Big Breakfast Diet Could Help You Lose Weight – Eat Like a King

Cooked breakfast with sausage, bacon, beans, black pudding, tomato, egg, mushrooms and toastResearch from the Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, has shown that eating breakfast like a King could be the key to long term weight loss and weight management.

In the study, overweight and obese women who consumed half of their daily calorific intake in the morning, as part of their breakfast, lost more weight than those who spread their calories throughout the day.

The “Big Breakfast Diet” was tested against a low carb diet, with a study group of 96 obese and sedentary women. In the low-carb diet people were restricted to just 1,085 calories a day – the majority of these coming from protein and fat. Breakfast was the smallest meal of the day in this group, at just 290 calories.

In the “big breakfast diet” 1,240 calories were consumed each day, and breakfast accounted for 640 calories a day.

After four months of dieting, the low-carbers had on average lost more weight (this will please the Atkins Diet fan club). However, by the eighth month, the big breakfast dieters had taken the lead, and had lost more weight overall. These results actually agree with previous research carried out on low-carb diets.

Lead researcher Dr Jakubowicz reported that the big breakfasters said they felt less hungry, particularly in the mornings. Also, Dr Alex Johnstone of the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, suggested that other studies had also shown that low-carb diets helped people lose weight quickly, but were not ideal diets for life. However, the Atkins diet, which made low carb dieting famous, allows for increased carb intake in the later stages of the diet.

A spokesman for the British Nutrition Foundation said there was evidence that a good-sized breakfast could help dieters. She said:

“Research shows that eating breakfast can actually help people control their weight. This is probably because when we don’t have breakfast we’re more likely to get hungry before lunch and snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar, such as biscuits, doughnuts or pastries.”

The key to losing weight is controlling how much you eat, and to do that, controlling your appetite is vital. Like a low-carb diet, a big breakfast diet can help you to control hunger.

This research is not really revealing anything new though. For many years “old wives” have said that to lose weight and be healthy, you must “eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a pauper”.

Consuming a large cooked breakfast in the morning, then a healthy salad for lunch, and finishing the day with a low-carb meal (following the no carbs after 4pm rule) leads to successful weight loss in many individuals.

I am sure that Prince William follows this advice, as his military training would have taught him that an army marches on its stomach, and if anyone should eat like a King, it’s Prince William!

17 Comments on “Big Breakfast Diet Could Help You Lose Weight – Eat Like a King”

  1. But won’t cooked breakfasts lead to heart disease in the long term?

  2. MotleyHealth says:

    You are right Dave, sausage and bacon is not good for us. In excess they can also lead to an increased risk of colon cancer. Plus all the cholesterol. However, some say that if you burn it off, you will be healthy still. Need more research on the effects of processed meat on colon cancer in slim healthy subjects and not overweight ones.

  3. How about turkey bacon and sausage? Will that make a difference? Also how about canadian bacon? I can’t see all cooked breakfasts leading to heart disease. Who says it has to be meat based anyways? Oatmeal is cooked, french toast is cooked, waffles and pancakes are cooked.

  4. I was looking for actual suggestions for a “king’s breakfast” and have not found any yet.
    If eggs and cheese are proteins, then it’s not necessary to include a meat in breakfast, right?
    What are good breakfast suggestions (with portions)?

  5. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Lynn. There are different types of proteins, eggs are good, cheese less so. What are you actually looking for though? Do you want a healthy breakfast high in protein to help build muscle and burn fat? Do you just want a big breakfast? As for portions, this is really up to you – as many sausages and rashers of bacon that you want. But if you are looking for a healthy breakfast, then sausage and bacon is not a good option. What are you really looking to achieve with your King’s breakfast?

  6. I’m looking for healthy, complete breakfast ideas which will delay hunger for at least 3-4 hours, with the goal of losing 25 lbs and then maintaining that weight. I am 49 years old and 158 lbs. I’ve lost 10 lbs in the past year by eating more fresh fruits and veggies while eating less fried foods, bread and pasta. 30-min walking alternating with jogging on the treadmill helps me get/stay toned, but has not been beneficial for weight loss, and I admit to being inconsistent with exercise.

