It seems to me that the health and fitness industry tends to run around in circles.
With a bit of chaos thrown into the mix at times.
The fundamentals have often remained the same though, despite new discoveries and theories.
The classic saying ‘eat like a king in the morning, a prince at lunch and a pauper in the evening’, seemed like good advice for a long time.
Then a few years back that was thrown out of the window for people that wanted to skip breakfast and eat later in the day to help their intermittent fasting techniques or behaviours.
Contrary to sometimes popular belief, I have always been against missing breakfast unless your lifestyle dictates the best possible option is missing breakfast.
For example if your work includes late dinners and business meetings, yet you want to participate in time restricted feeding.
And in that case unless you change your career, missing breakfast might be a good idea.
A study in 2022, found that energy intakes (food) with a focus on earlier distribution resulted in significantly greater weight loss when compared with similarly energy-restricted diets with individuals consuming a larger proportion of their total energy intake later in the day and into the evening.
There were several other benefits too, including fasting glucose.
Weight loss is important of course, considering spiralling obesity levels in the west.
Although there are huge benefits from eating this way outside of weight loss:
- Better Blood Sugar Control: A big breakfast and lunch can help stabilise blood sugar levels throughout the day.
- Enhanced Digestion: Eating earlier dinners can aid digestion, as the body has more time to process food before bedtime.
- Optimal Nutrient Absorption: A substantial breakfast ensures you get essential nutrients early in the day when your body needs them most.
- Increased Energy Levels: A hearty breakfast provides the energy needed for daily activities, preventing mid-morning fatigue.
- Better Cognitive Function: Nutrient-rich morning meals can improve concentration and memory.
- Heart Health: Eating lighter at night reduces the risk of heartburn and indigestion, which can affect heart health.
- Reduced Evening Overeating: Smaller dinners decrease the likelihood of overeating in the evening, which can lead to weight gain.
- Stable Insulin Levels: Early and balanced meals may help maintain healthy insulin levels.
- Hormone Regulation: Eating in sync with your body’s natural circadian rhythms supports hormone balance.
- Improved Sleep: Lighter dinners and avoiding heavy, late-night meals can lead to better sleep quality.
- Appetite Regulation: A substantial breakfast can help regulate appetite, preventing excessive calorie intake later in the day.
- Balanced Mood: Nutrient-dense meals in the morning can positively impact mood and reduce irritability.
- Lower Risk of Metabolic Syndrome: Research suggests that a bigger breakfast can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
- Reduced Inflammation: A well-balanced morning meal can help control inflammation markers in the body.
- Enhanced Muscle Building: Consuming protein-rich meals earlier in the day supports muscle growth and repair.
- Improved Heart Health: Lowering calorie intake at night may reduce triglyceride levels, supporting heart health.
- Stress Reduction: A hearty breakfast can help reduce stress by providing a stable source of energy.
- Optimal Absorption of Supplements: Taking supplements with breakfast allows better absorption due to an active metabolism.
- Longevity Benefits: Some studies suggest that eating larger meals earlier in the day may contribute to a longer, healthier life.