• People who eat a big breakfast burn twice as many calories compared with those who eat a larger dinner, according to a new study.
  • Over the course of 3 days, researchers evaluated 16 men who alternated eating a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner and vice versa.
  • Eating a high-calorie breakfast was linked to lower hunger pangs and sweet cravings throughout the day.

Breakfast has long been deemed the most important meal of the day.

What we eat and drink after waking up has been shown to have a big impact on our cognitive performance, mood, and energy levels throughout the day.

Now, new research from the Endocrine Society shows breakfast plays an even bigger role in our overall health than previously thought.

People who eat a big breakfast burn twice as many calories compared with those who eat a larger dinner, according to the new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism on Wednesday.

They also experience fewer cravings, particularly for sweets, and have healthier blood sugar (glucose) and insulin levels throughout the day.

People’s metabolisms are more active after breakfast
Over the course of 3 days, researchers evaluated 16 men who alternated eating a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner and vice versa.

Then, the diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) — a measure of how well the body is metabolizing food — was tracked in the participants, as was overall hunger, blood glucose levels, and cravings for sweets.

The researchers discovered that, on average, the participants’ DIT was 2.5 times higher after breakfast versus after dinner, essentially showing that people’s metabolisms are more active after their morning meal.

Additionally, eating a high-calorie breakfast was linked to lower hunger pangs and sweet cravings throughout the day.

Compared with a richer breakfast, a low-calorie breakfast is more likely to cause snacking throughout the day. Plus, those who eat smaller breakfasts tend to eat larger meals at dinner, according to the researchers.

People’s insulin — a hormone that helps turn food into energy — and blood glucose, which is used for energy, were also lower after breakfast compared with after dinner.

The findings may have huge implications for people looking to lose weight, along with those with diabetes who have higher than normal blood glucose levels.

“Our results confirm that a large dinner has particularly negative effects on glucose tolerance, which should be considered by diabetic patients looking to avoid blood glucose peaks,” the researchers stated in the study.

“An extensive breakfast should therefore be preferred over large dinner meals to reduce the risk of metabolic diseases,” they added.

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