Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper

Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper
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Harness the power of your circadian rhythms for weight loss by making breakfast or lunch your main meal of the day.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In my last chronobiology video, we learned that the exact same number of calories at breakfast are significantly less fattening than the same number of calories eaten at supper. But who eats just one meal a day?

What about just shifting our daily distribution of calories earlier in the day? Israeli researchers randomized overweight and obese women into one of two “isocaloric” groups, meaning each group was given the same number of total calories. One group was given a 700-calorie breakfast, a 500-calorie lunch, and a 200-calorie dinner; and the other group was given the opposite, 200 for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and 700 for dinner. Since they were all eating the same number of calories overall, the king-prince-pauper group should have lost the same amount of weight as the pauper-prince-king group, right? But no, the morning-slanted group lost more than twice as much weight, in addition to slimming about an extra two inches off their waistline. By the end of the 12-week study, the king-prince-pauper group lost 11 more pounds (19 pounds lost compared to 8 despite eating the same number of calories). That’s the power of chronobiology, the power of our circadian rhythms.

… 700 500 200 is 50 percent of calories at breakfast, 36 percent of calories at lunch and only 14 percent of calories at supper. That’s pretty skewed. What about 20 percent for supper instead, a 50 percent-30 percent-20 percent spread, compared to 20-30-50? Again, the bigger breakfast group experienced “dramatically increased” weight loss, about nine pounds different in eight weeks with no significant differences in overall calorie intake or physical activity between the groups.

Instead of 80 percent+ of calories at breakfast and lunch, what about 70 percent compared to 55 percent? Overweight “homemakers” were randomized to eat 70 percent of their calories at breakfast, a morning snack, and lunch, leaving 30 percent for an afternoon snack and dinner, or a more balanced 55 percent up through and including lunch. In both cases only a minority of calories were eaten for dinner. Would it matter if it was just 55 percent up through lunch or 70 percent? Yes, significantly more weight loss and slimming in the dietary pattern that was even more biased towards the morning.

“Stories about food and nutrition are in the news on an almost daily basis, but information can sometimes be confusing and contradictory. Clear messages should be proposed in order to reach the greatest number of people,” the researchers conclude. And one clear communication physicians could give is “If you want to lose weight, eat more in the morning than in the evening.”

Even just telling people to eat their main meal at lunch rather than dinner may help. Despite comparable calorie intakes, participants in a weight loss program randomized to get advice to make their main meal lunch, beat out those who instead were told to make their main meal dinner.

The proverb “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” evidently has another variant: “Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, and give dinner away to your enemy.” I wouldn’t go that far, but there does appear to be metabolic benefit to frontloading the bulk of your calories earlier in the day.

The evidence isn’t completely consistent, though. A review of dietary pattern studies questioned the role that reducing evening intake would facilitate weight loss, citing this study that showed the evening-weighted group did better than the heavy morning meal group. Perhaps that was because the morning meal group was given for breakfast “chocolate, cookies, cake, ice cream, chocolate mousse and donuts.” So, chronobiology can be trumped by a junk food methodology. Overall, the “what” is still more important than the “when.” Caloric timing may be used to accelerate weight loss but doesn’t substitute for a healthy diet. When he said there was a time for every purpose under heaven, Ecclesiastes probably wasn’t talking about donuts.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: svklimkin via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

In my last chronobiology video, we learned that the exact same number of calories at breakfast are significantly less fattening than the same number of calories eaten at supper. But who eats just one meal a day?

What about just shifting our daily distribution of calories earlier in the day? Israeli researchers randomized overweight and obese women into one of two “isocaloric” groups, meaning each group was given the same number of total calories. One group was given a 700-calorie breakfast, a 500-calorie lunch, and a 200-calorie dinner; and the other group was given the opposite, 200 for breakfast, 500 for lunch, and 700 for dinner. Since they were all eating the same number of calories overall, the king-prince-pauper group should have lost the same amount of weight as the pauper-prince-king group, right? But no, the morning-slanted group lost more than twice as much weight, in addition to slimming about an extra two inches off their waistline. By the end of the 12-week study, the king-prince-pauper group lost 11 more pounds (19 pounds lost compared to 8 despite eating the same number of calories). That’s the power of chronobiology, the power of our circadian rhythms.

… 700 500 200 is 50 percent of calories at breakfast, 36 percent of calories at lunch and only 14 percent of calories at supper. That’s pretty skewed. What about 20 percent for supper instead, a 50 percent-30 percent-20 percent spread, compared to 20-30-50? Again, the bigger breakfast group experienced “dramatically increased” weight loss, about nine pounds different in eight weeks with no significant differences in overall calorie intake or physical activity between the groups.

Instead of 80 percent+ of calories at breakfast and lunch, what about 70 percent compared to 55 percent? Overweight “homemakers” were randomized to eat 70 percent of their calories at breakfast, a morning snack, and lunch, leaving 30 percent for an afternoon snack and dinner, or a more balanced 55 percent up through and including lunch. In both cases only a minority of calories were eaten for dinner. Would it matter if it was just 55 percent up through lunch or 70 percent? Yes, significantly more weight loss and slimming in the dietary pattern that was even more biased towards the morning.

“Stories about food and nutrition are in the news on an almost daily basis, but information can sometimes be confusing and contradictory. Clear messages should be proposed in order to reach the greatest number of people,” the researchers conclude. And one clear communication physicians could give is “If you want to lose weight, eat more in the morning than in the evening.”

Even just telling people to eat their main meal at lunch rather than dinner may help. Despite comparable calorie intakes, participants in a weight loss program randomized to get advice to make their main meal lunch, beat out those who instead were told to make their main meal dinner.

The proverb “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” evidently has another variant: “Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, and give dinner away to your enemy.” I wouldn’t go that far, but there does appear to be metabolic benefit to frontloading the bulk of your calories earlier in the day.

The evidence isn’t completely consistent, though. A review of dietary pattern studies questioned the role that reducing evening intake would facilitate weight loss, citing this study that showed the evening-weighted group did better than the heavy morning meal group. Perhaps that was because the morning meal group was given for breakfast “chocolate, cookies, cake, ice cream, chocolate mousse and donuts.” So, chronobiology can be trumped by a junk food methodology. Overall, the “what” is still more important than the “when.” Caloric timing may be used to accelerate weight loss but doesn’t substitute for a healthy diet. When he said there was a time for every purpose under heaven, Ecclesiastes probably wasn’t talking about donuts.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: svklimkin via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

When I heard about this, what I wanted to know is how. Why does our body store less food as fat in the morning? I explore the mechanism in my next video: Eat More Calories in the Morning than the Evening.

