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Big Breakfast and Metabolism

Eating early may be the key to helping control appetite.

Woman eating big breakfast for metabolism

Going big at breakfast may not drive up metabolism, as some people have been led to believe, but it could help people following a calorie-conscious eating pattern feel more satiated throughout the day and help dampen the drive to eat more. 

This is the conclusion of an investigation published in Cell Metabolism. In the study, 30 overweight or obese individuals followed two 1-month calorie-restricted eating plans of equal total calories. One diet skewed more calories towards breakfast (45% breakfast, 35% lunch, 20% dinner) and the other diet had participants eat more of their total calories later in the day (20%, 35% and 45%, respectively). 

While there was no difference in metabolism or metabolic rate between the groups, the morning-loaded trial with a bigger breakfast resulted in study subjects reporting significantly lower hunger throughout the day. Since hunger can make it more challenging for someone to stick to a calorie-controlled diet, the idea that frontloading calories can help bolster satiety might encourage people to try eating a substantial breakfast and lighter dinner.

See also: Eating Breakfast: Why It Matters

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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