Eating more at breakfast, and less at other meals later in the day, can help middle-aged people reduce weight gain, say researchers from Cambridge, UK.
In this recent study, 6,764 men and women aged 40 to 75 years old had the timing of their caloric intake tracked for about four years. Breakfast habits and overall eating habits were assessed using 7-day food records. Information on smoking, physical activity and other lifestyle habits were also collected.
Everyone in the study gained some weight. People who ate up to 50 percent of their total daily calories at breakfast gained an average of 0.79 kilograms (1.7 pounds) while those who ate less than 10 percent of their total daily calories at breakfast gained an average of 1.23 kilograms (3.1 pounds).
Previous studies have found that regular breakfast consumption is a common characteristic of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off. It's been shown that people who eat breakfast have better blood sugar control and are less likely to overeat later in the day.
The authors of this study believe that redistributing caloric intake so that a greater proportion of daily energy intake happens at breakfast may help with long-term weight management.
For a healthy breakfast, go for high fibre options like 100% bran cereal with low-fat milk and a piece of fresh fruit, a bowl of oatmeal with raisins, or a poached egg on whole-grain toast.
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