Research 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!