Whether the highest calorie intake of the day is at breakfast or dinner doesn’t matter for weight loss and dieting, according to researchers who studied the diet of overweight adults.
- Per day, the amount of calories an adult needs on average is between 2,400 and 2,600 calories for a man and 1,800 to 2,200 calories for a woman.
- To lose weight, the daily caloric balance must be slightly negative, that is to say that the body expends more calories than it provides by eating.
To lose weight, some believe that it is better to eat well in the morning and have a light dinner. But is this belief justified? Not really, according to a study published this Friday, September 9 in the journal Cell. According to the researchers, the time of day when caloric intake is highest does not affect weight loss.
Three pounds in four weeks…
To achieve this result, the scientists put around 30 overweight or obese participants on a high-protein diet. But, these were split into two groups based on when they needed to eat the most.
Thus, a group consumed 45% of its daily calorie intake at breakfast, 35% at lunch and 20% at dinner. The other, on the other hand, ate 20% of his calorie intake at breakfast, 35% at lunch, and 45% at dinner. After four weeks, the participants changed groups.
…even when dinner is plentiful
Result: the researchers observed that there was no difference in weight loss and energy expenditure between the two groups. In other words, no matter when caloric intake was greatest, it did not affect participants’ weight loss. On average, they had all lost – in both groups – three kilos in four weeks.
However, as the participants all tried both groups, they noted one difference: when they ate a large breakfast, their feeling of fullness lasted longer. “Their appetite was better controlled on days when they ate a larger breakfast and (they) felt full for the rest of the day”, explains Alexandra Johnstone, lead author of the study.
To lose weight effectively, the ideal is to combine your diet with the practice of regular physical activity. Note that theWorld Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity sport or 75 to 150 minutes of sustained-intensity sport per week. And walk at least 10,000 steps a day.