How can eating a big breakfast help me lose weight?

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There may be something to the old adage to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper when it comes to better managing your weight, according to a study published in the journal Obesity.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) studied how changing the timing of meals by switching between a high calorie breakfast and a high calorie dinner, but keeping the total daily calories the same, would impact weight loss.  In this 12-week study, 50 overweight women were randomly assigned to a 1,400-calorie diet that consisted of a breakfast of 700 calories, a lunch of 500 calories, and a dinner of 200 calories, or the same food choices but with the breakfast and dinner meals switched. While both groups lost significant amounts of weight, the women consuming the large breakfast lost an average of approximately 19 pounds compared to only about 8 pounds in the large dinner group.   The breakfast group also lost twice as many inches around their waists than the large dinner eaters.  Since the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite, was lower during the day in the breakfast group, these women also experienced higher levels of satiety, or that filling of fullness, throughout the day.  In addition, large breakfast eaters also had significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose, and fat in their blood, which may help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

Besides helping you eat less later in the day, a big breakfast might also help you lose weight. But you have to be smart about it.

Okay, so you can't completely overdo it at breakfast and hope to drop pounds. But when obese dieters ate a big 600-calorie breakfast of healthy protein and carbs (think scrambled eggs, diced turkey, whole-wheat toast, and a banana), they lost significantly more weight than dieters who ate only half that much. Why? Researchers speculate that eating a large balanced meal in the morning helps stymie carb cravings later in the day -- especially if you're cutting carbs and calories in an effort to slim down.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.