There's a common perception out there that the earlier you eat dinner, the more weight you'll lose. Here's the truth: While most dieters believe meal timing counts, scientific evidence doesn't provide a clear yes or no.
A 2013 study hinted that a group of Spanish people who ate a big midday meal lost more weight than those whose largest meal was a few hours later in the afternoon. But those results don't translate well in the United States, where we're used to eating our biggest meal in the evening.
One thing is clear, though: People who eat more at night tend to snack their way through prime-time television, and they also tend to be breakfast skippers -- two patterns that can make it hard to lose weight.
Dinners are slightly bigger than lunches, a style of eating that matches how most of us dine. And although there's an evening snack, the calorie control and focus on the quality of the food you're eating will tip the scales in your favor -- whether you're eating at 5 p.m. or 8 p.m.