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How to distribute your daily calories

Expert insight:

There are a couple benefits to eating most of your daily calories in the first half of the day, when your DIT is higher, says lead study author Juliane Richter, Ph.D., researcher at the University of Lübeck’s Center of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism in Germany.

First, you’ll digest and transport macros (to places like your brain and muscles) more quickly, minimizing fat storage. Second, you may absorb more vitamins and minerals.

Richter notes that DIT slows down in the early afternoon, potentially because your body’s processes go dormant as you approach bedtime.

The bottom line:

There’s no specific ideal calorie distribution just yet, but Richter suggests eating more calories at breakfast and lunch than you do at dinner. (For example, you might eat 40 percent of your daily intake at each breakfast and lunch and just 20 percent at dinner.)

Prioritize nutrient-dense foods like salmon, vegetables, and extra-virgin olive oil during earlier meals, too.

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