This is the fifth in an 11-video series on chronobiology. If you missed the first four, check out:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

113 responses to “Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper

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  1. This “king” just had a full cup of rolled oats, mixed dry with: blueberries, cranberries, orange, banana, raisins, black pepper, turmeric, flaxmeal, nutritional yeast, vitamin D, ground ginger, ground clove, and allspice topped with two spoons of ACV for breakfast this morning. Omitted by lack of inventory was a portion of finely chopped fresh greens. I have some variation of this every morning since I tried it the first time. LOVE it, and it’s the most filling bowlful of food I’ve ever eaten in the AM. It knocks out a big portion of the Daily Dozen.

    But I’m not chasing any weight loss goals. All that happened for me with WFPB life-regardless of timing.

        1. In fairness to Sylvia, Numa, I actually pictured his description as literally dry and uncooked oats.. I’m still not sure if he meant that or cooked oats with no added liquid.

    1. I have always been an early riser due to, I am only guessing, My Circadian Rhythm. In the past I had been advised to wait until 8 AM to eat breakfast even though I awaken each day between 3-5 am. I am just learning to follow Dr. Greger’s WFPB way of life and eating like a king in the morning. I am finding eating like a pauper at dinner is easy. Also, the WFPB way of eating is killing the cravings that were present previously.

      1. Loretta, I completely stopped having cravings for junk, too! upon going vegan and then WFPB vegan. You just don’t get cravings like that when you actually start nourishing your body with the things you’re supposed to eat.

        1. I disagree S. Cravings can happen to anyone, even eating an exceptional wfpb plan like Esselstyn or the daily dozen. It happens. Thank your lucky stars if you do not suffer them.

          1. Barb, everyone is different, but I’ve heard this from countless vegans/plant-based eaters. I’m not talking about having a craving for something sweet, or a favorite dish of yours… thats different than the types of cravings I’m referring to. I mean those like over-bearing sugar attacks where you NEED a snickers bar or something or you HAVE to have a greasy pizza, and so on. Do you honestly get cravings for those types of things where it’s hardly controllable vs. will power? Cause those are the types of craving to which I refer. However, I can see where someone might if they eat a very bland diet and don’t enjoy their healthy foods or if they’re extremely calorie deficient. But again, everyone’s different, however it definitely isn’t luck that I attribute this change for, it is undoubtedly my diet.

            1. You are fortunate indeed then S that it is working for you. I have all the boxes checked on great diet, bloodwork, calories etc, but I sure do get cravings… usually for sugar, and once a year or so, I think about hamburgers. (havent had one since 1990.)
              I truly love sugar, but I try to wage my battle in the grocery store (where I always win) and never at home ie, I just don’t buy it. I do enjoy eating fruit and cooking spicey dishes….I put a lot of effort into eating well.

              1. That’s good, Barb. I always just found healthy alternatives to super sweet sweets, like for one example, cacao powder in almond butter sweetened with maple syrup… sooo good. But since I started eating more fruit, I find that I don’t even want that stuff and when I have it on rare occasion, I only want a very small amount. It’s funny cause they say that eating less refined sugar makes fruit taste sweeter and more satiating, but for me I’ve found that it also works the other way around: eating lots of fruit makes refined sweets too sweet and makes me want them less.

                Two of my present favorite desserts are dried mango and my beloved strawberry ‘milkshakes’ which is just frozen bananas (don’t buy pre frozen, for some reason they are disgusting), Trader Joe’s organic frozen strawberries (their’s are the sweetest I’ve tried), a bit of almond butter and water blended into a glorious dream. For me I’ve found it easy to have my cake and eat it too with junk-food-like deliciousness and an extremely healthy diet.

                1. Great ideas S! I will definitly try them. I think it’s a brilliant idea to have some whole food sweet treats in the “rare occasion bag” . I did splurge a bit on some frozen cherries with that idea in mind. Thanks S!

                  1. One great sweet treat I ran across was Dr. Gregor’s green matcha ice cream with just a frozen banana, matcha tea, and i added a tad of homemade peanut butter. Dude!!

              2. You are correct about where you wage your battle! If it’s in the house I will crave it. My successful days are when there’s nothing but good choices available in my fridge and pantry.

                1. Exactly Janet! I find I have good discipline when shopping especially if I’m not starving, just finished a sporting event, or depressed lol But I have zero discipline at 8pm standing in the kitchen with the fridge door open. If all I have to look at are apples, oranges , or leftovers then the damage will be minimal. Lately a cup of blueberry tea after dinner fills the bill.

    2. dear god, that sounds horrible, but to each their own. Healthy, in any case! I usually have a smoothie–after my matcha–but today I had oats with a side of berry “juice.” Steel cut oats mixed with a cup of thawed wild blueberries and a cup of thawed mixed berries (Trader Joe’s has the best organic berries)–the hot oats help with the thawing process. Once the oats are creamy (which happens naturally from the cooking in water) you mixed them with the berries and it’s like eating a pie or something. I also blended up frozen wild blue berries and mixed berries in my vitamix and it’s like drinking berry juice because the vitamix is so awesome. A side of broccoli sprouts and I threw back a tsp of amla before eating. And I drank my flax and a tbsp of ground chia in a glass before eating as well because I don’t like the taste of it in food, typically, unless baked. Anyways, it was sooo enjoyable.

      I actually make turmeric/black pepper concoctions ahead of time in these tiny glass jars I have collected from all my old spices and herbs, it makes it easy and it’s so quick and convenient.

  2. Laughing at the junk food version because that was what my breakfasts would have been when I was younger.

    So, my skipping them all of those years was probably a very good thing.

    1. That isn’t actually what that study says. I made a larger comment below and am hoping to hear back from Dr. Greger’s team because I’m disappointed to see them misrepresent a study. In fact that actual study supports the idea purported in the rest of the video, therefore I’m not sure why they construed it as going against the rest of the findings.

      Also the “junk food” group was in fact a high carb and protein breakfast with the addition of a dessert food, and that group had overall far better scores- including weight loss- than the low carb low-calorie breakfast group. Therefore very puzzling why this study was put forth as one that gave the opposite results. Here is a link to the study that I found through his sources. I also verified with the screenshot in the video (at 3:52) that it is in fact the same study.
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0039128X11003515?via%3Dihub

      1. That exact sentence he read is in the study.

        In this group, the breakfast also included a “dessert” on a daily basis. The “dessert” was a sweet food selected from the following list: chocolate, cookies, cake, ice cream, chocolate mousse or donuts.

        Maybe I have to read more carefully to see what you are objecting to.

        1. Okay,

          I read it again and focused so much on the macros that I mentally lost breakfast versus dinner.

          But both groups lost the same weight and in the other studies the breakfast eaters lost double the weight.

          Is it that Dr. Greger is saying that the morning breakfast people only lost the same weight versus the other studies where they lost so much more weight?

