If you’re looking to avoid obesity and high blood sugar, consider eating a big breakfast instead of a large dinner.
That’s because the body expends energy digesting food and absorbing its nutrients — a process known as diet-induced thermogenesis. It’s an indicator of how well the body’s metabolism works and differs with mealtimes.
Now, researchers in Germany have found that breakfast created twice the diet-induced thermogenesis as dinner. That’s even true regardless of the amount of calories eaten at breakfast. The findings were published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
During the study, a group of men were evaluated over a three-day period. In one round of the study, they ate a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner. In the study’s next phase, their eating was reversed to include a calorie-heavy breakfast and a light dinner. Researchers noted that diet-induced thermogenesis was more than two-and-a-half times higher in the morning than in the evening after the large breakfasts and smaller dinners. Blood sugar and insulin spikes even diminished after breakfast compared with after dinner.
Eating a lower-calorie breakfast also boosted the participants’ appetites — particularly for sweet foods.
All of that underscores the importance of a substantial breakfast, the study’s lead researcher noted.
More food in the morning and less in the evening, researchers concluded, has the potential to reduce body weight, prevent weight gain and ward off metabolic diseases.
In the effort to lose weight or keep it off, look at the kitchen clock — not just the bathroom scale.