We've all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but the idea that dinner should be the biggest is just as pervasive. As The New York Times reports, flipping the script could be the best thing for your metabolism and overall health.
"A recent review of the dietary patterns of 50,000 adults … over seven years provides the latest evidence suggesting that we should front-load our calories early in the day to jump-start our metabolisms and prevent obesity, starting with a robust breakfast and tapering off to a smaller lunch and light supper, or no supper at all," they write.
The Times admits that more research is needed, but experiments on both humans and animals suggest that "watching the clock, and not just the calories, may play a more important role in weight control than previously acknowledged." This year, the American Heart Association followed suit, endorsing the idea that the timing of meals may be just as important as the content in a scientific statement.
The most recent study on meal timing found that those who eat their largest meal early in the day were more likely to have a lower BMI than those who saved the feast for lunch or dinner. "Breakfast eaters tended to keep their weight down generally, compared with breakfast skippers," they add.
Study author Hana Kahleova, MD, surmises that this all has to do with insulin, the pancreatic hormone that processes the sugars found in carbs and helps store glucose. Since insulin performance peaks early in the day, she goes as far as saying that "our bodies are built to feast and fast." Considering the growing ubiquity of the obesity epidemic, which now affects just shy of 40% of Americans aged 20 and over, these findings are important (and potentially life-saving).
Head over to The New York Times for more, and shop our healthy living essentials below.