          Do you understand what I am saying?

          It is an odd example because it is more about macros and high carb won.

          1. The breakfast macros may matter with whether you will get the whole ghrelin response and regain the weight.

            Though if you read their sentences, it also seems like meal timing MAY be a factor in preventing the decrease in ghrelin suppression. They aren’t sure that it is just the macros involved. It could be eat calories loaded toward breakfast and lose more weight and prevent the decrease of ghrelin suppression. Or it could be the macros behind the ghrelin. Or both. I have to experiment with that. I have struggled mightily with the whole ghrelin thing in the past, but I never was a breakfast person and when I did eat breakfast, it was never high carb.

            “This implies that in the HCPb group, meal timing or diet composition or both, overcame or prevented the decrease of ghrelin suppression as has been shown in previous studies [21], [22].”

  3. I liked this one.

    I liked that you gave all sorts of variations so we can tweak things on our own.

    And I do like that you gave the junk food version because a whole lot of people on the internet will be switching their dinner vegetables for breakfast donuts.

      1. Deb, have a look at what Kaci posted along with the link for the study. I looked at this first thing this morning. The reason I thought you might be interested is because there were 2 groups; a low carb group, and a high carb and protein group. They came out about the same in weightloss (roughly 30lbs) … the low-carbers lost a bit more actually, but ! the low carb folks gained it all BACK in the study follow up period, and the high carb high protein folks went on to lose more weight!
        Maybe there is something to granny’s ‘apple pie in the morning’ saying.

  4. Loved the video and section in “How Not To Diet”. I do, however, have a question. The study “Meal timing and composition influence ghrelin levels, appetite scores and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese adults.” is mentioned at 3:52 in the video as showing the opposite results, and attributing that to their eating ‘dessert’ foods at breakfast. This is the so-called high-card protein group (HCPb). However reading through the study this is emphatically not what they found. The HCPb group was instructed to consume a high-carb, high protein breakfast and add on a dessert of their choice (from the list mentioned in the video). They were likewise instructed to reduce their dinner caloric intake to sufficiently compensate for the increased calorie consumption at breakfast.
    The results, quite opposite of what was stated in this video, were that the HCPb outperformed the low-calorie low-carb group on ever statistic, including weight loss. This study very much supports what is said in the rest of the video, so I’m not sure why it’s used as an example of a negative study.

    The study I’m referencing (linked in the sources of this video)- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0039128X11003515?via%3Dihub

    1. Kaci, I was thinking exactly the same. NB: both groups were isocaloric so the “low-carb” group was only “low-calorie” at breakfast.

      Have we missed something or does everyone else watching think the same????

    2. Kaci,

      The first 16 weeks, there was no difference in weight loss.

      It was after that, when the other group started getting the ghrelin hunger spikes that the high carb pulled away.

      “First, the between-group similarity in weight loss at Week 16 suggests similar within-group compliance, and the large between-group weight difference at Week 32 suggests that LCb subjects ceased dietary compliance while the subjects in the HCPb group maintained adherence even in the Follow-up Period.”

      So I agree with you, it shouldn’t be a negative example. Though it is maybe saying that if people eat dessert for breakfast, it may take a lot longer to do the process?

      1. On the other hand, if it is the night-time people who stopped complying versus the breakfast-people pulling ahead in a head-to-head test, then eating the wrong macros at breakfast does mess up the double the weight loss phenomenon.

        It doesn’t matter if you are in a race with someone who is also eating the wrong macros at night because they are going to fail after a few months and get hungry.

        What maybe wasn’t tested was if the high carb breakfast was put head-to-head with a high carb dinner and if they threw out the desserts, it might be that WFPB undoes the chronobiology?

        Does that make sense?

        1. I can’t quite do the logic because of the breakfast group having “dessert” and the night time group being “low carb” and both of those are not the diet I have come to believe in, but if this was math, maybe I could just point to the good news for people who want to eat dinner, that there might be ways to get the same results and maybe not giving your enemy donuts for breakfast.

          Maybe eat the proper macros for dinner might help?

        2. Deb, Dr Mirkin and his wife chose to switch the bulk of their calories to breakfast and lunch for reasons they describe at this link.
          https://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/why-we-use-intermittent-fasting.html

          They experienced weightloss as well as improvements metabolically. The eat wfpb with the addition of a couple of salmon meals per week. Note too that his wife enjoys a savory bean breakfast, while he continues with oatmeal. He lists the benefits to eating breakfast (earlier vs later) along with sources. All things being equal, eating early can make a real difference.

          1. Thanks, Barb.

            Yes, I know that somehow this is the answer for me.

            I have shifted to a big lunch and something at all for breakfast. It is a start, but I am hoping to be able to build on that.

            With the study, what interested me is that the ones eating the sugary dessert at breakfast didn’t get hungry after losing weight. I honestly feel like sugar does make me hungry. When I eat dessert at dinner, it feels like it increases cravings.

            If I ever feel like my sugar addiction kicks in to the point that I feel like I can’t beat it, I will have my Lara bars for breakfast.

            1. Deb, for you to increase lunch and eat anything at all in the morning is huge!. Same with me – decided in the last 3 or 4 months to change a number of habits, and it’s working out for the better all around. Not eating at night caused me to sleep better and now I feel more able to make better decisions.
              We share the sugar addiction. I tried Dr Mirkin’s idea of not eating potatoes (even baked) or other higher glycemic scale carbs and this has helped my sugar cravings immensely. In some carb sensitive people, eating potatoes, bread, etc can get the cravings going.
              I cut out wheat, but occassionally eat 2 wasa crackers with a salad or soup. I am not as hungry as before in general.
              Thanks to your research Deb, I now drink a glass of water at night, and I switched my meds to night time schedule. I am looking at switching my synthroid to night time too.. I’ll see.
              This may take a bit of time to get all sorted out, but so far results have been encouraging.

            2. Ron,

              I watch Chef AJ’s videos every week.

              It hasn’t caused me to sleep at night and I do believe not sleeping and not eating breakfast is the problem.

              She has yet to say anything that I am not already doing.

              I already don’t eat bread or junk food or processed food or dairy or animal products or use salt or sugar or oil or pasta. I already eat the foods they recommend on the calorie density chart.

              I even ate her meals from Mamma Sezz for a month.

              It didn’t help at all.

              But I am here more to learn than as self-help.

              Honestly, it is what Dr. Greger has been saying over the past few weeks that is what I believe I needed.

              Learning that skipping breakfast changes it so that someone else could eat 20,000 extra calories and eat breakfast and get the same results as someone who skips breakfast would be one thing Dr. Greger talks about.

              I don’t sleep at night. That was another thing where someone who does sleep at night has more lean and someone who doesn’t sleep at night has a higher fat percentage.

