You Should Start Each Day with a Huge Breakfast

Science confirms what your mom has been saying all along.
IMAGE Jericho San Miguel

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to health experts, trainers, and your entire pre-K through 12th grade education. And yet, many Americans still focus all their hunting and gathering energy on dinner. Maybe this latest study on breakfast and BMI will convince us.

Researchers found that when participants ate their biggest meal of the day early on, they were more likely to have a lower BMI than those who ate their biggest meal at lunch or dinner. Regularly eating breakfast was also correlated with being able to manage weight better, as opposed to skipping breakfast. The participants with the lowest BMIs skipped dinner all together, meaning they fasted for at least 18 hours after lunch.

The study was conducted among 50,000 very healthy Seventh Day Adventists, so take it as you will. But it certainly supports the claim that eating a deliciously large (and balanced, and nutritious, and not consisting entirely of sugar and cholesterol) breakfast followed by a lighter lunch and a small (or nonexistent) dinner is a healthy way to keep body fat down. Our bodies are better at processing food early in the day because our insulin action is at peak performance, breaking down glucose at a faster rate than later in the day, according to The New York Times. If you're going to load up on calories anyway, do it during the hours when your body is in peak glucose-processing form.

So try waking up to a big breakfast instead of falling asleep to a huge dinner. And for expert-level weight control, try intermittent fasting—like the religious group members who fasted for 18 hours in the later hours of the day. Intermittent fasting signals your body to start burning straight fat. Though it isn't more effective than dieting, you don't have to count calories if you're skipping unnecessary meals. Now, go enjoy your pancakes and scrambled eggs.


This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
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