Others say losing weight is all about the food choices you make. Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz says it’s all about the timing. This is the premise of her Big Breakfast Diet, about which she goes into detail in an eponymous book: The Big Breakfast Diet: Eat Big Before 9 A.M. and Lose Big for Life.
Under this regimen, you may eat voraciously at breakfast but lessen your intake as the day wears on. Such timing supposedly manipulates your circadian rhythms, which has an effect on the way the body utilizes protein and carbohydrates.
By tapping into this bodily process, the Big Breakfast Diet may just accelerate your metabolic rate and lead you to Slimville. Not only that, but Dr. Jakubowicz has also wagered the Big Breakfast Diet can fill you up efficiently. The payoff should be 25 lbs. of lost weight in about a month.
How the Big Breakfast Diet works
Take your breakfast within 15 minutes of your wake-up call, but not past 9 am. To Dr. Jakubowicz, eating breakfast before this time ensures your circadian rhythms are in sync with your metabolic rate. Lunch should be finished by 2 pm, dinner some hours thereafter. Adjust your breakfast “deadline” an hour later in autumn or winter. Do the same for lunch.
Generally, a breakfast in this diet may contain anywhere between 610 and 850 calories. Dr. Jakubowicz believes that eating a heavy breakfast decreases your appetite for the rest of the day. At its best, a big breakfast can lower your cravings for as long as 14 hours.
Despite its effect on cravings, a big breakfast does not make lunch and supper unnecessary. Skip them and you will experience “hunger crash,” according to the diet’s author.
Jakubowicz’s Big Breakfast Diet has two meal plans: basic (“turbocharged”) and relaxed. In the basic plan, you are given an allowance of 1,200 calories for the day, 600 of which must come from breakfast. The relaxed plan is the opposite; it gives you an astounding allowance of 3,000 calories – mostly from breakfast. This plan also provides just a tad more concessions of fatty food for lunch and supper.
What you can eat in the Big Breakfast Diet
Eat anything, a burger, croissant, cookie – anything. Everything virtually gets a green light in this diet, provided you have your fill of fiber and protein.
Jakubowicz cannot place a huge emphasis enough on those two nutrients. She says protein naturally cloys the body and gives it a sense of satisfaction. Carbs, when taken at the right time, i.e. before 9 or 10 am, are not deposited as fat in the body. Instead they are immediately utilized for energy.
For breakfast in the turbocharged plan, you may have seven servings of protein and two servings of carbs, plus two servings of fat. For lunch, you may indulge in three servings of protein; two servings of starchy vegetables; five servings of low-calorie vegetables; and a serving of fruit. For dinner, have two servings of starchy vegetables and two servings of fruits. But have only three servings of protein or none at all.
Every Big Breakfast includes a sugary treat. Its presence in breakfast supposedly keeps unhealthy cravings at bay later in the day. The Big Breakfast Diet suggests the following sweets for breakfast:
- 1/4 cup sherbet
- 2-inch-square brownie
- three gingersnaps
- six chocolate kisses
- eight animal crackers
- 14 jelly beans
Consider the following as a sample Big Breakfast then:
- three scrambled egg whites, with 2 oz. each of ham and cheese
- cereal in 8 oz. milk
- 1/2 English muffin with cheese
- fruit smoothie
- chocolate fudge brownie
Experts weigh in the Big Breakfast Diet Plan
It’s true that breakfast is the most important meal of any day. To take it means to manage your caloric intake well. Common research has also tied breakfast with healthy weight. Omitting breakfast, conversely, has been tied to heavier weight, even obesity.
But timing your breakfast, let alone increasing it dramatically, is just frippery, according to top dietitians and nutritionists. Consuming 600 calories before 9 am has no real consequence insofar as weight loss is concerned. In the end, you must only mind the amount of your caloric intake in any meal and the amount you can burn.
In fairness to the Big Breakfast Diet, top nutritionists like the fact that it recommends lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat. They just do not believe that circadian rhythms have a great effect on the way the body handles some nutrients.
Breakfast is a ritual often excised from many people’s waking days. Modern lifestyle has truly made preparing breakfast, let alone eating it, a great effort. On that note alone, the Big Breakfast Diet is already facing resistance.
But taking breakfast has many dividends, including weight loss. This is the high spot of the Big Breakfast Diet. It emphasizes the benefits of taking breakfast daily.
You may have better success of losing weight with the basic Big Breakfast plan, especially with regular exercise and diet pills supplementation. Do not count on losing more with the relaxed plan, which lets you take in over 3,000 calories every day.
More research must be undertaken to measure how influential circadian rhythms are on the expenditure of protein and carbs in the body. Till then, you should only think about the size of your breakfast, or any other meal for that matter, but not its timing.