Big Breakfast Diet

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

big-breakfast-dietThe Big Breakfast Diet: Eat Big Before 9 a.m. and Lose Big for Life was created by Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz, a clinical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Hospital de Clinicas Caracas in Venezuela.

She promises dieters that they can indulge in cravings for foods such as pizza and chocolate and still lose weight, so long as these foods are eaten before 9 a.m.

The plan is based on the results of a study that compared the effectiveness of a low carbohydrate diet to a diet that included a big breakfast with a moderate intake of carbohydrates.

Even though those on the big breakfast diet consumed 155 more calories a day, after eight months the members of the big-breakfast group lost more than 21% of their body weight compared to just 4.5% for the low-carb group.

The connection between breakfast and weight loss has been understood for a long time but Jakubowicz has developed this concept further by specifying the amounts and timing of protein, carbohydrates and calories to be eaten throughout the day.

Big Breakfast Diet Basics


Jakubowicz explains how the body processes food differently depending on what time of day you eat. She says that a big breakfast will boost metabolism, reduce appetite during the day and eliminate cravings, which will not only help you lose weight, but also ultimately reduces your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Each day starts with a big breakfast that provides about 600 calories and is high in both protein and carbohydrates. Lunch and dinner are low in carbohydrates and provide less calories bringing the total daily calorie intake to around 1200. The book includes a twenty-eight day meal plan with recipes.

The Big Breakfast Diet advocates eating something sweet such as chocolate or cookies as a component of breakfast every day. It claims that eating sweets in the morning when your serotonin levels are highest and thus your cravings are at the lowest, will help to reduce cravings. Conversely if you restrict carbohydrates, this will exacerbate cravings, leading to binge eating and unhealthy snacking.

Recommended Foods

Pizza, turkey, cheese, steak, bacon, pancakes, bread, cake, cookies, chocolate, candy, ice cream, smoothies, fruit, vegetables.

Sample Diet Plan

Breakfast

Pancakes with berry syrup and ricotta cheese
Canadian bacon,
6 Herskey kisses
Watermelon smoothie

Lunch

Grilled chicken breast
Green salad with olive oil vinegrette
Steamed asparagus
1 peach

Dinner

Boiled egg
Large mixed salad
Steamed green beans
Blueberries

Exercise Not Required

The Big Breakfast Diet says that an exercise plan is not necessary to succeed with this diet, but an increase in daily activities is encouraged.

Costs and Expenses

The Big Breakfast Diet: Eat Big Before 9 a.m. and Lose Big for Life retails at $11.95.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

Pros

  • Eating a breakfast that contains protein reduces hunger and cravings during the day.
  • A moderately high protein intake reduces appetite and helps to maintain lean muscles while on a reduced calorie diet.
  • Will appeal to dieters who don’t want to give up their favorite foods.
  • Includes a twenty-eight day meal plan with recipes.

Cons

  • The research on which the diet is based has been criticized by some medical experts.
  • Encourages unhealthy food choices such as pizza, bacon, ice cream and candy.
  • Does not emphasize the importance of selecting high nutrient foods for health.
  • Calorie intake is too low, especially for physically active individuals.

Results Due to Overall Less Calories

Although there is definitely evidence of the beneficial effects of eating breakfast, it is most likely that the dieters in the study lost weight because of the very low intake of calories and the relatively high daily intake of protein, rather than the composition and timing of each meal.

The Big Breakfast Diet places an excessive emphasis on specific ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fat and a high intake of calories for breakfast such that the importance of the nutritional quality of the diet is completely overlooked.

When following a calorie-restricted diet it is essential to carefully select foods so as to ensure nutritional adequacy. Unfortunately, The Big Breakfast Diet promotes unhealthy food choices that will ultimately result in negative effects on health over the long term.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • oriana whitehouse

    This diet works. Can we start a forum or is there one already?

  • foodsgirl

    this diet hopefully works becuase, im going to try it for a few months.. i have heard that it works pretty good so im going to try it and ill let you know how it goes!

