Breakfast burns twice as much energy

An extensive breakfast should be preferred to a sumptuous dinner to avoid obesity or blood sugar spikes in diabetes mellitus.

Calorie recovery varies depending on the time of day

An extensive breakfast should be preferred to a sumptuous dinner to avoid obesity or blood sugar spikes in diabetes mellitus.

The importance of time of day for food-induced energy turnover, i.e. burning calories has been the subject of controversial discussion for years. It is also unclear whether a possible daily variation in energy expenditure depends on the amount of calories consumed. A DFG-funded study by the Section for Psychoneurobiology under the direction of Prof. Kerstin Oltmanns has now investigated whether food-induced thermogenesis (NIT) varies during the day with identical meals and whether this regulation is maintained even after low-calorie meals compared to high-calorie meals.

In a blinded, randomized laboratory study, 16 normal-weight men received a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner in one condition and vice versa in the other. The NIT was measured using indirect calorimetry and parameters of the glucose metabolism were determined. In addition, feelings of hunger and appetite for sweets were compared in the two conditions.

Nutritionist and study director Juliane Richter, M.Sc., said: “The results show that an identical calorie intake after both high and low-calorie meals leads to a 2.5 times higher NIT in the morning compared to the evening. The increase blood sugar and insulin levels were significantly reduced after breakfast compared to dinner. The low-calorie breakfast increased feelings of hunger, especially for sweets, throughout the day. ”

The scientists concluded from the results: The calorie burn after a meal is generally significantly higher in the morning than in the evening. This genetic daily rhythm also remains with a low-calorie diet, e.g. during a diet to lose weight. In addition, an increased appetite for sweets after a low-calorie breakfast can tempt you to eat more snacks throughout the day. After dinner there is also a higher increase in glucose compared to breakfast. An extensive breakfast should therefore be preferred to a sumptuous dinner in order to avoid obesity or blood sugar spikes in diabetes mellitus.

In a follow-up study, the result of the study will now be examined with regard to weight loss in overweight people. “Our study shows that human energy consumption is generally higher in the morning than in the evening. This is genetic and is the same for everyone,” explains Prof. Oltmanns: “Overweight people often omit breakfast because they want to lose weight and eat a large main meal in the evening when hunger becomes overwhelming. We would now like to show that there is already a weight loss if you mainly consume the same amount of calories in the first half of the day. ”

Original Publication:
Richter J et al., Twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis after breakfast vs dinner on high-calorie as well as low-calorie meals. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020; 105 (3) [Epub ahead of print]

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