Eating a heavy breakfast and a light dinner is not the best way to lose weight

A recent study puts the lie to the adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, eat like a pauper”. Getty Images

A Scottish study, published Friday, September 9 in the journal Cell metabolismThrow away the dietary adage that the body will burn more calories by eating more in the morning and less in the evening.

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. A study by American nutritionist Adele Davis debunked this famous formula popular in the 20th century. Conducted by researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and published in the journal Cell metabolism Friday, September 9, The work suggests that eating a very large breakfast has little effect on overall weight loss.

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Similar weight loss

To reach these results, the scientific team asked 30 obese or overweight men and women (1) to follow two different diets, each for four weeks and with foods provided by the researchers. During the first diet, the group consumed higher calories in the morning, with 40% of daily calories at breakfast and 20% at dinner. For the second diet, the equation was reversed: the most important meal of the day in terms of calories consumed was at dinner in the evening.

Reviewing the results, in their conclusion, the researchers indicated that no difference was found between the two diets, either in terms of energy expenditure or weight loss. On average, in each of these tests each person will be able to burn 2,800 calories but lose 3 kg of weight.

Satisfaction is an introduction

If a hearty breakfast doesn’t affect the way the body metabolizes calories, this meal, more than any other meal, can still help improve satiety and thus reduce hunger for the rest of the day, said Professor Alexandra Johnstone, who led the study. In this sense, it may actually promote easier weight loss, the researchers added.

For now, the Scottish researchers hope to deepen their research and conduct longer-term observations. The scientific team wants to take an interest in intermittent fasting (voluntarily depriving yourself of food during specific time slots) to determine the best time of day to break your fast.

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Listen to yourself and eat when you are hungry

In a previous article, health professionals also recalled the importance of a full breakfast to metabolize protein and carbohydrates but also to avoid mid-morning fatigue and low alertness. “In France, breakfast must be taken before the day’s activities. This meal is certainly important but not absolutely essential before going to work”, underlined Monique Roman, doctor member of the French Society of Nutrition (SFN).

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“When I am told in consultation that we are not used to eating in the morning, I do not change anything. This is not a bad reflection if it is accepted for a long time. Skipping breakfast when you wake up doesn’t make any biological difference,” says nutritionist Catherine Sarfati.

(1) Survey, published in journal Cell metabolism16 men and 14 women were recruited, with a mean age of 50 and BMI of 32.5.

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