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Does Eating a Big Dinner Really Make You Gain Weight?

by | Oct 3, 2016 | Nutrition | 0 comments

The vast majority of people in the United States eat three meals per day consisting of a small breakfast, mid-sized lunch and a big dinner.

Is the fact that we are spreading out our calories in this way having an impact on our weight? Should our caloric balance be shifted to be able to lose weight more quickly? Is eating a big dinner the reason we’re gaining weight in the first place?

Research over the last few years has been examining the impact the size of our meals is having on our weight management. While it hasn’t been proven that eating a big dinner causes weight gain, it has shown that eating a big breakfast and a smaller dinner may promote weight loss. Still, that research is still in its very early stages so it’s important to speak to a doctor before you decide to make any changes to the way you’re eating. That way, you’ll know you’re balancing things correctly for your nutritional needs.

Among the most commonly cited studies when it comes to the caloric weight of meals is one that was conducted in 2013. It involved the participation of overweight and obese women. They followed a strict 1,400 calorie diet for a span of 12 weeks. The women were divided into two groups. The first group had a 700 calorie breakfast, a 500 calorie lunch and a 200 calorie dinner. The second group ate the same sized lunch but they had a 200 calorie breakfast and a 700 calorie dinner.

The result? The women who had the large breakfast and small dinner lost a huge amount more weight and waist circumference. Does that mean it will apply to you, too? Not necessarily. The women in this study were following a strict eating routine that simply is not practical for most people in the real world. Moreover, it becomes even less realistic over the long term. After all, most people can’t count every single calorie from everything they eat for the rest of their lives.

That study’s results were reflected in another one conducted on overweight women in 2008. They had a 1,240 calorie diet and the group with a big breakfast and small dinner lost more than the group with the opposite eating trend.

If you are looking for a weight loss advantage, it may not hurt to eat your largest meal at the start of the day and the smallest meal at the end. That said, it will also take portion control, regular exercise and PhenBlue if you want real results.

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