A big breakfast and a skimpy dinner is key to weight loss

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Kelly has revealed that starting to eat in the mornings was key to her weight loss success

Kelly has revealed that starting to eat in the mornings was key to her weight loss success

Kelly has revealed that starting to eat in the mornings was key to her weight loss success

We’ve all heard the saying ‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’ – now a large study has hailed it a successful weight loss strategy.

And slimmers see better results if they skip dinner altogether, the researchers also discovered. 

The idea of having a hearty breakfast to boost our metabolism and set ourselves up for the day is popular with a host of stars including Angelina Jolie and Kelly Osbourne.

The new findings rubbish the concept that weight loss can be achieved by ‘eating little and often’ – a method which also has its devotees including Jennifer Aniston.

Indeed, no snacking in between meals was key found to be key to more successful weight loss.

After studying 50,000 adults, the researchers also recommend fasting overnight for up to 18 hours.

Researchers  found that eating more earlier in the day is linked to having a lower BMI (file)

Researchers  found that eating more earlier in the day is linked to having a lower BMI (file)

Researchers found that eating more earlier in the day is linked to having a lower BMI (file)

They wrote in the Journal of Nutrition: ‘Our results suggest that in relatively healthy adults, eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain.

‘Eating breakfast and lunch five to six hours apart and making the overnight fast last 18 to 19 hours may be a useful practical strategy.’

Key findings 

Dr Kahleova from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California and her team analysed data gleaned from 50,660 participants of adults from the Adventist Health Study-2 who were over 30.

Their eating habits and weight were monitored for an average of seven years.

The researchers discovered four factors associated with a decrease in body mass index (BMI).

Firstly, eating only one or two meals per day and secondly, maintaining an overnight fast of up to 18 hours.

Thirdly, eating breakfast instead of skipping it, and fourthly, making breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day. 

People who made breakfast the largest meal saw a more significant decrease in their BMI than those who made lunch their most calorific meal.  

Eating more than three meals per day – snacks were counted as extra meals – and making supper the largest meal of the day were associated with a higher BMI. 

Theory behind this weight loss method 

The process of digesting large amounts of food eaten at one sitting is said to burn a significant number of calories, so the potential for weight gain is reduced.

The result is someone is likely to gain less weight from eating 2,000 calories at one sitting than 2,000 calories spread out over many snacks, explained Dr Kahleova.

Generally, more snacks means more caloric intake. 

Imagine having lots of food — including sweets like cake — every morning and still losing weight. The Big Breakfast Diet says it’s possible.

Endocrinologist Daniela Jakubowicz, author of The Big Breakfast Diet, says the time of day we eat impacts the way our bodies process food.

In her previous research, people eating a big breakfast were found to have significantly lower levels of a hunger-regulating hormone than their counterparts in a ‘big dinner’ group.

This made them more satiated and gave them less desire for snacking later in the day.  

Professor Jakubowicz said: ‘Eating the right foods at the wrong times can not only slow down weight loss, it can also be harmful. 

‘Our study found those in the big dinner group actually increased fat levels in their body, despite their weight loss.’ 

The study goes against Jennifer's approach of 'eat less, more often' as a way to stay trim

The study goes against Jennifer's approach of 'eat less, more often' as a way to stay trim

The study goes against Jennifer’s approach of ‘eat less, more often’ as a way to stay trim

The ‘eat little and often’ way

Jennifer Aniston attributes her slim figure to eating small portions regularly over the course of the day. 

Rather than indulging in three larger meals, the 48-year-old actress finds time to enjoy five meals, as well as five, five-minute work outs and a run, each day.

In a study in 2015, researchers from universities in California and New Mexico said that eating six small meals a day is better than three square meals.

In both regimes, the total amount of calories consumed remained the same.

The findings show that by following both regimes, dieters lost weight. 

However those in the group eating six meals a day preserved a healthier body composition and lost less ‘fat-free’ body mass.

Those who at six meals a day also had healthier levels of glucose, insulin and cholesterol. 

BREAKFASTS THE EXPERTS SAY WILL KEEP YOU FULL TILL LUNCH 

Scrambled egg with spinach is rich in protein

Scrambled egg with spinach is rich in protein

Scrambled egg with spinach is rich in protein

From scrambled eggs to a power smoothie, these are what trained nutrition experts eat in the morning – and what they say you should be eating too. 

Scrambled eggs 

For Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, the perfect breakfast is scrambled eggs with spinach.

She said: ‘Cooked in olive oil, my breakfast is rich in protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates with some healthy fats. It always keeps me full and satisfied until lunchtime.’

Strawberry and chia seed smoothie  

For nutritionist Lily Soutter, her go-to breakfast is a balance of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and fibre, as well as spices  – all of which are in her strawberry and chia seed smoothie.

‘They take five minutes to whiz up, and are easy to transport if in a rush,’ she explains.

Avocado adds B vitamins and magnesium

Avocado adds B vitamins and magnesium

Bircher can be made in just two minutes

Bircher can be made in just two minutes

Avocado is filling and nutritious while this bircher recipe is rich in fibre and low-G

Chopped egg and avocado 

Nutritionist Rob Hobson, author of the Detox Kitchen Bible, said his breakfast normally involves eggs. 

‘These really set you up for the day with a good source of protein that keeps you full through until lunch,’ he said.

‘The avocado adds B vitamins and magnesium that help the body to convert food into energy and yellow peppers are a great source of vitamin C.’

Bejewelled pomegranate and pistachio bircher

Body transformation expert Louise Parker says she always starts her day with a bircher.

She said: ‘You can make it the night before, in two minutes flat. It’s also abundant in protein, fibre and creamy gorgeousness and is low-GI.’

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A big breakfast and a skimpy dinner is key to weight loss

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