Eating Dinner Like a Pauper

I’ve been struggling with the dawn phenomenon for years. While I was researching the Mastering Diabetes programme, I stumbled across a very good article which discussed the hoary dictum “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” I’d never heard this saying despite its hoariness; yet, the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if this might be one reason I have blood sugar spikes in the morning? Maybe breakfast and lunch should be my big meals and dinner should be comparatively tiny. It made sense intuitively. I’ve been eating this way for the last ten days.

The Prince and the Pauper - eBook - -
Was the pauper healthier?


Well my blood glucose has been getting better in the mornings. It was not an immediate improvement, and It’s still not where I want it to be, but it’s getting there. Readers will know that I’ve been waking up with readings usually above 8.0 mmol/L since New Year’s. However, I’ve gone seven days with readings between 7 and 7.6 mmol/L. I’ve been doing more blood testing across the day, just to get a feel of where my glucose is. It doesn’t appear to be going above that morning reading. Instead, it hovers for a while and slowly goes down to the low sixes or high fives. It goes up a little after my pauper dinner, but on some nights it’s actually going down while I sleep. So we’re really on to something here. I should add that I haven’t been doing any fasting for the last ten days except skipping the odd breakfast because I wasn’t hungry.


The big challenge is re-arranging my whole way of eating especially at the weekends. You know I love my roasts, and those have always been served at dinnertime. I haven’t made this adjustment yet. The difficulty is I need to adjust more than just the cooking. I need to also consider when to do the weekly shop, when to do my chores, etc. Weekdays are hard too because after work is the only time I have for proper cooking. So tonight, for instance, I’m roasting a guinea fowl. However, instead of eating a traditional dinner, I’ll just have a little and save the rest for breakfast or lunch. Keeping with this is not hard in itself, but it will take time to re-arrange long ingrained habits.

Your family could be another obstacle here. I don’t mean them obstructing you. Yet, what if you have a wife and kids? Are you going to bring them on board? What if they don’t want to? Well, your kids wouldn’t have a choice if they’re young but your spouse? Fortunately, my better half likes the idea of this, so she’s following it too.


This is really worth a look if you’re trying to improve your blood glucose or improve your general health. The article I linked to goes into a lot of scientific evidence that suggests this is a much healthier way to eat. I’m going to keep with this for the foreseeable future. I’ll be fasting for a couple of days next week. I’m curious to see what will happen once I break fast and go back to eating dinner like a pauper. Watch this space.

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