High caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Dec;21(12):2504-12. doi: 10.1002/oby.20460. Epub 2013 Jul 2.


Objective: Few studies examined the association between time-of-day of nutrient intake and the metabolic syndrome. Our goal was to compare a weight loss diet with high caloric intake during breakfast to an isocaloric diet with high caloric intake at dinner.

Design and methods: Overweight and obese women (BMI 32.4 ± 1.8 kg/m(2) ) with metabolic syndrome were randomized into two isocaloric (~1400 kcal) weight loss groups, a breakfast (BF) (700 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 200 kcal dinner) or a dinner (D) group (200 kcal breakfast, 500 kcal lunch, 700 kcal dinner) for 12 weeks.

Results: The BF group showed greater weight loss and waist circumference reduction. Although fasting glucose, insulin, and ghrelin were reduced in both groups, fasting glucose, insulin, and HOMA-IR decreased significantly to a greater extent in the BF group. Mean triglyceride levels decreased by 33.6% in the BF group, but increased by 14.6% in the D group. Oral glucose tolerance test led to a greater decrease of glucose and insulin in the BF group. In response to meal challenges, the overall daily glucose, insulin, ghrelin, and mean hunger scores were significantly lower, whereas mean satiety scores were significantly higher in the BF group.

Conclusions: High-calorie breakfast with reduced intake at dinner is beneficial and might be a useful alternative for the management of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Appetite / physiology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure
  • Breakfast
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Ghrelin / blood
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lunch
  • Meals
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Satiation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Loss*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Lipids