When Should You Eat Dinner?

For a long time, the conventional thinking was that “a calorie is a calorie,” or rather, what and when you eat doesn’t matter as long as you stay within a certain range. We now know that this isn’t the case, and that a lot of different factors are at play to affect how your body processes and stores what you eat.

One of the major ones is when exactly you consume food. Everyone knows that breakfast is key, because not only does it stave off hunger for the morning (so you don’t over-eat at lunchtime) but it sets a precedent for healthy eating for the rest of the day. However, dinnertime is a subject of debate amongst different people on different diets.

Usually when we eat dinner is dictated by our schedules – we eat when we’re able to. However, if you do have the flexibility to switch up when you eat that last meal of the day, it may be helpful to consider some things. The faster you go to bed after you eat, the more likely your body will store those dinner calories as fat. Because of this, if you do have to eat late (or if you tend to stop moving entirely after dinner), lighter fare will serve your body well.

However, you don’t want to eat too early and then be hungry right before bed. As with anything to do with fitness, choosing the right dinner time is a matter of balance and of listening to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, try not to overeat, and if you have that uncomfortably-full feeling, try taking a walk to get your body to relax and start processing the meal in a good way!