Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day

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So over the past two weeks, I have been asked to comment the positive effects of eating peanut butter at breakfast and the positive effects of eating a large breakfast. I think most people know the saying of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” However, I know most people skip breakfast or just eat a very skimpy one.

Here at EALM (Eating and Living Moderately), we are all about eating especially the fats known as monounsaturated fats (think olive oil and peanut butter) and definitely not skipping meals– so this new research was music to our ears! Read on to get a quick and easy take away from the research I discussed with Jenna Lee on Happening Now.

My personal take away from the study, High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women, is as follows:

What you eat in terms of carbs, fat, protein, plus calorie content of that meal and time of day may help weight loss and waist circumference in women needing to lose weight as determined by their physician and dietitian. This may also be a great preventative concept for preventing insulin resistance and diabetes. To note, overall both groups in this study had favorable results such as lowered blood sugar, decreased insulin resistance and decreased production of the hormone that stimulates appetite, but the group that ate the higher calorie breakfast/low calorie dinner (vs. the low calorie breakfast/high calorie dinner) had the better results of both groups.

Most important is breakfast needs to be higher calories. The study’s participants had 50% of their calories at breakfast equaling 700 calories. Secondly, breakfast must contain protein but most fascinating is that breakfast can contain carbs like bread. Lesson: If you have metabolic syndrome, diabetes or possibly just need to lose weight, having a bigger breakfast of carbs, protein and fat, like toast and peanut butter with Greek yogurt, may be the way to go. Great news for my clients since they eat like this already!! And don’t fear carbohydrates. The participants in the study had 45% of their breakfast as carbs. (Check out the power of peanuts, as Laura Cipullo explains it on FOX 5 )

Just so you know, the women’s breakfast was 700 cals, lunch 500 cals and dinner quite small at 200 kcals. I am not recommending a 200 calorie dinner; however, consider eating more earlier in the day and then assessing how you feel come dinner time. You may be less hungry than normal. In addition we already know that eating more in the am and throughout the day decreases the likelihood of binging.

Eating in this order proves to be more helpful than eating in the reverse order which most Americans seem to do. The larger breakfast helps to keep your insulin, blood sugar, TG, bad cholesterol and appetite hormone ghrelin lower throughout the day thereby making you less hungry, less likely to crave and less likely to deposit fat around the belly.

Numbers To Chew On:
Large meal (700 kcals) = 30% protein 25% fat 45% carb

Middle meal (500 kcals) = 50% protein 30% fat 20% carb

Small Meal (200 kcals) = 65% protein 25% fat 10% carb

Breakfast 6 am to 9 am

Lunch 12 to 3 pm

Night meal 6 to 9 pm

Overall total average: 1400 kcal 41% protein 30% fat 30% carb

*Note: Keep in mind such a low calorie diet was for women with metabolic syndrome, not necessarily you, the reader.

I would expect the carb:protein:fat ratios at each meal time also greatly affected the results of this study. And, we can’t forget that this study is suggesting that eating early in the day, consistent with our circadian paths helps to increase rate of thermogenesis (energy we use to metabolize food). Perhaps you may want to start your day with a more nutritionally dense breakfast = 30% protein, 25% fat, and 45% carbs.

If you’re trying to follow this pattern, let us know if you feel less hungry at night.

References
1. High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women
 BY Daniela Jakubowicz,1 Maayan Barnea,2 Julio Wainstein,1 Oren Froy2 was Published online via www.obesityjournal.com 20 March 2013

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