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What's the Best Time to Eat Dinner?

November 08, 2016
Lucia Lambriex/Getty Images
Lucia Lambriex/Getty Images

We've all heard that eating late at night can be a fast track to weight gain. But with busy schedules (hey, none of us are immune to hitting the gym post-work or pulling extra hours at the office), sometimes sitting down to the dinner table super late is unavoidable. To make you feel even worse, one new study says that even eating dinner as early as 5 p.m. isn't good enough. Instead, you should be sitting down by 2 p.m. Yes, seriously.

But let's be real: Dinner (if you can even call it that) at 2 p.m. is unrealistic for most people—and completely unhealthy if you're hitting the gym in the evenings. Your body needs fuel in the form of protein and carbs so it has the energy to get through those HIIT classes and strength training sets. (Find out exactly what to eat before and after a workout.) That said, the study does suggest some interesting tweaks to your eating schedule, says Niket Sonpal, M.D., an assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine who was not directly involved with the research.