The breakfast habit that could help you burn double the calories

You might want to add another slice of toast to that plate...

big breakfast burn double calories
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

We’ve always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

And it turns out that it could actually help you to work off the calories.

According to a new study, having a big meal for breakfast (opens in new tab) could help you burn more than double the calories against eating a small brekkie.

Researchers who analysed participants’ metabolism in an experiment found that eating more in the morning could help you burn two and a half times as many calories throughout the day.

MORE: Healthy breakfast recipes to start your day right (opens in new tab)

Analysts looked at participants who had eaten a low-calorie breakfast and a high-calorie dinner in one day and then swapped their meal sizes on another day.

They found that the former meal plan boosted the generation of heat in the body that burns calories, with the same results even when the participants’ total calories remained the same.

“Our results show a meal eaten for breakfast – regardless of the amount of calories it contains – creates twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis [the generation of heat that burns calories] as the same meal consumed for dinner,” said study author Dr Juliane Richter.

big breakfast burn double calories

“This finding is significant for all people as it underlines the value of eating enough at breakfast,” continued the doctor.

“Eating more at breakfast instead of dinner could prevent obesity and high blood sugar.

“We recommend that patients with obesity as well as healthy people eat a large breakfast rather than a large dinner,” she added, “to reduce body weight and prevent metabolic diseases”.

MORE:Big breakfast ideas to keep you fuller for longer (opens in new tab)

The study also found that those who ate a lower-calorie breakfast were more hungry for sugary foods throughout the day.

The research echoed previous results that were published in 2017, which found that eating a big breakfast, a medium lunch and a small dinner resulted in lower BMI readings.

Nutritionists came to the conclusion after tracking 50,000 adult participants over the course of seven years, finding that eating more in the morning could help to prevent long-term weight gain.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is a digital shopping writer at woman&home—so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows what the best buys are at any moment. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. A year on the w&h news team gained her invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first—as well as an AOP awards nomination.