10

votes

Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince and Dinner Like a Pauper.

Answered on March 26, 2015
Created November 20, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Cortisol regularly fluctuates in healthy individuals. It rises and spikes at sunrise, spiking slightly less again at noon and then decreases for most of the evening as shown below:

Cortisol_Graph

My question to you guys is if any of you guys have tried eating according to your cortisol levels or your circadian rhythm. Since cortisol seems to have been dubbed the stress hormone, and since eating is generally regarded as anabolic, it would seem like a fine if not good idea to eat a big breakfast (tim ferris, Dr oz, jack kruse), less for lunch, and yet less for dinner.

What do you guys think? Has anyone tried something similar to this?

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 27, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Stephen I apologize if I missed something as far as how the hormones get regulated. I feel pretty good with how I do things now though so I guess I'll say it works for me at least for the moment. I'm not perfect on all the science behind everything. Thanks for posting the studies.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:34 PM

I appreciate everyone's input and while I don't consider any of these answers particularly definitive, I do hope that more people consider that the timing of their meals can affect their body; from Tim Ferris's recommendation to eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking to intermittent fasting and carb back loading there are many approaches and the approach that's best is the one that works best for you..

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on November 23, 2012
at 05:37 PM

+1 I also do this and it works out very nicely. If I have breakfast when I don't need it, I get hungry throughout the day, and feel less alert mentally. If I eat a big dinner instead of something small, I have trouble sleeping. So this tends to work out best for me.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on November 22, 2012
at 09:42 PM

Stephen, protein has been shown to raise cortisol in a number of studies: http://paleohacks.com/questions/144817/fighting-cortisol-and-high-carb-breakfasts/144823#144823 I'm not sure at this point carbs have been consistently shown to raise cortisol.

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on November 22, 2012
at 08:09 PM

I have the same preferences and follow the same general eating pattern as you, Jake. I sleep like a baby and I'm in great health. Cheers

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 21, 2012
at 12:31 PM

I just wonder if CBL is healthy long term or superior to a Big Breakfast diet. Because there is no doubt that people are seeing success with CBL and IF.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 21, 2012
at 12:29 PM

In a study on science direct, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938410003239 , it makes the point that carbs raise cortisol, where protein and fat meals seemed to lower it. This would mean that by fasting in the morning you prolong increased cortisol, and by eating carbs in the evening you also raise cortisol. Together these two activities would make your cortisol closer to a flat line instead of going up and down to such extremes, and a flatter cortisol is correlated significantly with all cause cardiovascular mortality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21346074

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 20, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I'm using cortisol as a catabolic state to burn fat in the morning. Low cortisol in the evening helps me build/maintain muscle by eating my carbs in the evening after resistance training ala carb backloading.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 20, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Well I know for me that I'm not really hungry in the morning. I love to eat a big meal for dinner so I make my lunch light. A light lunch also helps me not crash in a food coma during the afternoon.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:54 PM

See, this is what I'm actually wondering, because I've tried the little breakfast light lunch big dinner thing for, since forever, that's always been how I've eaten until recently (last week). But when flipping that (big breakfast,light lunch, small small dinner) I've noticed that in the morning I wake up with more gusto ready to kill some prey (steak) and in the evenings I feel more at peace (tired). Would eating when your Cortisol is low be in rhythm or would eating when your Cortisol is high be in rhythm and why?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Yea, I've just been doing this for a few days now and I also apply the old adage "Early to Bed Early to Rise" and I've just noticed that a big breakfast/lunch along with waking up early just leaves me feeling great. I remembered this Cortisol chart I saw a long time ago and thought maybe there might be some sort of correlation between diet and this. I'm glad to hear I'm not crazy and that at least one other person noticed the same thing, lol.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:01 PM

I eat like that when I'm working graveyards. The big dinner gets you through at 3AM.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Oops, I do have breakfast, but it is very light.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I follow the same pattern. Not too hungry in the morning.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Then you rhythms are way off.....

