You’ve probably heard the claim that if you want to lose weight, you should “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.”
The suggestion is that by doing this you will burn more calories and improve your metabolism (ie keep your blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels within a healthy range).
It certainly makes sense to me because eating this way better fits our body’s natural daily rhythms, which are driven in large part by our internal body clocks.
In other words, you need food first to get through the morning, and you don’t want to fill your belly in the evening as your body prepares to go to sleep.
But a recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that, much to the surprise, when you eat doesn’t seem to make much of a difference to the number of calories you burn or how well your body processes the sugar and fat in the meal you eat. you eat. just ate.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen recruited 30 healthy, overweight men and women and asked them to follow a diet in which they would eat most of their calories in the morning or evening for four weeks and then switch.
The meals provided by the scientists were high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates (30 percent of their calories came from protein, 35 percent from carbohydrates and 35 percent from fat).
Because they followed a strictly controlled high-protein diet, the volunteers lost a fair amount of weight (3.3 kg on average, about half a stone) – at least in part because eating more protein makes you feel fuller due to the levels of the hunger hormone to lower , ghrelin.
You’ve probably heard the claim that if you want to lose weight, you should “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar.” The suggestion is that by doing this you will burn more calories and improve your metabolism (ie keep your blood sugar and blood cholesterol in a healthy range), writes Michael Mosley
But they lost just as much, just as quickly, whether they ate a big breakfast or a big dinner. There was also no difference when it came to the impact on their blood sugar levels, which improved just as much no matter which diet they followed.
The only real difference was that when they ate a full breakfast, they were less hungry during the day than when they ate a slap-up dinner.
I was really surprised by these findings, as a whole host of previous studies have shown that when you eat makes a big difference.
For example, a 2013 study conducted by Tel Aviv University in Israel, involving 93 overweight women with elevated blood sugar levels, found that those who ate a large breakfast lost almost 2.5 times more weight (an average of 8, 7 kg) than those who ate a large dinner (average 3.6 kg or 8 lb).
The women were asked to stick to a low-calorie diet, where they either ate most of their food in the morning or in the evening.
Those in the large breakfast group had significantly lower levels of ghrelin, were less hungry and reported less need to snack later in the day than those in the large dinner group.
And that could explain the difference between the findings of this study and the more recent ones from the University of Aberdeen. The Israeli study was a ‘real world’ study, in other words it was less tightly controlled so that people snacked when they were hungry, something that did not happen in the Aberdeen study.
Another big difference was that in the Israeli study, the group who ate a large breakfast had much greater drops in their blood sugar and blood fats than those who ate a large dinner, suggesting that their risk of type 2 diabetes is greater. and heart disease.
The women who ate more in the evening even saw their average blood fat levels rise throughout the day despite their weight loss, which is clearly a bad thing.
A few years ago, I did a self-experiment for a TV documentary to compare the impact of eating the same foods in the morning or evening — and my findings were similar to those of the Israeli scientists.
I started eating a classic British breakfast (bacon, egg and sausage) at 10am, then, after fasting for 12 hours, I ate the same meal again at 10pm.
I had blood tests done every 20 minutes after eating these meals before and after.
After my morning meal, my blood sugar and blood fat levels shot up and then dropped quickly, as you would expect. But after eating the same meal in the evening, those levels shot up and then stayed up for several hours.
That’s partly because I went for a brisk walk in the morning after eating all that fatty, sweet food, which helped burn off some of those calories, which didn’t happen in the evening.
But it’s also true that when we eat late at night, our bodies aren’t as good at releasing the hormone insulin, and insulin’s job is to help your cells take up glucose.
So eating late at night puts you at greater risk for type 2 diabetes.
What I conclude from all this is that the adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a beggar” still applies and that paying attention to when you eat, as well as what you eat, can play an important role in improving your health.
But don’t expect miracles and be aware that there is no one diet that is right for everyone.
Personally, I think the best way to lose weight is to have a high-protein breakfast (my favorites are scrambled eggs and smoked salmon or kippers) and avoid evening snacks, especially the kind that are done mindlessly, late at night, for breakfast. the television.
I’ve always loved the sight of Boris Johnson at the shipping box, her upright, waving his hands theatrically, but I also wondered if his unkempt hair was just part of a carefully cultivated image.
Well, it turns out that the “uncombable hair syndrome” really is a thing. It is a genetic condition and those affected usually have blond or silvery hair that grows out of the scalp in different directions and just doesn’t stay flat.
Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany have identified some of the genes involved and hope to develop a blood test to detect affected children.
It has no other side effects and usually young people outgrow it by the age of 12.
I’ve always loved the sight of Boris Johnson by the shipping box, her upright, waving his hands theatrically, but I also wondered if his unkempt hair was just part of a carefully cultivated image (stock image)
Benefits of Exercise Against Cancer
Cancer is normally thought of as a disease of old age, but new research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US has found a dramatic increase in breast, colon, esophageal, kidney, liver and pancreatic cancers in people under the age of 50.
This trend started in 1990 and seems unstoppable. The researchers believe that sleep deprivation, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and a diet of ultra-processed foods, which in turn leads to obesity, are some of the reasons for this increase.
The benefits of being more active were illustrated by a recent study from the University of Bristol, which involved more than 131,000 women. It showed that doing some form of vigorous activity three or more days a week was associated with a 38 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Exercise protects, among other things, by reducing chronic inflammation and strengthening our immune system.
Exercise protects, among other things, by reducing chronic inflammation and strengthening our immune system (stock image)
What doctors on screen will always miss
When was the last time you saw a doctor, face-to-face? One of the most dramatic changes to the NHS since the onset of Covid has been an increasing reliance on the use of telemedicine.
A report last year found that in many parts of England less than half of patients now receive in-person appointments, with the rest having to talk to their GP via telephone or video calls.
Like it or not, we’re going to see even more of telemedicine, not least because it means doctors can see more patients in less time. But how accurate is it?
In a recent study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US analyzed the results of more than 97,000 telemedicine appointments, comparing the accuracy of these diagnoses to a personal follow-up appointment. While the overall accuracy of the telemedicine diagnosis was 87 percent, it depended a lot on what the problem was (stock image)
In a recent study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US analyzed the results of more than 97,000 telemedicine appointments, comparing the accuracy of these diagnoses to a personal follow-up appointment. While the overall accuracy of the telemedicine diagnosis was 87 percent, it depended a lot on what the problem was.
If it was an ear, nose, or throat problem, the doctors working remotely only got it right 65 percent of the time. However, with cancer or mental illness, they were right 97 percent of the time. Specialists were also more likely to arrive at a correct diagnosis from a distance than GPs.
Apart from this difference in diagnosis, I fear that over-reliance on telemedicine will weaken doctor-patient relationships, which play a major role in the successful outcome of any consultation.