If you are trying to control your weight, you should not skip breakfast because the food that you eat in the morning causes you to burn more than two and a half times as many calories as the food you eat at night (J End and Metab, March 2020;105(3):dgz311). The authors state, “Our results show that a meal eaten for breakfast, regardless of the amount of calories it contains, creates twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis [fat-burning] as the same meal consumed for dinner.” The authors also found that:
• eating a low-calorie breakfast made people far more hungry for sweets the rest of the day, and
• food eaten in the morning caused a much lower rise in blood sugar and insulin. A high rise of blood insulin and sugar increases your risk for diabetes, weight gain and certain cancers.
Don’t Eat and Then Go to Sleep
Many other studies show that you burn more calories after eating breakfast than after eating dinner in the evening (Int J Obes, 2015;39(12):1689–1695). You increase your risk for obesity by eating just before you go to bed because you are supposed to move your muscles after you eat. Everyone’s blood sugar rises when they eat. To prevent your blood sugar from rising too high, your pancreas releases insulin which lowers blood sugar levels by driving sugar from the bloodstream into your liver and muscles.
• Resting muscles draw almost no sugar from the bloodstream and what little sugar they do draw requires insulin.
• Contracting muscles draw tremendous amounts of sugar from the bloodstream and don’t even need insulin to do so.
• Contracting muscles convert sugar to energy and release tremendous amounts of heat.
The authors of this new study measured the marked increase in heat after breakfast and found more than 2.5 times as much heat produced as after the same people ate supper, then sat and watched television or went to bed. The size of the meal did not change the results; after eating a large meal or a small meal, the people still burned 2.5 times as much heat in the morning as in the evening. Other studies show that eating a high-calorie breakfast is associated with decreased hunger the rest of the day, and that eating most of a day’s calories in the morning for 12 weeks caused a marked increase in weight loss(Obesity, 2013;21(12):2504–2512).
The best time to eat is just before you exercise or move around. The worst time to eat is just before you go to bed.