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 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

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

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 digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.


Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.


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