How to Lose Weight while Increasing Calories

In any sustainable and comprehensive weight loss plan, the amount of food eaten is just one of many factors related to food that’s important to consider. For instance, researcher Daniela Jakubowicz of Tel Aviv University concludes that “high calorie breakfast shows increased compliance and is more beneficial than high calorie dinner for weight loss, insulin sensitivity, and hunger suppression.” [1] The timing of food is also a relevant variable. Specifically, the above claim advocates breakfast as the best time to have heavy foods. And from personal experience, I agree.

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I am one of those dreaded morning people. You know, the ones who are perkily humming show tunes as they finish going through their inboxes while you’re still trying to drink your coffee. But I also realized that as the days dragged on, I would be completely drained before lunch. To compensate, I would have heavy lunches, but instead of revitalizing me, they put me into stupors for the afternoon.

That’s when I started experimenting with my breakfast choices.

I had been eating things like a couple of slices of toast with peanut butter during the week. I never felt that hungry, because of how energetic I was. But then I started meal prepping on weekends, creating batches of homemade granola and vegan cakes. I then started eating the granola with berries for breakfast, and even having slices of the cakes for dessert! The result? I was still my perky self in the morning, but I realized my energy lasted until the afternoon, I didn’t need as heavy a lunch, I was no longer completely exhausted as I came home from work, and I realized my belly was leaner!

Curious, I researched why such changes took place for me. That’s when I came across Dr. Jakubowicz’s quote, along with many blog articles advocating eating cake for breakfast. These sources point to the fact that peoples' metabolisms are most active in the morning as part of the biorhythm cycle to wake us up internally.

“It has been demonstrated that the same meal eaten at different times of the day may exert different metabolic effects; thus, it appears that a morning meal is associated with better control of body mass than when the same meal is eaten later in the day.[2]

As such, eating heavy foods like granola and cake are better to have during this window since you tend to burn more calories when your metabolism is revved up.

And because you consume heavier items earlier in the day, your body’s signaling system keeps telling you that you’re full for longer periods.

I am also able to sustain my new eating habits, and even have my sweet tooth alleviated. Restrictive diets that have small breakfasts and no desserts, on the other hand, may have people lose weight in the short term, but by messing with the body’s biorhythm, over time tend to fail. That’s what Dr. Jakubowicz means by “increased compliance.”

The quality of food eaten is also significant for weight loss. Note that I don’t have just cake for breakfast, but rather a small slice with a fruit granola. Additionally, I make the cake myself, so I control the amount of sugar and processed flour that goes in. Check out my recipe here Mixed Nut Chocolate Cake. To see exactly why my ingredient choices were tailored towards weight loss efforts, see Have Cake to Lose Weight.

For these reasons, then:

  • Heavier breakfasts
  • Quality food
  • Sustained eating habits

I came to eat less for lunch and naturally avoided any unwanted weight gain, and even lost weight, over time. What have been your experiences with meal timings and amounts? Do you have one large meal a day, or do you find grazing on lots of small meals a day work for you?

 
 

References

[1] Jakubowicz, Daniela, Maayan Barnea, Julio Wainstein, and Oren Froy. "High Caloric Intake at Breakfast vs. Dinner Differentially Influences Weight Loss of Overweight and Obese Women." Obesity 21, no. 12 (2013): 2504-512. doi:10.1002/oby.20460. p. 2511.

[2] Kanikowska, Dominika, Maki Sato, and Janusz Witowski. "Contribution of Daily and Seasonal Biorhythms to Obesity in Humans." International Journal of Biometeorology 59, no. 4 (2014): 377-84. doi:10.1007/s00484-014-0871-z. p. 381.