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Oct 20

Whats The Best Time To Eat Dinner For Digestion And Weight Loss? Heres What Health Experts Say – SheFinds

Although you may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we also cant forget the monumental importance of dinner; how you end your day can be just as impactful on your health as how you start it. And as it turns out, it isnt just what you eat that can make a differenceits also important to pay attention to when you eat it. According to health experts, the time at which you eat dinner plays a major role in functions like digestion, sleep, and metabolism. Luckily, theres one rule they swear by for ensuring optimal results.

To discover the best time to eat dinner in order to keep everything running smoothly, we spoke to Dietitian Kimberly Gomer MS, RD/LDN, Director of Nutrition for Beautiful Body Miami, and sleep expert Jeff Kahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Rise Science. They told us that eating 2-3 hours before bed is ideal. Read on to learn why!

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Unsurprisingly, the best time to eat dinner is less of an actual time of day and more about your own personal routine. Health experts agree that having your meal a few hours before you go to bed is the best rule of thumb. "It is best to eat dinner at least 2 hours (ideally 3 hours) before your head hits the pillow," Gomer confirms. This is good for your body when it comes to digestion, weight loss, and sleep.

One of the main reasons you should leave an ample amount of time between dinner and sleep is the fact that you want to give your body enough time to digest your food while you're awake. Otherwise, not only will you run into indigestion, but you may also have a harder time getting a full night's rest. "When you sleep, you are supposed to rest and repairnot digest food," Gomer reminds us. "Digesting foods while sleeping can cause acid reflux and stomach upset."

Kahn agrees, noting that digestion is best done standing or sitting. "Lying down to digest often results in heartburn, indigestion, and GI discomfort, which are all uncomfortable by themselves and can lead to less or worse sleep," he says.

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But it isn't just digestion that's affected by the time at which you eat dinner; your mealtime can also play a major role in your weight for several reasons. "It is ideal for weight loss to have a longer opportunity for insulin balance," Gomer states. "When we eat, insulin must respond, and that will promote fat storage instead of weight loss."

Additionally, eating dinner at a consistent time is important to regulating your body's functions, including your metabolism. "Eating later than your circadian rhythm anticipates can desynchronize your internal body clocks, many of which are responsible for the complicated processes of digestion and require alignment with each other to work well," Kahn tells us. "Over time, desynchronized clocks increase your risk of obesity and metabolic disorders." Yikes!

Finally, remember that waiting too long to eat typically results in overeatingwhich is, of course, a major faux-pas for anyone looking to lose weight. Kahn points out that this can especially be a risk when you're tried. "We tend to make poorer food choices when we're tired because we have less willpower to recruit," he explains. "For this reason, late eating can often be unhealthy eating. (And under conditions of sleep loss, our hunger and satiation hormones work in counter-productive ways, leading us to feel hungrier and less satisfied with our usual patterns of consumption.)" Good point!

Taking all of this into consideration, there's no doubt that aiming to eat at least 2 hours before bed (and more if possible!) is the best way to go. However, the occasional late dinner won't be the end of the world. As Kahn concludes, "The odd night where you can't eat earlier won't make or break your overall health, wellbeing, and weight loss efforts. Making eating earlier a long-term, consistently practiced habit is what's going to have a positive impact."

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Whats The Best Time To Eat Dinner For Digestion And Weight Loss? Heres What Health Experts Say - SheFinds

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