Want to reduce that ever-burgeoning waistline? Make breakfast the largest meal of the day as it may help maintain your body mass index (BMI), researchers say. A study showed that people who ate more than three meals daily and made dinner their largest meal were at the risk of developing a higher BMI — associated with increased of risks of various diseases.
Eating breakfast and lunch, skipping supper, avoiding snacks, making breakfast the largest meal of the day and fasting overnight for up to 18 hours may be the practical weight-management strategy, said Hana Kahleova, from Loma Linda University (LLU) in California. The findings confirm the ancient nutritional maxim “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”, Kahleova added. For the study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, the team examined more than 50,000 participants.
Irrespective of meal pattern, there was, on average, an increase in weight gain year-by-year until participants reached the age of 60. After 60, most participants experienced a weight loss each year, said co-author Gary Fraser, Professor at LLU. “Before age 60, those eating calories earlier in the day had less weight gain,” Fraser said, adding that after age 60, the same behaviour tended to produce a larger rate of weight loss than average.
“Over decades, the total effect would be very important,” Fraser said.