    I believe a variety of foods for each meal is important, such as having a reasonable amount of protein (2-3 servings), veggies, and a fruit, and 1-2 slices of 7-grain bread (meaning 2 slices if I’m having a sandwich), but I do not have breakfast every day and certainly not as just described on a regular basis.
    Sometimes I’ll have a homemade smoothie with protein powder and flaxseed, which is satisfying for a couple of hours and is quick and easy to make and drink on my way to work.

    In considering the King, Queen, Pauper philosophy I realized that when I go out for Sunday breakfast (brunch) that I am satisfied for several hours and am able to reduce the amount of food for the next meal or have snacks as I’m just not hungry enough for a large meal again for the rest of the day. So it seems to me that the KQP philosophy would work excellent for me.
    I am concerned that even though I do make healthier choices that I may be over-doing it in portion sizes. This is the reason I was looking for actual healthy meal ideas for portion sizes and recipes for a Kings breakfast.

  7. MotleyHealth says:

    Why not have a bowl of muesli or porridge for breakfast, with some other fruits too. This should keep you going for a few hours. If you have a mid-morning snack, maybe a protein shake, or something like a small cottage cheese pot, then this will tie you over until lunch time. The biggest risk of the KQP method is that you are overcome by temptation in the evening and end up snacking which sends you over your daily calorie limit. The average Sunday brunch is also much larger than any breakfast you can eat daily (if it is like the Sunday brunches I have had).

  8. Muesli? Porridge?
    Don’t know anything about those. Never tried them. I’m a Texas gal and those sound like foreign foods, though I’ve seen Muesli cereal in the stores and didn’t realize they even make Porridge these days. They don’t sound tasty at all. They’re oats (carbs?) of some kind, aren’t they? Carbs and fruits don’t sound like a well-rounded nutritional breakfast (no veggies!). Wouldn’t that be about the same nutritional value as having a bowl of cereal (grape-nuts or shredded wheat) without the milk?

    On the one hand you say a bowl of one of these and a fruit will fill me up for hours… yet you mention having a mid-morning snack of a protein shake or cottage cheese pot to tide me over til lunch… which implies to me that a bowl of this stuff and some fruit will not fill me up for 4 hours.
    I can tell you that a bowl of cereal and some strawberries will not deter hunger for 4 hours.
    A homemade protein shake is about 300 calories. So you’re suggesting a 300 calorie snack? This sounds like you’re suggesting having 2 breakfasts, instead of one breakfast and a snack before lunch. I believe 100 calories would be considered a healthy snack-worthy ideal.

    I was looking for healthy, filling suggestions for meals in regards to the KQP guidelines, and as breakfast is the suggested largest meal I was looking for suggestions which would incorporate a complete filling, healthy meal.

    I believe I read earlier that a Kings breakfast would contain about 600 calories of healthy foods. I was wondering what you would suggest for a healthy “King” breakfast meal which would be filling without over-doing the calories or fat.
    If one has a good, healthy meal then one doesn’t crave snacks or calorie-laden, sugar-infused drinks an hour or two later.

  9. MotleyHealth says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realise porridge and muesli were uncommon in America. Well, they do both provide a hearty breakfast and are low in saturated fat, and healthy. So long as you avoid white bread, pancakes etc. then you can get the energy anyway you want. If you only concern is a large meal in the morning why not just flip your day around and eat your usual dinner in the morning? Unconventional, but if that works for you why not?

    Maybe a more sensible approach is to have more than one course for breakfast. A bowl of your favorite, local low GI cereal, then some eggs on a single slice wholemeal/wholegrain toast, then a variety of fruits. That will easily add up to 600 calories.

    As for the mid morning snack, if you have break fast at 8am and lunch at 2pm, then there are 6 hours between those meals. The size of your snacks really depends on when you eat.

    But finally, it is generally considered better to have many smaller meals throughout the day, and not a single large meal. The KQP method may be better than the conventional method of a large meal in the evening, but it is not necessarily the best way to eat to lose weight.

  10. Thanks for your speedy responses :)

    Breakfast for me is usually between 8-9, lunch around 12-1, and dinner around 6-7, with a snack of 1-oz protein with a fruit or veggie in between. (for most people here, lunch is at 12, and dinner at 5-6), but my work-days/hours are erratic and sometimes lunch is eaten earlier or later and dinner may be an hour or two later.