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6 Answers

best answer

5
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I'm eating according to my cortisol daily rythyms. I eat no breakfast, a moderate lunch, and a large dinner.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 20, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I'm using cortisol as a catabolic state to burn fat in the morning. Low cortisol in the evening helps me build/maintain muscle by eating my carbs in the evening after resistance training ala carb backloading.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 21, 2012
at 12:29 PM

In a study on science direct, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938410003239 , it makes the point that carbs raise cortisol, where protein and fat meals seemed to lower it. This would mean that by fasting in the morning you prolong increased cortisol, and by eating carbs in the evening you also raise cortisol. Together these two activities would make your cortisol closer to a flat line instead of going up and down to such extremes, and a flatter cortisol is correlated significantly with all cause cardiovascular mortality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21346074

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I follow the same pattern. Not too hungry in the morning.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 20, 2012
at 11:31 PM

Well I know for me that I'm not really hungry in the morning. I love to eat a big meal for dinner so I make my lunch light. A light lunch also helps me not crash in a food coma during the afternoon.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Oops, I do have breakfast, but it is very light.

4164a77c7ccf4839ec7f1e665d27cc6d

(1085)

on November 22, 2012
at 08:09 PM

I have the same preferences and follow the same general eating pattern as you, Jake. I sleep like a baby and I'm in great health. Cheers

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Then you rhythms are way off.....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:01 PM

I eat like that when I'm working graveyards. The big dinner gets you through at 3AM.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 21, 2012
at 12:31 PM

I just wonder if CBL is healthy long term or superior to a Big Breakfast diet. Because there is no doubt that people are seeing success with CBL and IF.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:54 PM

See, this is what I'm actually wondering, because I've tried the little breakfast light lunch big dinner thing for, since forever, that's always been how I've eaten until recently (last week). But when flipping that (big breakfast,light lunch, small small dinner) I've noticed that in the morning I wake up with more gusto ready to kill some prey (steak) and in the evenings I feel more at peace (tired). Would eating when your Cortisol is low be in rhythm or would eating when your Cortisol is high be in rhythm and why?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on November 22, 2012
at 09:42 PM

Stephen, protein has been shown to raise cortisol in a number of studies: http://paleohacks.com/questions/144817/fighting-cortisol-and-high-carb-breakfasts/144823#144823 I'm not sure at this point carbs have been consistently shown to raise cortisol.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 26, 2012
at 08:34 PM

I appreciate everyone's input and while I don't consider any of these answers particularly definitive, I do hope that more people consider that the timing of their meals can affect their body; from Tim Ferris's recommendation to eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking to intermittent fasting and carb back loading there are many approaches and the approach that's best is the one that works best for you..

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 27, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Stephen I apologize if I missed something as far as how the hormones get regulated. I feel pretty good with how I do things now though so I guess I'll say it works for me at least for the moment. I'm not perfect on all the science behind everything. Thanks for posting the studies.

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:17 PM

This is what I do, but more from an intuitive sense of what my body needs.

I also tend to stop eating around 4-6 pm most days and this seems to help me get a good night's sleep, compared to when we have a dinner party & I am eating later in the evening...

AND, I think everyone is different--no one-size-fits-all.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on November 20, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Yea, I've just been doing this for a few days now and I also apply the old adage "Early to Bed Early to Rise" and I've just noticed that a big breakfast/lunch along with waking up early just leaves me feeling great. I remembered this Cortisol chart I saw a long time ago and thought maybe there might be some sort of correlation between diet and this. I'm glad to hear I'm not crazy and that at least one other person noticed the same thing, lol.

4
0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on November 20, 2012
at 06:22 PM

Skip breakfast, lunch like a king, dinner like a pauper

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on November 23, 2012
at 05:37 PM

+1 I also do this and it works out very nicely. If I have breakfast when I don't need it, I get hungry throughout the day, and feel less alert mentally. If I eat a big dinner instead of something small, I have trouble sleeping. So this tends to work out best for me.

3
0f2cd316c08a5499ad23bcf54369b314

(80)

on November 20, 2012
at 08:12 PM

I used to eat breakfast all my life, I thought i couldn't live without it. Now I eat two meals. 12 o clock(lunch) and 19 or 20. I think ...I actually feel better(less headaches) and I don't have less energy this way so i guess its not a problem. :)

0
1d747827c9dfd361224062229a7b7534

on March 26, 2015
at 02:13 AM

This. "Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince and Dinner Like a Pauper. "

?? If your goal is preventing diabetes, then it's probably good advice.

0
4517f03b8a94fa57ed57ab60ab694b7d

on November 22, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I eat one moderate meal at the end of the day a couple hours before bed. Now you have me wondering if I should switch to a morning meal. Hmmm....

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