We’ve always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and new research suggests that’s definitely true, at least for those trying to burn calories. A new, small study from Germany finds that men who ate a big breakfast and a small dinner burned 2.5-times more calories after their meal than when they ate a small breakfast and a large dinner.
Researchers studied the number of calories burned after participants ate various types of meals - a process called diet-induced thermogenesis. They found that people burned twice as many calories after a large breakfast than after a big dinner, which suggests the effect of diet-induced thermogenesis is somehow stronger in the morning than the evening.
But this kind of calorie-burning only accounts for 5% to 15% of the total daily calories we burn, according to registered dietitian Georgie Fear. This means that even though the study participants doubled the diet-related calories they burned, it only comes out to burning a few hundred extra calories a day. Still, when you’re trying to shed a few pounds, that could make a difference.