              To me, I have watched so many videos of hers and haven’t heard even one thing that I am not already doing.

              That makes me not want to pay money on it.

              Particularly if it is more to do with eating at night and not sleeping.

              1. Plus, she does a lot of potatoes and the one time I get food cravings is when I eat potatoes. I don’t get filled up on them and I start craving sweets and I gave up sweets a few years ago.

                What I am NOT having problems with is eating WFPB.

                Today, I had a big kale and pomegranate seed and mushroom salad with a no-oil ginger sesame dressing and a banana, a cutie orange, a kiwi, some no-oil hummus a bean wrap and some plant milk in my coffee.

                1. Ron,

                  I did try to do a session with Dr. Lisle a long time ago, but he looked at what I was eating and said, “You are doing great. Keep going.” and told me not to waste my money unless I get discouraged.

                  Dr Greger’s new book changed everything. There are so many new things I am learning and I am the opposite of discouraged. I am excited.

                  Yes, I still have only lost a little bit of weight, but I have a whole list of new things to try.

            3. Are you the Ron who used to go by a different handle?

              The one who helped gymnasts and had spent time with the Adventists and could debate circles around the topic of dairy?

              If so, it is nice to see you.

              If not, then it is nice to see you, too.

          2. Thanks for this reference — I find the Mirkins ideas interesting. Since losing my wife 5+ years ago I have been doing all the cooking for myself and my sister-in-law. We are on a 2 meal a day plan largely Plant based with lots of fruits and vegetables plus some fish and chicken. I exercise by walking or riding my bicycles (outdoor Spring, Summer and Fall) daily. Since 1984 my bicycle mileage is over 35,000 miles. My weight since doing all the cooking hovers just below 150 lb. which is what I weighted 60 years ago when I left HS.
            At present we have a good sized BF, but not until 9:30 or so and then dinner (which always includes a large salad) around 5 pm. My s-i-law is not so interested in exercise and needs to lose more weight, she is just under 5 ft tall and weighs 140 which is down from 180. Needs to lose another 20 lbs. Perhaps shifting our 2nd meal to later afternoon and looking at the alternate days fasting would be good for her.
            The whole idea of eating more earlier in the day is the way Europeans do it, but most BF on the Continent are quite skimpy with some type of bread or pastry and coffee or tea. In addition to getting a lot more exercise than the typical American I believe this is why obesity is less prevalent in Europe.

  5. So does this mean that if you are underweight (8% body fat) and want to gain that you should eat more later in the day, or are there other health benefits associated with eating more earlier to consider?

  6. Love the site!

    I’m confused about this topic of breakfast and the community may be able to help.

    I’ve just read “Breakfast is a dangerous meal” where the author (an MD with Type 2 Diabetes) has explored why he has T2D and discovered eating breakfast is bad for your metabolism, whether you have diabetes or not. The author presents a lot of good science, as does Dr Greger, always.

    Is it possible that the 2 philosophies, breakfast = dangerous and “breakfast like a king” are both correct? If you want to lose weight, eat a wholesome breakfast. You may however risk getting T2D. I’m just putting it out there that a healthy person, i.e. who doesn’t need or want to lose weight might need to be careful about the “breakfast like a king” comment.

    I don’t know the answer. I guess each person has to do their own research and work out what’s best for them.

    1. mozzie4,

      Can you provide a link to the article you reference in your comment, along with the science you state that the author presents?

      My brother was diagnosed T2 diabetes, probably due to being overweight (he also had high BP and high cholesterol, among other conditions). But he changed his lifestyle after a heart attack 4 years ago; he was vegetarian, but switched to whole plant foods, and exercised (I don’t know when he started). Long story short, he lost 70 pounds, went off most of his meds, including for T2 diabetes (I guess he’s now on the lowest dose for his BP med, and hoping to get off that). And he eats breakfast. I’m pretty sure he ate breakfast before, too; we grew up eating breakfast.

      Anyway, I wonder what else the author of the article you referenced ate, and did? Because I don’t think it was his eating breakfast, though it could have been what he ate for breakfast, that helped lead to a diagnosis of T2 diabetes.

    2. Mozzie,

      A recent study published in the scientific journal Diabetologia showed a study that people with Type 2 Diabetes eating a large breakfast and lunch and no dinner — as compared with those eating six small meals with the same calories — lost body fat and improved insulin sensitivity.

      Improved insulin sensitivity is the answer.

      The philosophy you are speaking about is probably related to Keto, and I say that because people with Keto have increased blood sugar spikes in the morning – increased fasting glucose. My Keto friend was talking about that today. She mentioned that in the community they talk about morning spikes where they can’t eat any carbs at all in the morning because that is when their blood sugar is highest.

      That is because they are more insulin resistant. Watch Doctor Greger’s Keto and Diabetes video and his video on what causes Insulin Resistance.

      My Keto friends would agree that breakfast is dangerous, but it is dangerous for them because they are on Keto diets and are trying to do intermittent fasting and are more insulin resistant than if they weren’t doing Keto.

      1. Most people doing Keto can’t get into Ketosis unless they use something like intermittent fasting.

        But Keto isn’t good for Diabetes.

        It is good for not having blood sugar spikes, but it is not good for Diabetes.

        His video on Diabetes and Keto will explain that.

        1. Mozzie,

          I have been following Dr. Greger for 2 years and it took at least 1 and a half years to figure out how to handle it when the logic seems to go back a”nd forth.

          There is usually an answer – things like having studies set up by Big Food or Big Pharma designed to skew the answers.

          Take your time and learn it from both directions. In the end, though, the logic being confusing just means that you need more information.

          The thought, “I guess each person has to do their own research and work out what’s best for them.”

          is how your brain is trying to lessen the stress of the confusion.

          But the true answer is that there may well be right answers and it just might take time to find them.

          Let it be okay that there is confusion and ask questions.

          Slowly build up understanding of the logic.

          When I started here, I had such serious brain problems on top of not understanding science or nutrition.

          Just watching as many videos as possible from Dr. Greger will help you figure a lot out in the next year.

          If you don’t like something he said, ask the community.

          Or watch one of the other WFPB doctors next.

          Dr. Ornish, Dr. Barnard, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Fuhrman, T. Colin Campbell, etc.

          They won’t always agree either, but just make the decision that it is okay.

  7. Mozzie, just to add to Dr J’s comments, this link describes the metabolic benefits to eating breakfast. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3781522/ Under Doctor’s Notes you will see links to other videos in the series. In every study I have seen so far, metabolic markers have improved with eating breakfast. Blood pressure, blood glucose levels, heart disease risk, triglycerides, you name it, it all improves.

