What is the best time to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Really there is no best time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Your meal planning will all depend on your schedule. Basically, you want to eat every 2-3 hours. So, for example, you might have breakfast at 6am, snack at 9am, lunch at 12pm, snack at 3pm, dinner at 6pm and maybe a snack at 9pm, depending on your schedule. You want to fuel your body based on your activity level throughout the day. If you are feeling sluggish or tired during the day, you may not be providing enough food for your body and may need to eat more to get your enegy levels up.
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
The best time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner is individual for everyone based on your ability to plan healthy nutrient dense meals, and your schedule. Consider breaking the fast overnight giving your brain and body the energy it needs to function before beginning any daily tasks, perhaps this would be 30 minutes after waking up. Lunch is ideal about 3 to 4 hours after breakfast to maintain steady blood glucose and keep hunger manageable. Dinner is best to be eaten again 3 to 4 hours after lunch and 2 hours before going to bed to promote optimal sleep and efficient use of calories.
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

Generally, you should plan your meals around your schedule. For example, if you are a late riser, your meals will be later than someone who is up by 6 am. However, as a general rule, you should eat within one hour to 1-1/2 hours after waking. Otherwise, you will be ravenous and more likely to overeat. Studies show that if you skip breakfast, you will likely eat up to 500 calories extra per day. If you are the type to eat six smaller meals, then you will eat more frequently, let your body tell you when you are hungry. If you are dieting, a good rule is to not eat after 8 pm, however, for the late riser who goes to bed late, it is okay to eat after 8 pm as long as you stop eating three hours before bedtime. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Watch this video to learn more from Dr. Mehmet Oz about eating meals.


Continue Learning about Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Losing weight quickly is OK as long as you do it safely, not through a crash diet. You can lose three or more pounds a week by burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day through eating less and i...

ncreasing your physical activity, you can lose about one to two pounds of fat per week. Dietitians recommend a daily minimum of 1,200 calories per day (a 200-pound person might need 1,400 calories). Anything less makes you lose muscle as well as fat, which slows your metabolism. Instead, minimize your intake of starches, added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and animal fat from dairy and meats. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, soy products, egg whites, skinless poultry breasts, shellfish and fish, nonfat dairy foods and meat that is 95 percent lean. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, and eat only from a plate while seated at a table.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.