Eating a higher calorie breakfast can more than double weight loss, research finds.
Consuming more calories at breakfast is linked to a greater chance of losing weight and reducing the waistline.
Even having a desert at breakfast, such as a cookie or piece of chocolate cake, was linked to lower levels of insulin later on and healthier triglyceride levels.
One study has found that people who consume their daily calories earlier in the day can double weight loss.
Eating more calories earlier is also linked to better sleep quality, which is likely one of the factors affecting weight loss.
For the current study, though, 93 obese women were put in one of two groups.
The first group ate 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch and 200 at dinner.
The second group had 200 for breakfast, 500 at lunch and 700 for dinner.
The results showed that women eating a larger breakfast lost 17.8 pounds on average, compared with those eating the larger dinner only losing 7.3 pounds.
The difference was also visible on their waistlines, with those eating bigger breakfasts losing three inches, compared with just 1.4 inches in the other group.
People eating bigger breakfasts showed larger decreases in the hunger hormone ghrelin and had healthier insulin, glucose and triglyceride levels.
Meal timings play an important role in weight loss, the study suggests.
Professor Daniela Jakubowicz, commenting on a similar previous study, said:
“The hour of the day — when you eat and how frequently you eat — is more important than what you eat and how many calories you eat.
Our body metabolism changes throughout the day.
A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Obesity (Jakubowicz et al., 2019).