  • Gabby

    I am a nurse and a patient today told me about the diet…she states that, so far, she lost 35 kilos with the diet!!! It sounds great, fun and not as restrictive as others…the problem for me is that I just startend my new job and cannot afford to pay the $600 the book costs in Uruguay, my country…so, I will keep looking at reviews and wishing everybody good luck with the program!!! and hoping that some day I will be able to try it myself!!

    • susan

      $5 bucks on ebay or Amazon. I am just guessing on the diet and I’ll see how it goes.

  • Marysol

    question: is it okay if I get up and go to do exercise for an hour and then have a big breakfast or I should wait and do excercise later? thanks!

    • C.Rod

      For what I’ve read… you need to start taking your big breakie as soon as possible to your wake up time. Best if you start in the first 15 minutes after waking up… so probably exercise after breakfast is best…

    • David Hewitt

      Research overwhelmingly shows that you should be exercising BEFORE eating breakfast, so that you will burn your body fat. If you eat BEFORE you exercise, your body spends all its energy burning off the food you just ate, rather than your body fat.

    • ted

      Not sure if that makes a difference but 6 Weeks to OMG says that that is the best method.

  • Rayca

    This is a great book and diet to follow. I’m not sure about your CONS though. Did you read the book? The Dr. allows for up to 3000 calories to be eaten, if you want so the calorie intake could never be too “low.” There’s a ton of emphasis on fruits and vegs, root vegs., so I don’t know where you think nutrient-dense food is not being promoted. I don’t know why you would think it encourages bad food choices. The book is dealing with food craving addiction as much as weight loss. She goes into great detail why she wants you to eat these foods. Read the book.

  • Kosal

    This big breakfast diet have been around a long time ago
    In Theravada Buddhism, from country like Cambodia, Buddhist monk are only allowed to eat food from first wake up usually between 6am til12pm. After 12pm no more solid food are allowed only drinks e.g. tea, coffee, smoothie, mik, milk shake, water, fruit juice etc.
    The Buddhist monks usually rest, meditate by walking and sitting in the meditation hall in the afternoon and/or evening.

  • Secywoman

    I have tried this some years ago..right after my pregnancy in which I gained 25lbs…and lost it, plus More..damn near within 3-4 months…IT worked!! Though I did walk 2-3 miles a day too…I dunno why I didn’t turn back to it after my second child in which I gained 35lbs, now after countless dieting strategies…I am a girl that needs to find a diet in which I can stick to it longer than a day or 2..This is one I had ‘forgotten’ about..until TODAY, today I am starting it..I have a 20 year class reunion at the end of the month, so I am putting my faith back into this, going to do a 600-800 cal with anything I want w/in that range..lunch will be low cal with proteiins and fruit and then supper will be the same as lunch…water Only to drink in between followed by 2-2 mile walks..:) I am going to be Red Hot at my reunion, weighing less than I did when I graduated!!

  • KATHY BRAY

    i havethe book .its recommended to havea whey shake
    upon rising in the am. this is my first week . ive lost a lb. its not hard . plan ahead . i have consumed more veggies & fruit . since 20 years ago.
    your lunch & dinner is veggies & protein & fruit.
    the veggies are divided by starch . so amts 1/2 or cup
    depends on it. the fruit lunch more sugar less in evening.i love this diet or way of life.i tried the south beach .never worked for me all veggies in am.
    i couldnt do it.its nonsence for any one to say
    junk food is promoted . its not. small portions.
    i was a sugar addicted now i am not .thanks to this diet

  • KATHY BRAY

    I AM GOING TO TRY THIS DIET. I AM VERY ACTIVE IN THE MORNING, THE REST OF THE DAY I GENERAL READ & WORK ON
    THE COMPUTER . SO I FEEL I DO NEED TO HAVE THE LARGE
    BREAKFAST. I LOVE COLD FOOD TACOS, HANBURGERS , PIZA
    ALL OF IT.I EAT AT 10:00BUT THIS AM I ATE BEFORE 9
    IT DOESNT REALLY TAKE THAT MUCH TO ADD UP CALORIES.
    ITS THE BALANCING OF CARBS & PROTEINS . WISH ME LUCK

  • Mike

    Quick question, can this diet be effective if I have breakfast around 12pm? I work evenings so it’s kinda difficult for me waking up by 9am. Can someone please let me know, Thanks.

