Can Breakfasts Keep Our Waistlines Trim?
Timing is Everything
We’ve all heard eating a hearty breakfast is an important component of shedding extra weight, but why? Is there a weight loss advantage in concentrating calorie intake earlier in the day? Scientists that study this kind of thing have come up with a few theories on what is happening. Here are a few of their ideas.1
- Reduces cravings – especially for fats and sweets
- Hunger hormones are reduced during the day
- Balances metabolism
- Reduces deposition of fats
Energy Storage and Sleep
It only makes sense that our body has to store energy when we eat more calories later in the day. It’s as if the body is saying, “Cool, look at all this energy, let’s go do something!” But we respond with, “Nah, I think I’m going to bed.” Thus that energy has to be stored for later. Some of this energy is stored as fat.
In addition, eating later in the day has a tendency to disrupt our sleep, and studies have found that bad sleep contributes to bad food choices, such as greater consumption of fat. People that sleep poorly don’t burn as much energy during the day, their metabolic rates are lower.2
Testing it Out
Israeli researchers recruited overweight and obese women to compare the difference between consistently eating a large breakfast or a large dinner. They randomized 25 women to each group and carefully controlled their caloric intake so each was the same (~1400kcal). After 12 weeks they found large differences between the two groups. Not only did the large breakfast groups lose more weight (see chart) but they also were better in:3
- Blood sugar
- Insulin control
- Food satiety
In part three of our weight loss series we will take a look at another dietary strategy that lends to greater satiety and weight loss.
- Kahleova et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2017.
- Spaeth. Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations. 2014.
- Jakubowicz. Obesity. 2013
July 26, 2022