Why Dinner Timing Matters

Why Dinner Timing Matters

Key points:

  • People who consumed the largest proportion of daily calories in the evening showed lower diet quality.
  • People consume about 40% of their daily calories at dinner.
  • Eating before bed makes it harder for your body to burn fat.

As the day goes on, feelings of hunger increase, often reaching a peak at the dinner. To prevent undesirable weight gain, avoid eating your last meal too late in the evening.

A new study supports previous findings, suggesting that late dinner may be a threat to metabolic health. 

Researchers analyzed 4-day food diaries of 1177 participants, aged 19-64. The amount of food eaten in the evening varied among participants from 31% – 48% of their daily intake. Factors like gender and age were taken into account. Researchers also measured participants’ diet quality.

Consuming fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, and D, minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium lead to diet’s higher score. On the other hand, saturated fats, sugars, and sodium lowered the score.

The findings:

  • On average, people consumed 40% of daily calories in the evening.
  • Those who consumed the greatest proportion of daily calories in the evening scored lower on overall diet quality.
  • After 6 p.m., participants ate less sugary foods. At the same time, they consumed more fat and alcohol.

Study authors say all this could have an impact on metabolic health, which is responsible for healthy weight. They are planning to investigate this topic further.

Furthermore, a study published earlier this year showed that a late dinner might be a hindrance on your way to weight loss. When study participants had a meal 1 hour before bed their body burned 10% less fat overnight, compared to eating dinner 5 hours before going to bed.


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