June 15 2018
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With increasingly busy lives, schedules and making “balls” of everything to eat on the run, it just makes sense to eat the biggest meal of the day at home, first thing in the morning, to power you through your long day. It may also help you lose weight—and there is plenty of research to back up that claim.
Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, an Israeli researcher at the Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv, conducted a study in which she recruited dozens of obese and overweight women with metabolic problems and put them all on a 1,400 calorie per day diet. Half the women were told to consume 700 calories at breakfast, 500 calories at lunch and 200 calories at dinner, while the other group was instructed to reverse the order. Regardless of when it was eaten, the large meal included foods like tuna, whole wheat bread, a tomato and mozzarella salad, skim milk and a small amount of chocolate.
The results? Women in both groups lost weight after 12 weeks, but those who ate the large meal in the morning lost two-and-one-half times as much as those eating the large dinner. Those eating the large breakfast also lost more body fat—especially belly fat—and saw more improvement in metabolic factors like fasting glucose levels.
Dr. Jakubowicz summarized the findings, saying, “The time of the meal is more important than what you eat and how much you eat,” which is what those who eat by intermittent fasting already know.
Before you make any major changes to your diet, do some research and take into account any underlying health issues. You may also want to consider the timing of your workouts so that you can make sure you’re properly fueled and can stay strong through the finish.