While it might be tempting to try and cut calories by skipping meals, every dieter should know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In addition to providing you with enough energy to go about daily activities, eating breakfast also helps prevent you from getting excessively hungry, which could lead to frequent snacking or overeating during your next meal.
Breakfast can have such an enormous impact on a diet that some dieticians recommend your first meal also be the largest meal you enjoy all day. The so-called Big Breakfast Diet takes the adage of eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper at face value.
Proponents of the diet argue that eating between 600 and 800 calories before 9 a.m. takes advantage of your body’s circadian rhythms to help fire up the metabolism. Circadian rhythms can influence your body’s production of hormones that help to regulate how the metabolism transforms proteins and carbohydrates into fuel and how efficiently it burns fat.
Under the guidelines of the diet, you can eat whatever you want. Items such as donuts, pizza, ice cream, French toast, etc. are all on the table as long as you eat them with other foods high in both fiber and protein. Proponents of the diet claim that by eating the right foods early in the morning, dieters can lose up to 25 pounds in the first month.
On the basic Big Breakfast diet, dieters are allowed to eat around 600 calories for breakfast, and another 600 to be split among lunch and dinner.
What You Can Eat
One of the drawbacks of the Big Breakfast diet is that every morning must begin with a large meal that many busy people will have trouble finding the time to prepare and eat. Because of the specific requirement of the diet, you can’t just sit down and eat nothing but items high in sugar if you expect to stay full for the rest of the day. Eating the right combination of foods, including sweets, carbohydrates, and protein is vital to ensuring the success of the diet.
A typical breakfast under the plan would include:
- Country scramble that includes three egg whites, two ounces of cheese, and two ounces of ham and various vegetables
- Half an English muffin topped with cream cheese
- Cereal covered with eight ounces of milk
- A chocolate covered donut
For individuals who struggle to find the time to eat half a muffin and a banana for breakfast, this plan certainly offers a number of challenges. However, by eating a meal that contains ample amounts of protein and carbohydrates, you stay full longer in the day and therefore need to eat less at both lunch and dinner. Proponents of the diet also believe that by eating carbs so early in the morning, the body natural rhythm causes the digestive system to slowly burn them throughout the day instead of storing them as fat.
Does the Plan Work?
While research has yet to confirm claims by proponents of the Big Breakfast that the body’s natural rhythms can positively affect a person’s metabolism, experts do agree with the diet’s premise of always eating a full breakfast. Even if you don’t consume all of your calories before 9 a.m., eating a complete breakfast that contains plenty of protein daily, you can help to curb your appetite throughout the rest of the day and stay energized, which can further help you burn additional calories.
Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Sara Barber, a Vancouver, Washington dentist.