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Three square meals - but in what order?

The Reverse Diet swaps breakfast and dinner

Author: Doreen Corbey April 30 2008

woman eating fresh fruit

There is a saying: "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper". It turns out this is more than just a saying - there is solid science behind it!

When we take in food, it passes through the digestive system and is broken down. The liver is the most hard-working in this process and it is therefore good to rest it, as an over-worked liver will absorb fewer of the vital substances that your body requires.

Your first meal in the morning takes up to about 7 hours to digest, so by lunchtime the digestive system is working at a slower rate because it's already been working hard. Lunch will then take about 8 hours to be properly digested and dinner can take a lengthy 10-12 hours to be digested, so the next morning your body might still be digesting the food from the evening meal.

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Moreover, the evening meal is more likely to be laid down as fat if you are not burning it off efficiently. Some fitness experts recommend the evening as the best time of the day for exercising, because the body's efficiency in burning off calories is increased. If you intend to make this part of your routine, it would make sense to eat your 'breakfast' portion in the evening.

Trust someone in the States then to come up with a book based on this very theory. Released early 2007, The Reverse Diet, written by Tricia Cunningham and nutritionist Heiki Skolnik, quickly became a bestseller in the US. Tricia lost half her body weight when she stumbled on the idea of reversing your meals, eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, and has kept the weight off since. The theory of reversing your meals of the day has worked for many people and certainly has attracted a following in America.

Perhaps the idea of having dinner first thing in the day may be off-putting, but bear in mind that in some parts of the world, cereal and toast at the start of the day is not the norm; in the Far East for example one would generally have some mix of noodles, rice and fish for breakfast. In India, they may even consider a curry!

This 'reverse diet', like many others, is really a 'change your lifestyle' diet, so when you're next deciding whether to detox, GL, or just Weightwatch, the Reverse Diet might be another one worth putting on the list for consideration!

About the Author

Doreen has had a passion for massage since she was 15 years old. She still has that passion, and offers massage, specialist facials and other beauty treatments in her home-based salon in Surrey. With any energy left over she will devour all the beauty pages of all the magazines she can lay her hands on!

Doreen's homepage: Bellessence

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