Do you eat your feast early or late on Turkey Day? Some prefer Thanksgiving dinner early in the afternoon, while others like to dine much later in the evening. Most people walk away from the table feeling bloated and ready for a nap either way, but is there a best time of day to eat on Thanksgiving? Here’s what gastrointestinal experts have to say.
Marie-Pierre St-Onge, associate professor of medicine at Columbia University, doesn’t advise having a large meal at any time, but she understands Thanksgiving is the day people tend to overdo it. She explains there are a few ways to balance out that overindulgence and one of them is by eating most of your calories earlier in the day.
First, she says it’s easier to adjust throughout the rest of the day if you’ve overeaten at an earlier meal. Plus, having large meals close to bedtime can lead to reflux, and eating earlier gives you time to digest so that doesn’t happen.
Kelly Bradshaw, manager of the Nutrition and Wellness Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, agrees that eating your Thanksgiving feast earlier in the day is ideal, but says the timing of the meal can only do so much. She says to avoid that post-meal discomfort, what really matters is what you eat and how much. So once again, moderation is key. Just try to keep that in mind when you sit down in front of all that delicious food on Thanksgiving.