A proverb, reflecting on the wisdom of our forefathers, is popular in different forms in different countries, if said in English the proverb is:
Have a Breakfast Like a Rich man, Lunch Like a common man; and Dinner like a Poor—For a Healthy Body and Mind.
The wisdom is so prevalent that, one can find countless people following the said wisdom.
But like everything else, most are practicing the imperfect form of the lesson received.
Below are the imperfect versions people are practicing:
Version 1: No doubt, people are taking a heavy breakfast, followed by a relatively lighter Lunch and even lighter dinner; but if they are starting the day, with a very heavy breakfast, then the following two relatively lighter meals are not that light after all.
Version 2: People are taking a high calorie or heavy breakfast, but they are not following what the wisdom said about the Lunch and the Dinner. They are eating equally if not more.
Version 3: People are taking heavy breakfast, but taking a heavier lunch and heaviest dinner.
Result: Now, having a calorie rich breakfast is good, as the last meal was about 12 hours ago, the last night’s dinner; Plus one has more avenues to expend the excess calories taken at breakfast during the day. But if the preaching for the lunch and dinner is not followed then, one is taking his/her calorie intake for the entire day much more than what is required.
Will this help the Body—or help one get a healthy body?
And does practicing the above three versions, make a person lose weight, if he/she wants to. If he/she is breaking his/her daily calorie intake cap, everyday?
German researchers have the Answer. Their study has suggested that eating a big breakfast may lead to gaining more weight—and more pointedly, Big breakfast doesn’t make you lose weight.
Unless … a person, although has a heavy breakfast, has the other two main meals, taking into consideration, his/her calorie intake for the day.
For example, if a person, based on his lifestyle needs 2000 calories a day, if takes a calorie laden breakfast, having 1200 calories, then he should choose his/her next two meals in such a way that, they provide him not more than 800 calories.
A Brief snippet about the said German study (published in Nutrition Journal):
The study, which refutes previous findings that eating a big breakfast reduces total calorie intake over the day, found that those who enjoy a hearty breakfast are likely to have a big lunch and dinner.
The study was conducted at the Else-Kroner-Fresenius Center of Nutritional Medicine, Germany, on over 300 people who were asked to note down what they usually ate.
Within the group, some always ate a big breakfast, others ate a small one and some skipped the breakfast altogether.
The results of the study showed that ‘people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast, which meant that a big breakfast boosted overall calorie intake for the entire day. A big breakfast (on average 400 kcal greater than a small breakfast) resulted in a total increase in calories eaten over the day of about 400 kcal.
Conclusion: The study results found that the only difference a Big breakfast makes was when people ate a really large breakfast, decide to skip a mid-morning snack and planned their meals for the rest of the day, taking into consideration the calorie intake for the whole day.
Another point to note is, heavy doesn’t mean taking 4000 calories in the morning when your lifestyle, permits you just 4000 calories for the entire day. As the proverb says, Breakfast can be the richest meal of the day, but the number of calorie intake for breakfast will be decided by looking at what your calorie intake of entire day.
In other words, your breakfast can proportionally, but not absolutely, bigger.
Advice: Wisdom from our forefathers is equal to some scientific study, if not more. So if you are trying to lose weight or aspiring to find the key to a healthy body and mind, do the following three steps in the same order:
1) Find what your ideal weight should be.
2) Get a fitness from your doctor.
3) Find the kind of lifestyle you have(as that will help you get to know what should be your ideal calorie intake per day). The good thing is, if you start exercising to change your sedentary lifestyle, then your calorie intake for a day changes too. You can have more calories.
4) Have a relatively heavy breakfast. Count those calories. And then subtract those with your calorie intake for the entire day. What is left is, what you have to take for the lunch and dinner (I always felt that three meals a day are sufficient).
NOTE: In order to lose weight sensibly, the National Health Service guidelines suggest restricting calorie intake, cutting down on saturated fat and sugar, and eating 5-a-day fruit and vegetable. Plus incorporating activity in the routine.