• Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  • Eating a heavy breakfast and light dinner can help you lose more weight, confirms a new study
  • Regardless of the number of calories, a heavy breakfast burns twice more calories compared to the same meal eaten for dinner

If you’re trying to lose weight by having a lighter breakfast, you might want to reassess your weight loss strategy. A new study has made the old saying “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” evident.

The findings of the study, published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggested that eating a big breakfast rather than a heavy dinner can prevent obesity and high blood sugar.

During digestion, our body expends energy in a process called diet-induced thermogenesis, which is a measure of how well our metabolism can work or differ depending on mealtime.

"Our results show that a meal is 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," EurekAlert quoted the study's corresponding author, Juliane Richter, M.Sc., Ph.D., of the University of Lübeck in Germany. "This finding is significant for all people as it underlines the value of eating enough at breakfast," she added.

The Study

The researchers studied 16 male participants who spent the first part of the research consuming a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner and vice versa in the second part.

Despite consuming an identical amount of calories in both the parts of the study, the researchers found that having a heavy breakfast resulted in a 2.5x higher diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT).

The key findings of the study:

  • Eating a bigger breakfast and light dinner could reduce your appetite throughout the day
  • Eating a light breakfast fuels appetite and induce sweet cravings throughout the day
  • The insulin and blood sugar levels lowered after a heavy breakfast than dinner.
  • People suffering from obesity who are struggling with high appetite and sugar cravings can be benefitted by eating a bigger breakfast
  • Eating a large breakfast and light dinner not only reduced body weight but also prevents metabolic diseases.

A 2018 study reported that eating a heavy breakfast and lunch five to six hours apart alongside fasting overnight might be a useful practical weight-loss strategy that prevents long-term weight gain as well.

Eggs, cheeses, salad, orange juice, coffee and fresh baked bread at Aroma espresso bar on March 11, 2008 in the central Israeli town of Hod Hasharon. David Silverman/Getty Images