Last Meal of the Day: When Should You Have It?

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New research tried to figure out what time you should have the last meal of the day so that you’re well-nourished, but also that you’re able to shed some unwanted pounds. 

It’s popular wisdom that your last meal of the day should be before 7 pm at the latest so that your body has time to digest it and not add the excess calories as extra pounds. If you have an early dinner, you still have time to be active and burn off some of those calories. And not to mention that you will sleep better with everything properly digested.

But how accurate is that time? Science has strived to get the answer for all of us and a new study has a time, which is shocking, to say the least. Researchers at the University of Alabama Birmingham looked into Early Time-Restricted Feeding (eTRF), which is an approach that means that your dinner time moves to the afternoon instead of the evening. That means the last meal of the day should come no later than 2 pm!

Last meal of the day, at lunch?!

I am definitely taking this with a grain of salt because it was not a big comprehensive study. It was only done on 11 men and women, with ages between 20 and 45, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 and 35. All of them were aiming to lose weight. They divided these people into two groups and then gave them two different meal timing strategies. One group spread out their meals over 12 hours while the other one had three meals over 6 hours. The second group had breakfast at 8 am and “dinner” I guess at 2 pm.

According to the research published in the journal Obesity, the second group had a suppressed appetite, which means that the timing of the meals might affect the body’s entire metabolism cycle.

‘We suspect that a majority of people may find meal timing strategies helpful for losing weight or to maintain their weight since these strategies naturally appear to curb appetite, which may help people eat less,’ said the study’s co-author and assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Courtney M Peterson, PhD. Peterson added: ‘Whether these strategies help people lose body fat needs to be tested and confirmed in a much longer study.’

Yes. It would seem that 11 people aren’t good enough statistically to test out this theory. You can test it on your own, though. Just don’t stay hungry, okay?

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