In a busy world that requires a tight schedule, you can find it difficult to set aside time for yourself. You might often find yourself ignoring meal planning, because who has the time for that with all the other (more important) stuff going on, right? Well, wrong. You should actually take a step back and ask yourself, When is the best time to eat dinner?
Planning Your Meals
Since food is your main source of energy, planning meals requires your full attention. While it’s easy to settle for a store-bought bag of chips after a long day, easy solutions aren’t always what’s good for your body.
Still, although many nutritionists have spoken about what you should eat, it is equally important when you take your meals.
First of all, it’s important to know that the food you eat should follow your daily rhythm and activities. When you begin your day, you will need a lot of energy to power up your body. Because of that, you should start your activities with a hearty breakfast. You need less energy later, and you should have lunch when your metabolism is fastest, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
But what about dinner? What should it be like? And when is the best time to eat dinner in the first place?
The Importance of Dinner
Dinner is the final meal of the day, and this could be why many people don’t give it much thought. Since it comes after the previous meals, you had enough energy from breakfast and lunch. It’s for this reason that dinner should be the lightest meal, less rich in calories than breakfast and lunch.
But aside from that, it’s equally important to know the answer to When is the best time to eat dinner?
Your Body and Dining Late
By the time you have dinner, your metabolism starts slowing down. If your body can turn calories into energy in a flash during lunchtime, that is definitely not the case late in the evening. That’s why it’s best to eat dinner when your body’s metabolic rate is still high, which is four or five hours after lunch. For most people, this is usually between 5 and 6 p.m.
Likewise, you should consider what you will be doing after dinner, and when you will be going to sleep. Since your body needs time to digest food properly, you should plan your bedtime no earlier than three hours after dinner.
In case you go to bed immediately after dinner, you may experience heartburn or digestive troubles. This will keep you awake, and you won’t have enough energy for the next day.
Keep in mind that your metabolism takes care of many maintenance tasks while you’re asleep. That’s why you should be careful to avoid eating too late — your body will be far too busy digesting to take care of everything else. So, late-night dinners can’t get your body to function optimally.
Your Body and Dining Early
You should also make sure there isn’t too much time in between your dinner and bedtime. In case you have a very light dinner far too early, you will be hungry, and will wake up during the night. Interrupted sleep will also prevent your body from recharging for the next day, which is something you want to avoid.
Right on Time!
To conclude, everything listed above leads to a single point — it’s best to plan your dinner four to five hours after lunch. Similarly, you should make sure you eat two to three hours before bedtime. That will ensure your body is able to work to its highest capacity the next day. Hopefully, this will help you understand why it’s important to ask yourself when is the best time to eat dinner.