A big breakfast could be the key to curbing appetite, researchers have suggested.
A new small-scale study from the University of Aberdeen found that eating a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner could help with weight loss by making participants feel less hungry.
The research, published in the journal Cellular metabolismset out to investigate “chrononutrition” and how the food we eat affects our internal body clock.
Other findings from the study included that people burn the same amount of calories regardless of when they have their biggest meal of the day, and that hunger is noticeably smaller after a big breakfast, which could make it easier to track a diet
The researchers followed a group of 30 study participants who had all their meals prepared for them over a two-month period totaling a daily intake of about 1,700 calories.
The recommended caloric intake for weight maintenance, according to the NHS, is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.
The participants spent a month eating a large breakfast that made up almost half of their daily calories, followed by a smaller lunch and dinner.
The following month, participants ate their big meal at night and had smaller meals for breakfast and lunch.
Breakfasts in the study included smoothies, yogurts, eggs, sausages, and mushrooms. The emphasis was on protein, which can help keep you full.
The researchers measured participants’ metabolism using doubly labeled water, which is denser than regular water and can be tracked as it leaves the body.
The scientists found that the timing of the largest meal made no difference to how many calories were burned during the day, the participant’s resting metabolic rate, or how much weight they lost.
However, they found that a large breakfast suppressed participants’ hunger and hunger levels.
“Studies suggest that for appetite control, the big breakfast was a winner,” said study author Professor Alexandra Johnstone. BBC.
“If you can start your day with a big, healthy breakfast, you’re more likely to maintain your physical activity levels and maintain that appetite control for the rest of the day.”
Johnstone added that the results differ from most people’s eating habits, as many people have smaller breakfasts and larger dinners.
Scientists are now looking at what happens when shift workers eat in the middle of the night and want to look at the best time to eat, whether you’re a morning person or a night person.
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