    I can see a high fat meal increasing risk of diabetes, or pancakes and maple syrup and eggs can contribute to diabetes, but eating wfpb meal at breakfast? Best thing you can do!

    1. We are going to have to change a lot of habits in our culture. Breakfast is usually cereal with milk, eggs, and bacon. Not exactly good for you? Ok, add sausage and pancakes. What we eat for breakfast is clearly the least nutritious of our typical meals. Skipping these is a good idea.

      We eat too much and intermittent fasting is an effective way to eat less.

      What do people eat for lunch? Mostly sandwiches with meat and cheese. Also not so great.

      When do we eat vegetables? Dinner only, if then. The only time people eat fruit is for dessert after dinner, maybe.

      Most families have different start times to their day, so they eat breakfast alone. Not exactly good for social life. Lunch is at work/school. When do we eat as a family? Dinner. Should it be a 5 minute pop in your mouth and go? The research is clear about eating together as a family. It dramatically improves the family in many ways.

      We keep trying to separate tiny chunks of information, but in many ways, that is the problem. We need to look at overall lifestyle. When do we have time to prepare meals with spices and careful recipes? Dinner time.

      There really aren’t a lot of easy answers in this one. More Americans are dying of despair, heartache and loneliness than anything else. Eating alone doesn’t help.

  8. Love this information and am using it after buying How Not to Diet. I am eating this way and feeling great- so much energy and so much clarity of mind. That’s what I expect from the great nutritional evidence on Nutritionfacts.org!
    Thanks Dr. Greger and team!

    A healthy and happy monthly supporter of Nutritionfacts.org

    1. Bobbi, Glad you are finding both this website and How Not to Diet so helpful. Appreciate that you recognize the information you are receiving is evidence-based and support efforts to bring this important information to you. Your support is appreciated.

    1. Hi, Jon A Griffin! Genetics play a role in many things, and circadian cycles are likely included in that. As with most things, however, I suspect that genes are not destiny in this case. Changing habits can change your cycles, and could possibly improve glucose tolerance. We don’t really know, until we “put it to the test.” Sleep may also affect glucose tolerance. If you are a night owl who sleeps in, try to gradually switch to an earlier bedtime and an earlier waking time, and make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Time-restricted eating is covered here: https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=time-restricted I hope that helps!

  9. NutritionFacts staff: When is the “breakfast” time frame per this video? I ask because I hate eating in the morning and always have. It makes me nauseous to push food into my body when I am not hungry. I am never hungry until 10a – 12p earliest. And no I do not eat late into the evening. I stop eating by 6-7pm which is a light meal or, more often, a large green salad (big but calorie-light density).
    Deb -you don’t need to get involved here.

    1. In How Not To Diet they mention the cut-off for most of these studies is 11am, i.e. eating the majority of your calories before 11am. If you’re not hungry don’t eat! It’s just one of a lot of different tweaks to help accelerate weight loss that is in How Not to Diet and while incredibly interesting if it doesn’t work for you you’re not hurting yourself except for possibly missing out on a few extra pounds of weight loss a month. If you’re already eating a light meal at dinner then given the studies in How Not to Diet I believe you’re already doing the most important part by not eating a rich, calorie dense meal in the evening.

  10. The trouble with trying breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper is that you have to live like a hermit. Most people go to dinner with friends. They don’t go out with friends and eat a big breakfast. Whenever I eat a big breakfast I keep on eating all day and gain weight. By skipping breakfast I am now in the normal BMI group and my friends who believe in the eating a big breakfast idea are still overweigh and borderline obese. They exercise alot but are fat.

    1. joe dubiel,

      I loved your comment! Living like a hermit, indeed.

      But I confess: I used to invite folks out to breakfast — because it was the cheapest meal of the day!! (LOL!!) Also, as I was a vegetarian at that time, it had the most options that I could actually eat.

      But I think that what I eat is more important than when I eat it; although the hubby and I were at what we considered healthy weights as vegetarians (we ate some dairy and a few eggs), we lost even more without even trying or realizing it when we switched to whole plant food eating. And we’ve kept it off for a few years now. And our biggest meal is in the evening — though none of our meals are very big. We can’t seem to eat too much at one time any more.

      As always, I wonder what else the study subjects were eating: was it SAD (Standard American Diet), something healthier? Most likely it wasn’t WPF. So then I wonder: what would the results be if the subjects were eating WPF? Would timing of eating make much if any difference? To weight? Overall health? Those are the studies I’d like to see.

      1. Thanks for the comment. I still intend to fast in the morning, push off lunch as far as possible and eat dinner. I also eat very close to a vegen diet. So I try to eat once a day, dinner. I know several people who do this and are in great shape. I’ve been doing this for several years and have gradually gone from 190 to 155, today.  Several friends are still 190 to 185 and believe in the breakfast like a king idea. It does not work for them and never did for me. Joe

    2. Hi, joe dubiel! I suppose there could always be exceptions to rules that are generally true for most people. It is also true that what people eat is still more important than when we eat it. Your eating schedule may work for you because your meals are healthier than what your friends are eating. If what you are doing works for you, then keep doing it! I hope that helps!

  11. Breakfasting like a King may be beneficial for weight loss but according to your body cycles may in the longer term be detrimental to your health. Your body runs on 3 eight-hour cycles per day. Formally referred to as the Circadian Rhythms, and known for thousands of years via Ayurvedic teachings.These cycles are: 4AM-12PM Elimination; 12PM-8PM Appropriation and 8PM-4AM Assimilation.
    Why then would anyone choose to have a Kings breakfast during the elimination cycle if it will in fact nullify all form of elimination and ultimately be detrimental to ones health? The purest food that promotes elimination is fruit and or clean filtered water and should therefore be consumed during the elimination period.
    Blood tests taken during these cycles substantiate when the body is in the process of eliminating, appropriating and assimilating. I am sure your team can find scientific proof of this in one or medical journals.
    Furthermore, you don’t appear to pay any importance to food combining or is this not an issue? For example fruit should be eaten completely on its own and proteins and carbohydrates should not be eaten together?
    Look forward to your comments and thank you for your very informative presentations

    1. If proteins and carbohydrates should not be eaten together you better alert Mother Nature. Because she has put proteins and carbohydrates together along with fats in virtually all of her foods. Potatoes contain carbohydrate, protein, and fat as do greens, beans and every vegetable food I can think of. Here’s a link to the macro nutrients in black beans: 23% protein, 73%carbohydrate and the rest fat. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4284/2 You can use that site to look up numerous other vegetables and see that they all contain protein, carbohydrate and fat. Good luck!

    2. Ian Bosman:

      “Formally referred to as the Circadian Rhythms, and known for thousands of years via Ayurvedic teachings.These cycles are: 4AM-12PM Elimination; 12PM-8PM Appropriation and 8PM-4AM Assimilation.”

