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Is Breakfast the New Dinner?

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, June 18, 2008 8:49 AM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Nutrition, Living Well, Carbohydrates, Dieting, Heart Disease, Obesity

Big breakfast eaters had more sustained weight loss than low-carb eaters.



IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ Greek statue fat woman/ author/credit: Clermont-Ganneau expedition, 1898 


When it comes to losing weight, carbohydrate cutting loses out in this study, while big breakfasts are in.  

This research finds that those who ate a substantial breakfast, high in carbohydrates and protein, curbed their food cravings and lost weight for good.

Dr. Daniela Jakubovicz, from Virginia Commonwealth University tested the big breakfast theory against a low carbohydrate diet on 96 obese and inactive women for eight months. 

In one group, 1,240 calories a day were consumed. The diet was low fat, and higher in carbohydrates, and protein.

Half of those calories were consumed in the morning for breakfast, including 58 grams of carbohydrates, and 47 grams of protein.

Calories tapered off as the day wore on with 395 calories for lunch, and 235 calories for dinner.

The other group of low carbohydrate/ small breakfast dieters also had a low calorie plan, but carbohydrates amounted to 7 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein in the morning. For that group, breakfast was the smallest meal of the day at 290 calories.

After four months, the low-carb dieters lost an average of 28 pounds compared to 23 pounds on the “big breakfast” plan.  But after eight months, the low-carb dieters saw the weight sneak back on - all 18 pounds of it.

But the big breakfasters continued to lose weight, an average of more than 16 pounds.

After eight months the big breakfasters lost a fifth of their total body weight. The low-carb dieters lost less than five percent.

Dr. Jakubowicz says of the low-carb diet, “It exacerbates the craving for carbohydrates and slows metabolism – as a result, after a short period of weight loss, there is a quick return to obesity.”

The big breakfast on the other hand, allows for more fiber and fruit and a fuller feeling during the day as well as a full day to work off the calories.

Presenting her findings at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Francisco this week, Dr. Jakubowicz concludes about carbohydrates, “if you restrict them, you end up craving them more, and then you suddenly abandon the diet.”  

She cites those afternoon cravings for candy, cookies and other highly processed, high carbohydrates foods.

Speaking at the conference, Dr. Alex Johnstone of the Rowett Research Institute of Aberdeen said, “It could be that it is simply easier for people on a higher-carbohydrate diet to comply with it over a longer period.” #

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