    I’ve noticed that if I take a “diet” frozen meal for lunch, then I’m very hungry a couple hours later. But if I eat a burger or a serving-appropiate sized meal, then I don’t think about food again for at least 4 or 5 hours.

    I appreciate your more sensible approach suggestions. It’s not practical at all to switch the morning/evening meals, but it should be no problem to expand my morning protein to include meat other than bacon or sausage. I’ve avoided bacon and sausage, and even ham because of the fat/calorie/sodium content and have been looking to eggs, mozzarella cheese sticks or protein shakes to fill my protein needs.

    What makes complete sense to me is to eat a well-rounded healthy morning meal consisting of 2-3 oz of protein, a serving of fruit, a half cup or more of fresh veggies, and a slice of bread (or cup of cereal). Not with the goal of getting full… but with the goal of filling to satisfaction. For lunch, I can plan a little lighter meal because I won’t be starving because I had a good breakfast and planned a light, healthy snack, and then for dinner I can plan an even lighter meal because I won’t have deprived myself all day.

    You also mentioned the likelihood of being tempted with a bigger evening meal than intended, which could definitely be an issue if not eating earlier meals and snacks to satisfaction. I’ll watch out for that! :) Personally, I find it very frustrating and uncomfortable to eat dinner to the point of feeling over-full. I think that adding just a bit more to my breakfast will help keep me full and satisfied longer throughout the day.
    Thank You for your time and input and for giving me things to think about! :)

  11. The big breakfast diet allows 600-850 calories for breakfast. And it includes a dessert type treat such as a donut! You really can eat quite a bit. This morning I had a piece of toast with pb and j, bacon, sausage, and a piece of chocolate cake! Its all about eating whatever you usually crave at night, but having it before 9 am, then low carbing it for the rest of the day. Even pizza and icecream are allowable. The author recommends 7 servings protein (2 of those dairy), 2 servings carbs, 2 servings fat, and 1 serving of a dessert like pie, cake, donut…etc. All this before 9a.m. then protein, veg and fruit for lunch and dinner. Very satisfying! She says there is no such thing as too big of a breakfast!

  12. MotleyHealth says:

    That is probably why it works – you start the day happy with a full stomach!

  13. Good morning,

    I was wondering, what is the best breakfast for a person who is always on the go and doesn’t usually have time to make breafkfast but is trying to lose weight?

  14. MotleyHealth says:

    If you have time to pour some muesli and milk into a bowl and eat that, then this could be the best option. Oats are low GI so release their energy steadily throughout the morning, they also contain various minerals, vitamins and fiber. If you do not have time for that, then a banana could be a good option. Much quicker to digest though, but gives energy and if you can avoid eating too much before lunch will help with the weight loss. Ideally you should have some protein for breakfast though, for the PYY hormone that suppresses hunger as well as to reduce muscle wastage if you are dieting. I am pretty fast with scrambling eggs in butter and serving on a slice of toast these days. Only takes a few minutes, if your pan is already clean.

  15. Great. Thanks a lot :-)

  16. I would like you to comment on a typical weekday menu for me so I know where I stand. I am in my mid 50’s and my goal is to loose weight and gain muscle. I am up at 4:30 am for the gym so all I have before I go there are my vitamins and a glass of lemon water. I work out on average 45 mins to an hour then I go to work and eat a cup of low fat cottage cheese with 2 ryvita’s and maybe a protien shake. 2 hours later I eat oatmeal, fruit. 0% yoghurt and hemp seeds. Then at lunch usually chicken cooked in salsa with veg. Try for a tuna salad for evening meal around 4pm. bed at 8:30 ish. I do have an apple and a banana sometime through the day also. Any input will be appreciated.

  17. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Paul, generally looks good. I would suggest having the protein shake sooner after the workout. The 0% sugar probably swaps healthy fat for sugar, so this will not help – get natural yogurt if you can. The real key is to be consistent – make sure that you do not break that diet, and if you do, it is only one small “cheat” in a week or so.

    What are you doing in the gym? Your goal is muscle, are you just weight training?

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