eventually they were misplaced. With this being the case, my teeth began to move back to their pre-braces position. So, in my early thirties, I decided to have braces put back on so my teeth could again be straight. After a year of wearing braces, my teeth and bite returned to the straightness that I so love. Since then I wear my retainers every night without fail.
I am writing about this, because during my adult-braces-wearing-phase I learned something really great. Each night after dinner, I religiously brushed and flossed my teeth. After spending all that time cleaning my teeth (If you’ve had braces, you know how long it takes to floss!) I did not want to get my teeth dirty again, so I did not eat after dinner. This one simple change was enlightening for me. Within several weeks of doing this, I lost twelve pounds, my clothes were fitting so nicely, and I was feeling really great!
All because of
one simple change:
Not eating anything after dinner.
I know that eating late at night is a thing most people do. It is so easy to sit in front of the television and pick on popcorn, sunflower seeds, cookies, chips, or whatever it is that you love to munch on. We all tend to absentmindedly eat. It is more of a habit than anything else. After dinner I am usually not hungry, it is just a hand-to-mouth-keep-myself-busy motion. Usually this habit stems from boredom or thirst and not really from hunger. Do you do the same thing? Do you automatically go in the pantry, fridge, or freezer late at night, even though you are not hungry? I think we all do that.
What if we could be conscious of the fact that we do this as an impulse? What if we could make it a habit to brush and floss right after dinner so that we do not binge late at night? What if we replaced cookies with a glass of water before heading to bed? What if we did sit ups in front of the television instead of gobbling a bowl of sweet cereal? What if we did this and began to lose a little weight? What if the little pockets of ice-cream-induced cellulite began to disappear? What if we woke up feeling lighter and leaner? Would you trade a few bites of pleasure for this new-found feeling of being more fit? What if you were able to get your whole household to try this?
Those few little cookies here and that bag of chips there really do add up. And when we take that away, especially late at night, our whole physique can change in slight but profound ways. Our teeth and gums will also be healthier as a result. Are you in?
Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s all curb our after-dinner eating. Let’s brush and floss right after dinner and save our appetites for a healthy breakfast the following morning. Let’s celebrate being lean and fit and healthy!
Because Together is Better,