A new study, out of Virginia Commonwealth University, suggests that if you eat a big breakfast, you WILL reduce your hunger for the rest of the day.

The Study

The study compared a “Big Breakfast” or BB diet plan with a low carb / Atkins style diet plan.

The BB group ate 610 of their daily 1240 calories at breakfast. The macronutrient breakdown of their Big Breakfast was as follows:

  • 58 grams of carbohydrates (38% of calories)
  • 47 grams of protein (31% of calories)
  • 22 grams of fat (32% of calories)

Breakfast could be eaten in two or three stages, but had to be completed by 9 a.m.

The macronutrient breakdown for the entire day was as follows:

  • 97 grams of carbohydrates (33% of calories)
  • 93 grams of protein (32% of calories)
  • 46 grams of fat (35% of calories)

So it seems that while breakfast was a little higher in carbs and lower in fat, the rest of the day was the inverse; higher in fat and lower in carbs.

The low carb / Atkins group ate 290 of their daily 1085 calories at breakfast. The macronutrient breakdown of the low carb breakfast was as follows:

  • 7 grams of carbohydrates (10% of calories)
  • 12 grams of protein (16% of calories)
  • 24 grams of fat (my calculation) – (74% of calories)

The macronutrient breakdown for the entire day was as follows:

  • 17 grams of carbohydrates (7% of calories)
  • 51 grams of protein (21% of calories)
  • 78 grams of fat (72% of calories)

Both groups stayed on their respective weight loss diets for four months. At the end of this period, both groups shifted to a maintenance diet for an additional four months.

The Results

After four months:

  • The low carb dieters lost approximately 28 pounds
  • The BB dieters lost about 23 pounds

Both groups did well, losing between 6 and 7 pounds per month.

After eight months:

  • The low carb dieters had regained an average of 18 pounds. This produced a net loss of 10 pounds over 8 months – an average of 1 1/4 pounds per month.
  • The BB dieters lost another 16 1/2 pounds during the maintenance phase. This produced a net loss of 39 1/2 pounds – an average of 5 pounds per month.

As an added bonus, at the end of the study, the BB dieters reported that they experienced less hunger and fewer cravings for carbohydrates than the low carb group.

Conclusions

  • Please keep in mind that this is only one small study of 94 individuals. Further study is required to test the conclusions of this study. But don’t worry. Considering the huuuuuge market for diets and weight loss plans around the globe, I don’t think researchers will have to look too far or too hard for sources of research funding.
  • Dietitians and nutritionists are already criticizing this study as being too low in calories and carbohydrates.
  • Dietitians and nutritionists who make this complaint are A: Missing the point of the study and B: Protecting their own butts.
  • A – The point of the study was to test the Big Breakfast hypothesis. At this point, we don’t even know the average starting weight of the study participants, so how can the ‘experts’ claim that the calories are too low.
  • B – For the most part, dietitians and nutritionists like to push the food pyramid du jour. Lots of grains, lots of dairy, lots of political contributions from the grain and dairy lobbyists…oops.

My Recommendation

Become your own guinea pig.

  • One day this week, while eating normally, record everything you eat in a notebook. Record how the meals impacted your hunger and cravings. Record when you ate and what you ate.
  • The next day, eat the exact same foods. But, eat half of the previous day’s food at a single, extended breakfast. Keep the same record book of mealtimes, what you ate and how you felt.

I tried it yesterday, and I was extremely full after breakfast and never really got hungry the rest of the day.

Give it a try. What do you have to lose…except a few pounds of chub-chub.

 

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