Breakfast has long been deemed the most important meal of the day, but new research says it might have an even bigger role in our overall health than previously thought. According to a new study from the Endocrine Society, people who eat a big breakfast burn twice as many calories compared with those who eat a larger dinner.
The study took place over the course of 3 days where researchers evaluated 16 men who alternated eating a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner and vice versa. Then, the diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) — a measure of how well the body is metabolizing food — was tracked in the participants, as was overall hunger, blood glucose levels, and cravings for sweets.
The researchers discovered that, on average, the participants’ DIT was 2.5 times higher after breakfast versus after dinner, essentially showing that people’s metabolisms are more active after their morning meal. Additionally, eating a high-calorie breakfast was linked to lower hunger pangs and sweet cravings throughout the day. Another way a big rich breakfast can benefit you as well is that you’re less likely to snack throughout the day, which is often blamed for weight gain.