London – The wisdom of the age-old dietary advice to eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper has been confirmed by a study. It showed people burn twice as many calories after eating breakfast after dinner, suggesting that those trying to lose weight might do well to enjoy a bigger meal at the start of the day rather than later.
An adrenaline rush in the morning is believed to kick-start the metabolism so the body digests food faster. German researchers studied 16 men for three days to judge how quickly they burned off their morning and evening meals. They used up 2.5 times more energy after breakfast than dinner and their blood-sugar level was up to 40 percent lower.
Their study found filling up in the morning boosts a metabolism process known as diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT). DIT refers to the number of calories the body expends to heat the body and digest food. It was shown to be twice as high for those who ate more at breakfast than at dinner.
On the other hand, a low-calorie breakfast increases appetite, especially for sweets, the researchers admitted.
Dr. Juliane Richter, the first author of the study from the University of Lubeck, Germany, said: “We do not yet fully understand why the body burns so much more energy after breakfast but it may be that people’s metabolism keeps pace with their body clock.”
DIT is the body’s way of heating in order to support digestion and transport of blood when eating. Different foods and meal times affect how many calories are used by the body to do it.
The research, published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, also suggested a larger breakfast helped reduce cravings for food later.