Dr. Daniela Jakubovicz of Wolfson Medical Center in Israel recently reported on a study she conducted investigating weight loss through varying meal timing and composition. Her study involved 193 obese patients divided into two meal plans. One plan (for women) allocated 600 calories to breakfast, 500 to lunch, and 300 to dinner. The other plan (also for women) allowed 300 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch and 600 for dinner. Similar but slightly larger portions were given to obese men. Total calorie intake was 1400 for women and 1600 for men.
The results of the study showed that patients assigned to the high calorie breakfast ended up losing more weight over the 32 week total study time than those assigned to the low calorie breakfast.
Dr. Jakobovicz explained, “A high-carbohydrate and protein breakfast may prevent weight regain by reducing diet-induced compensatory changes in hunger, cravings, and ghrelin suppression.” Ghrelin is a hormone that promotes hunger. Front-loading food at the beginning of the day apparently reduces the amount of ghrelin in circulation and makes people feel less hungry for the rest of the day.
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