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Early Vs. Late Dinner: What’s Healthier?

There has been a lot of debate in recent years about the best time to eat dinner for optimal health. Some experts recommend eating an early dinner, while others say eating later in the evening is better. Continue reading to learn more about this ongoing debate.

The Case for Eating an Early Dinner

One of the main arguments favoring eating an early dinner is that it can improve your sleep quality. When you eat a large meal late in the evening, your body has to work harder to digest the food, which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Eating an early dinner gives your body more time to digest your food before you go to bed, which can help you sleep better and wake up feeling more rested.

IWMBuzz/ Pinterest | Dinner is an essential meal of the day

Another benefit of eating an early dinner is that it can help regulate your appetite and prevent overeating. Eating a large meal late in the evening makes you more likely to overindulge because you’re already hungry. Eating an early dinner can avoid this problem and keep your appetite in check.

Additionally, some studies have suggested that eating an early dinner could benefit weight loss. One study published in Obesity found that people who ate their main meal before 3 p.m. lost more weight than those who ate later in the day. This could be because the body’s metabolism slows in the evening, making it harder to burn calories.

The Case for Eating a Late Dinner

On the other hand, some experts argue that eating a late dinner is perfectly fine and may even have some health benefits. For example, eating a late dinner can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spikes. When you eat a meal, your body releases insulin to help process the sugar in the food. Eating a late dinner gives your body more time to process the sugar and prevent insulin spikes that can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Another argument favoring eating a late dinner is that it can help improve digestion. Your body’s digestive system is most active during the day, so eating a late dinner can help ensure your body can digest your food more efficiently.

GETTY IMAGES/ TIMESOFINDIA | Eating dinner early has often been associated with the 60-and-older crowd or those with really little kids

Additionally, some studies have suggested that eating a late dinner could benefit people who exercise regularly. When you exercise, your body burns calories and requires more fuel. Eating a late dinner gives your body the fuel to keep up with your workouts and recover afterward.


So, is it healthier to eat an early dinner or a late dinner? The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on your lifestyle and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when deciding what time to eat dinner:

GETTY IMAGES/ TIMESOFINDIA | Some research links eating an early dinner to certain health benefits

  • Your sleep habits: Eating an early dinner could be beneficial if you struggle with sleep problems. However, if you’re a night owl and have no trouble sleeping, a late dinner may not be a problem.
  • Your work schedule: If you work late into the evening, it may be more convenient for you to eat a late dinner. On the other hand, if you have an early morning job, eating an early dinner may be a better fit for your schedule.
  • Your exercise routine: If you exercise regularly, you may find that eating a late dinner helps fuel your workouts and recovery. However, an early dinner may be better if you exercise in the morning.

Ultimately, listening to your body and eating when hungry is most important. Whether you choose to eat an early or late dinner, make sure you’re fueling your body

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