WASHINGTON—People are looking for ways to lose weight and be healthier. What if just switching your largest meal of the day from dinner to breakfast can help you achieve this goal?
Conventional belief is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now researchers have found that if you eat a big breakfast instead of a big dinner meal, you may prevent obesity and high blood sugar. Their findings were recently published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Our body actually uses energy when digesting food. It needs to absorb the food, digest it, then transport the food to where the body needs it and store the food. The energy process is called diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT). How well DIT works is a measure of how well our metabolism functions. DIT can vary depending on mealtime.
“Our results show that a meal 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,” said the study’s corresponding author, Dr. Juliane Richter, of University of Lübeck in Germany in their press release.
“This finding is significant for all people as it underlines the value of eating enough at breakfast,” she said.
More Energy Used After a Big Breakfast
In their experiment, 16 men consumed a low-calorie breakfast and high-calorie dinner in one round, and then a high-calorie breakfast and low-calorie dinner in another round. The researchers found that although the men ate identical amount of calories, the DIT was 2.5 times higher in the morning than in the evening. They also found food-induced increase of blood sugar and insulin concentrations was diminished after breakfast compared with dinner. Eating a low-calorie breakfast also increased appetite, especially for sweets.
According to Dr. Richter, making breakfast your largest meal instead of dinner can help reduce body weight and prevent metabolic diseases.