The Big Breakfast Diet
The Big Breakfast Diet: How It Works
You start eating breakfast within 15 minutes of rolling out of bed, and no
later than 9 a.m. (or 10 a.m. in fall and winter). Eat lunch by 2 p.m. (3
p.m. in fall and winter), and dinner a few hours later.
And what if you're not hungry in the morning? Within a few weeks of
following the plan, you will adjust, Jakubowicz says.
Eating more in the morning can keep you full for up to 14 hours and thus
help you eat less throughout the day, says Jakubowicz. But you still need to
eat lunch and dinner to avoid a hunger crash later in the
If the turbocharged plan contains too few calories to suit you, you can go
on the relaxed plan, which allows you a whopping 3,000 calories at
breakfast. According to Jakubowicz, there's no such thing as eating too
much for breakfast as long as you're finished by 9 a.m. The relaxed plan also
allows for a little more fat at both lunch and dinner.
The Big Breakfast Diet: What the Experts Say
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, experts say, but it
does not necessarily need to be eaten by a certain time -- nor does it need to
contain half your daily calories.
"It helps you get your day off to a great start so you can manage your
calorie intake better, but there is nothing special about eating before 9 or 10
a.m. or eating 600 calories at breakfast," says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a
spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
People who eat a healthy breakfast each day have greater control over their
daily calorie intake, and studies have shown that they tend to have lower body
weights, Blake says. Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, is associated with
higher body weights and an increased risk of obesity.
But at the end of the day, the total number of calories consumed is what
matters most for weight control, Blake says.
She also says more research is needed into the role of hormonal rhythms in
However, she adds, "There is no downside to eating a nutritious breakfast,
especially one that contains lean or low-fat protein, whole grains, a little
healthy fat, fruits, and vegetables because the fiber, water, and protein will
fill you up before it fills you out."
The Big Breakfast Diet: Food for Thought
The best part of The Big Breakfast Diet is that it emphasizes the importance
of eating breakfast every day. But whether a giant breakfast eaten by a
certain time can influence how your body uses nutrients requires more
Preparing and eating so much food so early in the day would be a struggle
for many people. But if you love a large breakfast, front-loading half your
calories at breakfast might help you manage cravings and hunger throughout the
Chances are that you will lose weight on the 1,200-calorie Big Breakfast
Diet plan, especially if you are physically active. But the relaxed plan,
with more than 3,000 daily calories, probably will not lead to weight loss for
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her
opinions and conclusions are her own.