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Is Eating Earlier Better?

Posted Jul 09 2013 10:03pm

I keep seeing a number of studies that show that getting your food intake in earlier in the day is beneficial.

This study in mice showed a larger breakfast helped control body weight.  This study showed high-glycemic dinners caused more problems than high-glycemic breakfasts.  This study showed larger breakfasts in men were related to a lower BMI.

Also, this study has been making the news.  It shows that consumption of a large breakfast and large lunch but no dinner led to more weight loss than six small meals a day.

This study even showed that “dessert with breakfast” worked better than a low-carb diet over the long-term.

What’s interesting about all this is that it is counter to the usual hunter-gather theorizing.  The usual Paleo advice is to have a small breakfast or no breakfast at all, and then have a large evening meal.

For whatever reason, the current research doesn’t seem to be backing this up, though there are many conflicting studies on breakfast.

This point hit home for me last week when, due to scheduling, I had an early dinner.  I ate dinner around 4:30 pm, and then had nothing until about 10 the next morning.  Despite this early dinner, I actually felt better than usual the next morning.

Last year, when I wrote my How To Lose Weight page , I noted that I had switched to a lighter dinner – typically rice with olive oil and vegetables.  Animal protein was consumed earlier in the day.  I have continued that pattern since last year.  I now may move towards even lighter and earlier dinners, and see how that goes.

I will note that I generally see almost out there in Paleo land recommending early, light, or no dinner.  It’s all about skipping breakfast and then feasting at dinner.  But what if that pattern doesn’t turn out to be healthy?

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