Is it better for your gut health to eat your largest meal early in the day or later? Typically most people eat their biggest meal for dinner which of course ends up being at the end of the day. But is this really the best thing to do in order to maintain gut health?
Most experts lean toward beginning the day with your biggest meal and scaling down as you move through the day. There are several reasons for this recommendation. First of all, how quickly food travels through the stomach, gastric emptying, as well as nutrient absorption, is believed to slow down in the evening. Therefore, eating a large dinner late in the day might lead to sub-optimal digestion and absorption of that meal.
Another reason to opt for earlier rather than later is that lying down shortly after eating, especially a big meal, can cause gastric acids to back up into the esophagus, resulting in GERD, which can lead to another whole host of problems.
Finally, eating your biggest meal of the day earlier rather than later could be the secret to reaching your healthiest weight. Even if you practice intermittent fasting, as I do, you can still have your most substantial meal earlier in the day. It is always a good idea, regardless of when you eat your dinner, to try and make sure you do so at least 3 hours before bedtime to allow for proper digestion.
That being said, your stress levels also matter as well as how well you chew your food. I recommend taking several slow, deep breaths before eating any meal and paying attention to how you feel. It is never a good idea to eat when you are anxious, stressed or upset as your digestion will be compromised. Eating in a way that optimizes your gut health will benefit your overall health.
So, are you an early bird or a night owl when it comes to your meal timing?
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