Why should I eat bigger meals early in the day?

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Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology

You should eat bigger meals earlier in the day, because the digestive tract is most active during the day. Watch integrative gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan, MD, discuss why eating a big meal mid-day is ideal for beating bloat and weight gain.


Eating bigger meals at breakfast and lunch, when your activity levels are high, gives you hours to burn these calories. When you ingest a big meal at night (750-plus calories is an average dinner), you have ended the day with high-caloric intake. This would be okay a few thousand years ago when we did not know when or where our next meal was coming from. Food today is plentiful, so you do not have to overdo it at night.

Why is breakfast so important? While we sleep, our body is fasting and storing calories. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism into a calorie-burning machine. If you sleep for six to eight hours at night, your body is going without food or water for an extended period of time. This is pretty incredible considering this high-performance machine relies on protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, and minerals to run. You should eat something within one hour of getting up in the morning. Jump-start that metabolism right away!

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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.