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Should You Stop Eating Meat After 4 PM?


Personal trainer Dalton Wong has helped Jennifer Lawrence and other celebs get into shape—his book The Feelgood Plan (with a foreword by J.Law) hits shelves next week. While some of his advice is good, like focusing on vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods, choosing the right carbs, and making room for splurges, some of it is a little out of left field.

Wong suggests that eating meat late in the day causes your system to ramp up for digestion while you're trying to wind down for bed. His idea is that if you eat meat at breakfast or lunch, you have a longer amount of time to properly digest. The myth that meat is hard to digest, like other diet myths, has been around for ages, but it has no science behind it.

Meat and vegetables take about the same amount of time to break down. Surprising? Meat has some fat to slow it down, and vegetables have fiber that has a similar effect. So the idea that meat sits around and rots in your digestive tract? Totally bogus. People lose weight on all kinds of diets and the timing of when you eat meat has nothing to do with it.

You don't want to eat a large volume of food or fatty foods within three hours of going to bed, especially if you have acid reflux or indigestion. It's also a good idea to avoid added sugars, refined carbs, and high-fat foods in your overall diet for a good night's sleep. Other than that, eating meat at dinner won't affect your sleep at all. Being hungry when you go to bed might, though—you could wake up looking for food!

At the end of the day, being a trainer doesn't make you an expert in nutrition or digestion. Wong should stick to workout advice and leave nutrition to the nutrition experts.


Christy Brissette, RD

Christy Brissette is one of North America’s top dietitians and a leading nutrition and food communications expert. She is the President of 80 Twenty Nutrition, a nutrition and food media company and private practice. Her mission? To end food confusion and dieting once and for all.  More →

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