      This seems to better fit and match with my metabolism. As I just eat one meal a day between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM. It is not something I force upon myself, it just seems to fit.

      Last month I attended (my 4th) a 10 day Vipassana Meditation, and they served breakfast from 6:30-7:00 AM, and lunch from 11:00-11:30 AM, and no food for the rest of the day. And it really messed me up. I never did adjust. And I was kind of looking forward to it as it was similar to what Dr. Greger had previously recommeded.

      I think that it is more important to deeply listen to your body than to listen to somebody else. Keep an open mind, but I do not believe that there is a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

    3. I am curious. Where do you get these ideas? Are you a follower of Ayurvedic beliefs? They are largely inconsistent with scientific evidence, I understand.

      There are also all sorts of cranks and snake oil merchants on the internet promoting dietary nonsense. Some of it is positively dangerous. For example, there is no evidence that the food combining idea has any scientific validity whatsoever.
      https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/food-combining
      https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/05/12/debunking-the-myth-of-food-combining

      There is no reason to believe that Ayurvedic practices regarding breakfast size have any validity either. In fact given the association of ‘breakfasting like a king’ with weight loss, and the well-known association of obesity with mortality, the evidence actually suggests that it is beneficial for our long-term health not detrimental. In fact, given that traditional Ayurvedic medicines include mercury, lead etc I’d say that the whole ayurvedic philosophy should be treated warily.
      https://iaf-ngo.org/pdf/Microsoft%20Word%20-%20Ayurveda-brief%20history%20and%20philosophy.pdf
      https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/31/428016419/toxic-lead-contaminates-some-traditional-ayurvedic-medicines
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/some-ayurvedic-medicine-worse-than-lead-paint-exposure/

      So when it comes to scientific evidence being in disagreement with ayurvedic traditions, as appears to be the case her, I personally believe that it’s a lot safer to go with the evidence.

        1. Thanks but it really isn’t a matter of personal belief is it? It’s what the evidence shows … and there’s no evidence that I’m aware of that indicates that your personal beliefs on these matters are correct.

    4. Hi, Ian Bosman! This is not an Ayurvedic site. NutritionFacts.org focuses on evidence from the medical literature, which may or may not agree with ancient traditions such as Ayurveda. That said, there has been some research done on Ayurvedic practices, and that could possibly be covered in future videos. I will pass along your request. Protein and carbohydrate combining is only an issue with animal protein. Whole plant foods naturally include both carbohydrate and protein, and it does not appear to be an issue. Food combining is covered here: https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=food+combining I hope that helps!

  12. Gengo,

    If you show up, I was inspired by your comment and I am going to get rid of the $20 rice cooker, which I genuinely have loved, but it is going out and I am not going to have a niggling in my conscience.

    I am committing to a Cuisinart Cookfresh rice and vegetable steamer and I am looking forward to trying steamed oatmeal.

    It has a glass dish and uses steam which comes from water in a separate reservoir and nothing sticks to it.

    I have been reading reviews on every site I can find and it is a good concept for me.

    You can “pause” and lift the lid and stir and taste and add ingredients.

    I like having a “pause” button.

    I learned how much I like that on this site.

  13. I’m curious how this applies to someone like me who works the night shift. My breakfast is at dinner time and my dinner is at breakfast time. So if we’re talking circadian rhythm, should I be eating a smaller breakfast but a huge dinner?

    Mind you, I’m not actually trying to lose weight, as I’m quite active and eat a WFPB diet, so I’m quite lean already. However, I am still curious how the conclusions of this video would apply to fellow graveyard shifters. If nothing else, I could pass it on to my coworkers, most of whom could stand to lose a few, but have no interest in WFPB eating. YET.

    1. Dr. Greger actually covers this in How Not to Diet and the findings were consistent even with graveyard shift workers, i.e. that still eating a bigger “breakfast” was more beneficial. Put another way, despite when you’re working our bodies seem to sense the innate circadian rhythm and burn more with a bigger meal in the morning hours (~6am to 11am) than evening (~5-7pm) despite work schedule. There were studies done on those working the graveyard shift that showed consistent results in weight loss as the other studies, namely those eating a larger meal in the morning hours (6-11am) lost more weight than those eating the same number of calories in the evening hours (~5-7pm).

      1. Thanks, Kaci! I’m reading How not to Diet right now, but I’ve only just started it, so I haven’t gotten to that part yet. That’s good to know. I’ll use this knowledge for good, and never for evil, I promise.

    2. Hi, Alex! You might be interested in this video, if you haven’t already seen it: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/melatonin-breast-cancer/ Here’s another, newer one you might want to see: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/chronobiology-how-circadian-rhythms-can-control-your-health-and-weight/ As a night shift worker, you are working against your natural circadian rhythm, and not really changing it. The evidence seems to support the idea that you are still better off eating most of your calories earlier in the day rather than later. I hope that helps!

    1. I’m very interested in nutrition science and believe I’m quite knowledgable here, so hopefully you won’t mind me tackling this! First off the source, the BBC, regularly runs pretty anti-vegan articles so I’m already skeptical. That would be the equivalent in the US of expecting Fox News to fairly cover a Democratic president, or vice versa with CNN. I haven’t even started and I’m assuming they’re going to talk about DHA. Dr. Greger has quite a few excellent videos on this topic.

      Ok some of the studies they quote are ludicrous. For example they say Kenyan children given meat in their soup performed better in cognitive tests than those given milk or…. OIL. Not only did they, per the study, NOT perform better in every marker, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did! A major issue in developing nations is protein consumption, so I have no doubt that those eating meat might perhaps feel better and do better cognitively. If they actually wanted to make that a legitimate test they wouldn’t have used oil as their plant based option, they would have used a plant source of protein (peanuts are common for this in developing countries). So first study I picked up was misquoted and a pretty terrible indicator of the ‘greater intelligence’ of meat eaters.

      There is a lot to unpack in this article that they’re misrepresenting, but let’s focus on what is presumably the main point of this article, namely: “In fact, there are several important brain nutrients that simply do not exist in plants or fungi”.

      Creatine: They are correct- Creatine is not found in plants. However the article fails to mention that creatine is a NON-ESSENTIAL nutrient, in other words our body’s make plenty of it. Funny they add Creatine but don’t add cholesterol, another non-essential nutrient. Our bodies consume amino acids and then use the building blocks to create what it needs, so consumption of specific compounds is entirely unnecessary.

      Carnosine: Same as above.

      Taurine: Same as above.

