It seems that in order to lose weight it is not important only what we eat but also when we eat. Now a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University found that people who eat their largest meal at breakfast are more likely to lose weight than people who eat a rich dinner. The study is published in the journal Obesity and points out that a proper timing of meals is extremely important in the management of obesity.
All this is because the metabolism is influenced by circadian rhythms, that is by the biological processes our body goes through during the 24 hours. Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center, explained that the time when we eat has a great impact on how our body processes food. It looks like that having a big breakfast has consequences not only on body weight but on health as it was found that these individuals have significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose, triglyceride, which means that the risk of cardiovascular disease is lower.
The researchers came to these conclusions after conducting a study on 93 obese women who were randomly divided into two groups. Both groups received a diet of 1,400 calories per day ( moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet): one group consumed 700 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch and 200 for dinner, while the second group had a 700 calorie dinner and a breakfast of 200 calories. The group with the big breakfast had lost 17.8 pounds and three inches off each their waist line; besides this, researchers discovered that they had much lower levels of ghrelin (hunger-regulating hormone). Compared to women with the big breakfast, the big dinner group lost only 7.3 pounds. Researchers also found that the participants with the big breakfast did not have high spikes in their blood glucose level, as it happens normally after a meal.
These results highlith to the fact that people should have a timing of meals and a balanced diet. Eating the right food at late hours not only slow down the weight loss process, it can be harmful also. It seems that the participants with the big dinner had an increase in triglycerides levels, despite weight loss. Therefore, Prof. Jakubowicz believes that eating at late hours in front of the TV and computer are the promoters of epidemic obesity. This unhealthy habit not only lead to weight gain but also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.