    • ted

      @Mike yes that’s fine it’s just saying that your first meal after waking should be your biggest. :-)

  • Stephanie Snigg

    I just brought the book, I have been doing a lot of research about this diet/ lifestyle and IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE! Its so obvious and practical. It’s just that were all so caught up in that current trend of things e.g. Small breakfast, medium lunch, big dinner.
    We need to reverse it people and start a NEW trend!
    BIG breakfast, medium lunch, small dinner.

  • Guy

    I started this diet about 3 months ago, but i didnt read about it anywhere, I just thought it up. I’m not over weight by much but I did lose 18 lbs (my goal is 28 lbs). What I do is I have a big breakfast, sort of what I would have for supperslashevening snacking, then the rest of the day its water, coffee, raw fruits and raw vegatables. I have a job where there is lots of manual labour, and I havnt felt a need to eat during the day. I do get real hungry at night but its just a mix of food cravings and then need for carbs. This diet I use has impressed me how effective it is and that you are able to follow it for the long term.

  • Mary King

    Some time ago I went to an Atkin Diet Club site. It was not connected with Atkins but was a group that were following the diet. I got a recipe for a breakfast casserole.

    Unfortunately I did not back up my computer and I lost the recipe. It used whatever meat you wanted to use(bacon, ham, sausage, etc.) It used 8 eggs, cream, cheese and some vegetable. This was baked in the oven. This was very good and something I could freeze and serve a portionfor my breakfast after heating it in the microwave.

    If any one has this recipe I would appreciate if you would send it to me. Thanks Mary.

  • Lucy

    I found about this diet about a week ago. I noticed before, that when I eat heavier breakfast (was very seldom) I am not really hungry whole day. I am trying this diet for a week and I lost 2 pounds (I have to lose much more), but the biggest thing is that I am not very hungry during the rest of the day.
    It is hard to eat big breakfast. I think that you have to increase it gradually otherwise you will feel sick.
    I bought the book, but I did not receive it yet. I am doing this diet based on people revues.
    About junk food, I think you can choose what you want to eat, as long as it is close to 600 calories.

  • hailey

    after looking at her descriptions i think the diet could work, if u include exercising. the food that is recomeended is JUNK FOOD. subtract fruits and vegetable. you need exercise to burn the fat from the foods.

  • Mary Lancaster

    This review is completely absurd. I have the book and it does not “recomend” junk food like you guys said. There is plenty of veggies and fruit and she explains how much sugar they have and vitamins your body needs. Any diet that tells you you are not allowed to have carbs or sweet its simply a recipe for disaster because no humane has ever lived without them!!! This diet is simply logical is how you body works. You can eat up to 3000 calories SO I RECOMMEND YOU ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK INSTEAD OF GIVING PEOPLE THE WRONG INFO . I have diabetes and this diet has completly changed my life a have never been so healthy I have lost 4 1/2 pounds in 3 weeks and my energy level has improve not to mention my humor. And I check with my Dr. and my insulin levels have also improve thanks to her I basically owe her my new life!!

    • Carlos

      If you get up at 6am, you have breakfast at about 7am, a snack at 10am, lunch at 1pm, a snack at 4pm, and diennr at 7pm.If you have a different daily rythm, don’t have the meal everyone else is having at the same time as them. You should adjust your meals according to your own rythm.If you get up at 4am, have breakfast at 5am etc. If you get up at noon, it’s breakfast at 1pm etc. Was this answer helpful?

    • ted

      The review doesn’t use the word junk food, but identifies some food as unhealthy which is a matter of opinion. While you may think chocolate cake is a healthy food choice, many others would disagree. It isn’t fair of you to criticize the reviewer because her interpretation of the book was different than yours, she was just giving her expert opinion and you are free to take it or leave it.

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