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Mythbuster Monday

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Myth: The last meal of the day should be light.

A:  From Dr. Ally Bowersock, Director of Exercise Science for Jefferson College of Health Sciences:

This myth is neither true nor false. Research is now suggesting time of day in which you eat your calories and then restrict them is a very important factor not only in controlling weight but also improving glucose tolerance and improving sleep patterns. Current studies have verified historical data that suggests time-restricted calories (eating your calories within an 8- or 9-hour window of time) improves all the above factors.

For most people, eating all your calories in the same amount of time you spend on the job is NOT realistic, so exercise plays an important role in balancing out the equation. Try to eat a small snack within 45 minutes of finishing your workout then, depending on when your workout took place in your day, eat a small meal with less calories than you would typically eat in that meal. So if you workout at 5pm and your workout lasts an hour, try to eat a small 200-300 calorie meal with a mix of complex carbs and protein by 6:45pm and then if you're still hungry, eat a small meal of 200-300 calories "for dinner" then stop eating for the night.

 Here's a few links to related studies (and it should be mentioned much of this research is being conducted on animals right now so it's still relatively uncertain if it will translate in humans. Researchers suggest it should).

Link to more research from Nature

Link to more research related to this article

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