I don’t subscribe to the “calories in, calories out” theory of weight loss and maintenance.
That’s because not all calories are created equal—and not all metabolisms are, either.
Yet many believe breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day.
So that there’s more time—and energy—spent throughout the day burning those “front-loaded” calories.
Here’s why that theory is just plain WRONG… and what you should focus on instead.
No one-size-fits-all diet
In a new study, researchers recruited 30 overweight or obese adults.
Participants were randomly assigned to a diet where calories were increased either in the morning or evening for four weeks.
This was followed by a one week washout period, where calories were consumed equally throughout the day. And finally, participants followed the opposite morning/evening diet for another four weeks.
Researchers analyzed how many calories were burned throughout the diet on the morning- or evening-loaded diets. Weight loss was also measured.
Ultimately, they found no difference in calories burned (energy spent) or weight loss between the two diets.
And while some participants reported feeling fuller for longer on days where they ate a bigger breakfast…
Senior author Professor Alexandra Johnstone, a researcher in the field of appetite control at the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Scotland explained, “when it comes to timing and dieting, there is not likely going to be one diet that fits all.”
And I quite agree.
If you’re looking to lose weight and boost your metabolism, here’s what I recommend instead…
My favorite way to dine
As you know, I’m a big proponent of intermittent fasting (IF).
It’s a powerful ally against mental and physical health conditions.
The best part?
You don’t have to focus heavily on any one meal of the day—or how to then burn those “loaded” calories. You’ll simply just be enjoying delicious food… and your body will do the rest.
There are few different approaches to IF, but they’re all pretty simple:
- Alternate fasting days (ADF). This approach involves alternating days of “normal” calorie intake with days of significant caloric restriction. (Fewer than 600 calories for men, and fewer than 500 calories for women.)
- 5:2 approach. Any two days in a single week are fasting days. But that doesn’t necessarily mean going without food altogether. Here again, many people simply eat fewer than 600 (men) or 500 (women) calories on their fasting days.
- Time-restricted eating. Limit your daily meals to specific 4- to 8-hour eating windows—say, between noon and 6 p.m., like I do.
I encourage you to give any of these approaches a try. Then, notice how you feel. (I doubt you’ll ever feel the bloat—or guilt—that accompanies a large breakfast!)
Until next week,
“Front-loading calories early in the day reduces hunger but does not affect weight loss.” MDLinx, 09/12/2022. (mdlinx.com/news/front-loading-calories-early-in-the-day-reduces-hunger-but-does-not-affect-weight-loss/1lyuYIZJgU4J3BGO7Q8Bv4)