The popular quote of “eat your breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper” couldn’t be any more right as research has verified it to be true. Anyone who is struggling for weight loss should eat a heavy breakfast but a lighter dinner, as per the new study. This study is published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The researchers from the University of Lubeck, Germany investigated first and last meal of the day on the human body and their benefits on weight, irrespective of total calorie intake. They found that eating at different times of the day helps the body to lose or gain weight. The human body uses a process called “diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT)” which initiates when the body is processing the food. Typically, a low level of diet induced thermogenesis (DIT) shows that the person has a high tendency to gain weight.
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This particular study investigated 16 men in whom diet induced thermogenesis (DIT) were 2.5 times more when they ate a heavy breakfast, regardless of the calories. The results also showed that blood sugar and insulin level didn’t rise high after eating in the morning as compared to their increase after eating dinner. Additionally, all the participants of this study were not satisfied with a light breakfast and were still hungry even after eating it. All of them were craving for something sweet to eat.
The leading researcher and first author of this study say that DIT is higher after breakfast, in the morning whether or not you are eating higher calories. If you want to reduce the risk of obesity and increased blood sugar level, you should eat a heavier breakfast rather than a heavy dinner.
All the particpants were of 23 years (average) age. Their body mass index (BMI) was normal and none of them was obese. These participants were kept in the laboratory for three days, two weeks apart where they were fed with specialized meals throughout the day.
The researchers then tested them for a number of things including blood sample study before and after the first and last meal of the day. They also studied changes when these participants were fed with a low-calorie diet or a high-calorie diet on different days. In all three days, lunch served to them was the same and only breakfast and dinner were changed.
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The research paper writes;
“Our data show that the time of day of food intake makes a difference in humans’ energy expenditure and metabolic responses to meals.”
People who were obese were at a higher risk of diabetes type 2. These people try to maintain their weight typically by eating a lighter breakfast. But there is no evidence to suggest if this “lighter breakfast” has any benefit on weight loss or is successful in general. Despite eating a lighter meal at breakfast, people usually eat high-calorie lunch and dinner at later hours of the day.
The study co-author Juliane Richter says;
“Our results show that a meal is eaten for breakfast, regardless of the amount of calories it contains, creates twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis as the same meal consumed for dinner,”
She further shares that knowing how eating affects your weight gain or weight loss is significant for everyone and they should know it. She suggests;
“We recommend that patients with obesity as well as healthy people eat a large breakfast rather than a large dinner to reduce body weight and prevent metabolic diseases.”