      Omega-3: Now this is just outright lying to their readers. Of COURSE Omega-3s are found in plant sources! Chia seeds, Flax seeds, Brussel sprouts, Hemp hearts, Walnuts…. seriously google this to find the complete list because there are plenty more. So this is a straight up lie hoping readers won’t fact check and why I cited the BBC as, unfortunately, being quite incapable of objectively reporting on a vegan diet.

      Haem iron (in the US more generally styled as heme iron): This is one of two types of iron. Heme Iron (animal foods) and the creatively named Non-Heme Iron (plant sources). The argument has long been that Heme iron is more bioavailable and therefore superior than its plant counterpart. Dr. Greger actually has a whole playlist on heme iron if you’re interested in learning more, but essentially heme iron has been implicated in a whole host of meat-related issues and researchers are doing studies to see if it links to cancer and other serious diseases, though no conclusion has been made yet. While non-heme iron isn’t as readily absorbed it is still absolutely possible and probable that you’re getting plenty if you’re eating plant sources of iron. I’ve heard it recommended that younger women who are more likely to be anemic (iron deficient) get tested, however anecdotally I was anemic as a pre-teen on a fully omnivorous diet.

      Vitamin B12: Not found ‘naturally’ in animals either. Bacteria create B12, and the only reason that vegans can’t consume it via plants or the water we drink is due to modern sanitization practices. This is obviously a hallmark of the modern era and not a bad thing, but it does mean that we also kill the B12-making bacteria alongside more nefarious diseases. In fact many cattle are supplemented WITH B12 in the slaughterhouse (vitamin D as well, which we’ll get to) since they run into the same sanitization issue. Yes, if you’re vegan take your B12 supplement, but know that it’s not because you don’t eat meat, but rather because your government treats your water supply so you don’t get malaria.

      Vitamin D3: Oh come on. First off this is another lie as several mushroom varieties have D3, but Vitamin D is synthesized by our bodies when we get sunlight. The only reason it is present in animal foods is due to the same feat. This is also laughable because, per some sources, up to 40% of the US population is deficient in Vitamin D (though there is plenty of arguing over where the cut-off should be). No where near 40% of the population is vegan, so this clearly isn’t a vegan vs. omnivore problem. Not to mention that, like B12, much of our meat is supplemented with vitamin D because our animals are raised indoors and taken to the slaughterhouse- they never see the sun. Dairy products especially are heavily fortified with Vitamin D, though they never like to point out that plant based milks like almond and soy milk are fortified with the same amount of Vitamin D. Many doctors recommend the entire population to take Vitamin D supplements, especially if you’re in a climate where you don’t get a lot of sun or you go outside with sunscreen (like me!).

      I could keep going, but since that was their main point I hope I helped to elucidate on why many sources seem to have an agenda instead of presenting their readers with the facts. I absolutely think it’s great that you’re being a critical reader though and asking questions. Plenty of people take everything they see at face value, but whether its a trusted sources or not we should always be curious, critical, and spot check their sources. One easy way I like to do this is pick out a study an article links to and scroll down to the “Conclusion” section to see if this study supports what the writer is using it to support. This is a pretty good ‘sniff test’ about an articles truthfulness.

      Please let me know if you have any more questions on this article or more broadly!

      1. Kaci Parker, Thank you for the thorough explanation and rebuttal of the BBC article. I found your post very helpful and enjoyed reading it.

        Look forward to your commenting here more in the future!

      2. The amusing thing about articles like this is that most SAD diets are deficient in B12 and Omega 3.

        I personally think that a vegan diet judiciously supplemented in an age- appropriate way is the ideal. Just because a few things need supplementing doesn’t threaten my world view. I take B12, D3, Omega 3, and a little taurine. I also take K2 because I am older and may not be converting the K1 in my greens to K2 as efficiently.

    2. Michele

      This article seems to be pretty speculative, especially since the core argument is based on a study of Kenyan schoolchildren who may well have been eating a limited poverty diet that was nutritionally inadequate in the first place. Adding meat to a nutritionally inadequate diet is one thing. Adding meat to a nutritionally adequate diet eaten by Western vegetarians may have quite different consequences

      The article may even be somewhat error-prone anyway since it states ‘In fact, there are several important brain nutrients that simply do not exist in plants or fungi. Creatine, carnosine, taurine, omega-3, haem iron and vitamins B12 and D3 generally only occur naturally in foods derived from animal products’ whereas, in actual fact, the omega 3 fatty acid ALA is fairly widespread in plants and non-haem iron may be preferable to haem iron:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-safety-of-heme-vs-non-heme-iron/

      I’d add that Dr Greger doesn’t promote ‘vegan’ diets as such. He promotes whole food plant based diets. These may or may not be 100% vegetarian (although Dr G himself appears to favour completely vegetarian WFPB diets). He also recommends B12 and vitamin D supplementation plus iron where appropriate
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      It’s worth adding that Dr Greger has been saying for many years that most ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian’ diets are unhealthy eg in this 2003 presentation (although most omnivore diets are equally or even more unhealthy).so stories like this BBC one are not unexpected
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ibPqDPEF4U&t=2522s

      After all, the cocaine and cigarettes diet reputedly favoured by supermodels, the beer and chips diet and the Camels and Jack Daniels diet are all ‘vegan’ and they are all unhealthy. Just because a diet is ‘vegan’ doesn’t mean it is necessarily healthy.

      It’s worth noting though that the official US dietary guidelines identify the healthy vegetarian dietary pattern as one of only 3 recognised healthful dietary approaches And that thiss can be ‘vegan’ if it addresses certain specific requirements.
      https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-5/

  14. Many follow a 16:8 intermittent fasting pattern — not eating until noon or after 8. Could the benefits from lower calories at dinner be merely because it enhances the overnight fasting window? Would equivalent benefits come from extending that fasting window in the morning?

    1. Mark G Patterson, the studies I have read over the last few months have consistently shown that eating the bulk of our calories earlier in the day provides health benefits. Part of the reason is Insulin sensitivity is greatest in the morning hours. Even sliding the eating window to 10am to 6pm makes a difference. You may find this link interesting… it discusses forms of intermittant fasting and benefits.

      https://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/why-intermittent-fasting-works.html

      Dr Greger has recent videos on the topic of intermittant fasting. Have a look in the topic page for videos of interest.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fasting/

  15. Since I’ve been eating vegan (2 years) I have trouble maintaining my weight. In this scenario, should I do pauper, prince, king? I am 6’1″ 158 lbs.

  16. Help! I’m adding grains back in to my diet based on Dr Greger’s research. But I’m having terrible acid reflux at night. This is the only change I’ve made to my vegan diet. Any ideas? I don’t want to damage my esophageal tissue.

