Study: Want To Lose Weight? Make Breakfast Your Biggest Meal
If you like to pile up your plate, you’re much better off doing it at breakfast. According to a Tel Aviv University study, human metabolism is significantly impacted by our body clock — the circadian rhythm that manages our body’s biological processes over each 24-hour cycle.
Eating a big breakfast jumpstarts metabolic processes and keeps them high all day. And according to the study, by Daniela Jakubowicz of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center, those who eat their largest daily meal at breakfast are far more likely to lose weight and waistline circumference than those who eat a large dinner.
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To determine the impact of timing on weight loss and health, Jakubowicz and her fellow researchers, Julio Wainstein of TAU and Maayan Barnea and Oren Froy of Hebrew University, conducted a study in which 93 obese women were randomly assigned to two groups, each of which was given a diet of moderate-carbohydrate and moderate-fat foods with a daily total of 1,400 calories. The results of the study were published in a recent edition of the medical journal Obesity.
The difference between the groups was in their “calorie timing”: The first group ate 700 of their allotted calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner, while the second group ate a 200-calorie breakfast, a 500-calorie lunch, and 700-calorie dinner. As a further control, the 700-calorie breakfast or dinner for each group included the same foods.
While members of both groups lost weight as expected, as all participants had significantly reduced their calorie consumption, the 12-week study showed that when they ate those calories had a big impact on weight loss. Those who ate the big breakfast lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and three inches off their waistline, while those in the big dinner group lost only 7.3 pounds and 1.4 inches off their waistline.
In addition, said Jakubowicz, those in the big-breakfast group were found to have significantly lower levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin, an indication that they were more satiated and had less desire for snacking later in the day than their counterparts in the big-dinner group.