Eating a late dinner is linked to weight gain and affected blood glucose. On the contrary, an early meal boosts fat reduction and offers a wide range of health benefits. Should you follow an early time-restricted feeding routine? What is the right time to have dinner?
Despite its connotations of body-friendly fare, early dinner is highly underrated. A hectic lifestyle, working longish hours, late-evening snacks, and increased screen time; these are some reasons people do not manage to sit to eat their dinner early.
When you eat late at night, your digestive system does not get enough time to digest the food. As a result, you wake up feeling full. A recent study in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that a late dinner can also cause weight gain and elevate blood sugar levels. How is that possible when a calorie is a calorie?
Late Night Dinner and Weight Gain
As per the study, the same meals at different times can affect the body differently. People who eat their dinner late have higher blood sugar levels than those who consume a similar meal early.
During the study, researchers examined a group of 20 healthy individuals to understand how their body responded when they ate their dinner at 10 pm, and not at 6 pm. They discovered that the participants had 20% higher blood sugar levels. Also, their body’s ability to burn fat had reduced by 10%. These factors came together to suggest that late-night dinner can promote weight gain.
Reasons to Eat Dinner Early
There are studies suggesting that eating all meals early promotes healthy digestion, boosts fat reduction, and suppresses hunger. Many times in the past, early dinner has been associated with weight loss and management. It makes you feel comfortable by giving your body enough time to digest food.
Here are some more health benefits to reap by having an early dinner:
- Weight Loss
Despite eating the same amount of calories and sleeping at the same time, early and late eaters receive different outcomes. It is because the longer lapse between meals allows the digestive system to process food more efficiently. Even if you eat an early high-fat diet, you gain less weight as compared to those who eat a low-fat dinner later at night.
- Good Night’s Sleep
When you eat dinner early, you have plenty of time before going to bed. You feel relaxed and quickly fall asleep. On the other hand, late-night meals cause indigestion that makes you uncomfortable when you try to sleep.
- Better Health
As per food experts, people who eat late at night tend to consume more calories than individuals who choose to have an early dinner. Also, late-night noshing leads to increased levels of triglyceride, which further elevates the risk of a heart attack.
Final Words- When Should You Eat Your Dinner
There must be a gap of four to five hours between lunch and dinner. Usually, health experts recommend people to have dinner between 6pm and 6:30pm. If, sometimes, you are late, then have a small, high protein snack in the late afternoon. It is good to curb appetite a bit when you eat later than anticipated. It stops you from overeating during dinner time, which results in weight gain.