Big Breakfast Aids In Weight Loss
August 5, 2013

Want To Lose Weight? Try Eating A Big Breakfast

Brett Smith for - Your Universe Online

Many health experts recommend a balanced breakfast to start each day and new research from Tel Aviv University in Israel has shown that a 'big breakfast' diet can even lead to more efficient weight loss when compared to a big dinner diet.

According to their report in the journal Obesity, the Israel-based team found that when overweight and obese women were given a weight-loss diet with the same amount of daily caloric intake, those who ate more for breakfast than dinner tended to lose more weight than those who did the opposite and feasted at night.

To investigate the health effects of meal timing, the research team enlisted 93 obese women who were randomly placed into one of two groups. Both groups were told to consume a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat, 1,400-calorie-a-day diet for 12 weeks. The first group was told to eat 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at supper. The other group had a 200 calorie breakfast, 500 calorie lunch, and 700 calorie dinner. Both groups' 700-calorie meals included the same foods.

At the end of the twelve weeks, the "big breakfast" volunteers had lost an almost of 18 pounds each, on average. They also lost three inches off their waist line. The “big dinner†group averaged a 7.3-pound weight loss and 1.4 inches of lost waistline.

The breakfast group was also found to have noticeably lower levels of insulin, glucose, and triglycerides throughout the day, which could eventually lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, added the researchers.

They also noted that the big breakfast group also had lower levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin, suggesting that these women were more satiated throughout the day than their counterparts in the other group. The breakfast group also did not experience blood glucose spikes that often occur after a meal. Some experts consider these jumps in blood sugar levels more harmful than sustained high blood glucose levels with respect to cardiovascular disease.

According to the researchers, the results indicate that proper meal timing should be considered when attempting to manage obesity, in addition to a regular exercise regimen and proper nutrition. The study authors also suggested that people minimize late-night snacking or mindless eating in front of the television screen.

One of the study's authors - Daniela Jakubowicz, a diabetes expert at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel - has been espousing the virtues of a large breakfast for years and even has a diet book based on the principle.

In a review of Jakubowicz's 2009 book "The Big Breakfast Diet: Eat Big Before 9 a.m. and Lose Big for Life," Los Angeles Times' critic Anne Colby noted that most women would lose weight on the diabetes researcher's recommended 1,100 calories-a-day diet. Colby added that a major drawback of the plan is that it slightly runs counter to social norms.

"The main drawback to the big-breakfast diet would seem to be the fact that people eat not just to satisfy hunger or cravings, but as a social activity," Colby wrote in 2010. "And dinner is when they typically gather to break bread. Sure you can order up a vegetable platter or salad while others are noshing on pesto pasta and pizza, but it takes commitment."