“Digestion is influenced by many factors, from your level of stress during meal times to how well you chew your food,” says Nielsen. “So, if mornings are crazy for you, eating a big meal might lead to poor digestion.” To remedy this, Nielsen suggests drinking a couple of large glasses of water when you first wake up, then having your coffee or tea as you prepare a big healthy breakfast that you can take with you to work. “That way you can eat when you feel your gut get going again—or when you’re calmer and more able to focus on eating,” she says.
Will Cole, D.C., and author of The Inflammation Spectrum, has found different results with different patients. “Those with more sensitive or sluggish digestive issues could come into trouble eating too much right before bed as it can impact their digestion (and sleep) throughout the night,” he says. “But for some people, eating in the evening can help improve sleep quality. It’s the heart of functional medicine: bio-individuality.”
Overall, it seems like a safe bet to lean into a larger breakfast and smaller dinner—but be sure to pay attention to how your body is responding, since at the end of the day (and the beginning of it!) everyone is different.