Dinner canceling is a popular way to lose weight. But does it really make a difference when we fast—morning or evening? In fact, a new scientific study has a clear answer to this question: If you want to lose weight, you should skip dinner – or at least make it less sumptuous than breakfast. And that’s because of our metabolism.
Does a Big Breakfast Boost Metabolism?
The Section for Psycho neurology at the University of Lubbock carried out a laboratory study with 16 men of normal weight. They either had a very rich breakfast and a rather meager dinner or vice versa. On the first day, the subjects consumed 69 percent of the daily calorie requirement in the morning, 20 percent at lunchtime and 11 percent in the evening. On the second day, the researchers reversed the calorie distribution at breakfast and dinner.
In order to find out how active the metabolism is after the meal, the scientists measured the heat emitted by the test subjects. The theory behind it: Our metabolism works faster after eating because the body starts digesting the food we eat straight away. This stimulates what is known as food-induced therm genesis (NIT).
Calorie Utilization Study: Skip Dinner to Lose Weight
The result of the laboratory study: the NIT was two and a half times higher after breakfast than after dinner. From this, the researchers were able to conclude that the body burns significantly more calories in the morning than in the evening. Even those who are on a diet and only eat a few calories overall will feel the effect of the different times of the day. Our study shows that the human energy turnover is generally higher in the morning than in the evening, says Prof. Kirsten Ottomans, head of the study. It’s genetic and it’s the same for everyone.
Another reason people find it easier to lose weight when they eat more calories in the morning: After a big breakfast, blood sugar and insulin levels don’t rise as much as after a heavy dinner. The participants in the study also felt more cravings after a big dinner than after a hearty breakfast.