Looking to burn more calories? Then eat a big breakfast

breakfast composition
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Research finds that eating more at breakfast time instead of lunch and dinner could burn twice as many calories and help to prevent obesity

New research published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals that eating a big breakfast rather than a large lunch and dinner may prevent obesity, obesity related diseases and high blood sugar levels.

Diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT)

When we digest food, our body expends energy for the absorption, digestion, transport and storage of nutrients. This process is known as diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) and is a measure of how well our metabolism is working and can differ depending on mealtime.

The study’s corresponding author, Juliane Richter, M.Sc., Ph.D., of the University of Lübeck in Germany explains: “Our results show that a meal eaten for breakfast, regardless of the number of calories it contains, creates twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis as the same meal consumed for dinner. This finding is significant for all people as it underlines the value of eating enough at breakfast.”

Testing the results of higher calorie consumption

The research team conducted a laboratory study across a three day period. The researchers assessed 16 men who consumed a low-calorie breakfast and high-calorie dinner, and vice versa in the second round of testing.

They discovered identical calorie consumption led to 2.5 times higher DIT in the morning compared to when the participants consumed a higher number of calories during their evening meal.

Decreasing blood sugar levels

The food-induced increase of blood sugar and insulin concentrations was diminished after breakfast compared with dinner. The results also show eating a low-calorie breakfast increased appetite, specifically for sweets.

Richter said: “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.”

Other authors of the study include: Nina Herzog, Simon Janka, Thalke Baumann, Alina Kistenmacher and Kerstin M. Oltmanns of the University of Lübeck. The study was supported by the German Research Foundation.

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