    1. Eating should not be painful so you’re correct in addressing this issue. There are trigger foods that can cause reflux in some people but not in others. You might trying different grains to see which ones are the problem, and which ones are not. Then avoid the ones that cause the reflux. There is farro, oats, millet, sorghum, red/black rice, barley, buckwheat and others. Also, don’t forget that these need to be unprocessed, so something like farro is beneficial, but whole wheat bread is not.

  17. What if I like cooking and do not have the time or want to get out of bed early to go all-out cooking for breakfast? Or my family is not home to enjoy their biggest meal at lunch? The only meal I have time to cook and everyone enjoy together is dinner. So, stuck within the usual social norms then…

    Even if I lived alone, I would rather have my big meal as dinner than breakfast. It is the reward to the end of a busy day, and the signal that I am home and everything else can wait until tomorrow.

  18. The only thing that is a little bit confusing is the fact that I have very different time frames for breakfast, lunch, and dinner than most people. So what time frames were used in this study? Breakfast until 11, lunch until 3 pm, dinner after 3 pm? Am I anywhere close to the truth? :D

    1. Suzanne and JTA, so far from what I am reading, the recommendation is to finish eating by 7pm. Breakfast is early, and I have seen “within 1 of of rising” mentioned a couple of times, though a couple of NF volunteers mentioned 10 am is ok.
      Aligning ourselves with our circadian rhythm offers real health benefits, not just an aid to weight loss. People have all sorts of reasons for not ‘getting in sync’, and that’s a decision all of us make when considering family, work, social life etc.

      I do live alone and found that changing my schedule around and putting some of these principles into practice has been the most worthwhile health promoting thing I have done in years. If I had a family I would attempt to do this by having a very light supper , and kitchen closed afterwards.

    2. JTA- Yours is a good question, but the answer seems elusive for two reasons. First there weren’t one but several studies that were cited for this insightful video.
      I looked at almost all of the sources cited, but there was minimal specification on exact what time subjects had their breakfast, although it was recognized it was “earlier in the day.” Like you, I was looking for an exact time-6 am or 8 am ect. The only specific time reference I could find was in this study: High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women “Subjects were asked to eat breakfast at 6:00‐9:00, lunch at 12:00‐15:00, and n.dinner at 18:00‐21:00.” Quite a range, right? I suspect while when we wake up may be an influential factor as well as individual hunger sensation upon arising, this research is just too new to have definite answers on your question. The advice to eat all meals earlier in the day stands, but specific hours has not been tested yet, and probably will include lots of individual variety if/when attempts to pin down specifics. The best I can say for now is the studies consistently point to successful weight loss being associated with earlier meal times. If 8 am seems way too early for you, perhaps 9 . 11 would be on the later side for breakfast.
      Many studies focus on the period that you are NOT eating. If you were aiming for a 12 hour fast you then could finish eating by 11–but then you certainly aren’t taking advantage of your body’s inclination to be less effective metabolizing food at night. A much earlier dinner time would seem wise–maybe 7 pm? I know ifyou’re a night owl like I am, this is hard to fathom. Again as one commenter wisely indicated you do have to factor personal considerations in.

      1. Barb, thank you for your answer!
        Joan-Nurse Educator, thank you, what a piece of great information! Now at least I have a “schedule” which I should adapt to my personal day cycle, thank you!

  19. We’re huge Dr. G fans but the new format is too distracting. I can’t focus on the screen or the dialogue. I’m probably unlikely to view any new videos as a result, just the old ones. Sorry!

    1. I read the transcripts, then watch the video for the screenshots if I feel that I’ve missed anything. Usually, the transcript and the references give me what I want, though.

        1. That’s funny, watching videos is harder for me (my mind wanders) and takes longer. I learn better by reading, so the transcripts really suit me.

          However, I think that Dr. G may be switching back to the old format. He makes them so far in advance that it will be a while before we see anything different. Stay tuned –

          1. I think switching back is a good idea.  And my wife and I actually love him and his personality.  We think he’s hilarious and find the videos not only informative s but also entertaining!  Thanks for your thoughts and update.Sean DwyerPS. I’m the college professor who wrote you wondering if there was any sort of workbook / presentation that I could put on for my students in the evenings on a voluntary basis.  I would envision it to be 1/3 lecture, 1/3 video, and 1/3 twelve-step discussion. Our college students need this as most of them are overweight by the time they’re juniors.  I think this is an idea that could spread across campuses across the United States.  Sent from Samsung tablet

  20. Re-posting this comment here in the hope someone can help: Can one of the forum moderators or someone else with nutrition expertise please address the Gastropod podcast’s take on the science of skipping breakfast? Here is what they said (see https://gastropod.com/breakfast-champions/ for the original post which has links to the studies referenced in the text):

    “TO SKIP OR NOT TO SKIP

    Much has been made about the importance of a good breakfast to a healthy lifestyle. It gives you energy to start your day, according to conventional wisdom, and scientific studies conducted a decade ago had proclaimed that eating breakfast was the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

    “Breakfast skippers are plagued with well-meaning spouses, partners, family members, and friends, all insisting that they should eat something in the morning. But, according to nutrition scientist P. K. Newby, that advice was based on what’s known as observational studies, in which scientists follow groups of people and observe the outcomes. The result had seemed to indicate that people who lost weight or maintained a healthy weight ate breakfast. The problem, Newby told us, is that those studies didn’t isolate breakfast as the important factor. It could be, she says, that those who lost weight also exercised more, or one of dozens of other variables.

    “Then, last year, a group of researchers at the University of Alabama published a study that took a more rigorous look at this question. They enlisted 300 participants and randomly assigned them to eat breakfast, to skip breakfast, or to simply go about their normal routine. After 16 weeks, they found no difference in weight loss among the three groups. Meanwhile, in a similarly controlled Cornell University study, people who skipped breakfast consumed fewer calories by the end of the day. And, in a smaller study at the University of Bath, people who skipped breakfast also seem to have consumed slightly fewer calories during the day, though they then expended slightly less energy.

    “Based on this new research, the bottom line, Newby says, is this: if you’re not hungry in the morning, there’s no harm in skipping breakfast when it comes to weight management. “It’s the what that is more important than the when, when it comes to breakfast,” she says, which also means that grabbing a sugary muffin, doughnut, or other pastry, just to eat something in the morning, is a worse idea than eating nothing at all.”

    1. I don’t know if I’m replying correctly or not. But I’ll try.  I started skipping breakfast a few years ago and dropped my weight for 185-190, to 154, which I am today. All from skipping breakfast. If it was not for this diet trick I’d still be 185-190 or worse. Joe

  21. I agree with LG King (see that comment). I think there are individual differences, and it is more important to listen to one’s own body than to slavishly follow the latest mass study. Dr. Fuhrman and others have always emphasized listening to hunger. My hunger says, wait a couple of hours before eating in the morning, and eat right up until a couple of hours before bedtime.

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