Eat More Calories in the Morning to Lose Weight

A calorie is not a calorie—it not only depends what you eat, but when you eat.

New subscribers to our e-newsletter always receive a free gift. Get yours here:

Isn’t that wild? Two pounds of weight loss a week eating the same number of calories. But that was a pretty extreme study. What about just shifting a greater percentage of calories toward earlier in the day? That’s the subject of my next video on the subject, Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, Dinner Like a Pauper ( ). But first we’re going to take a break from chronobiology to look at the Benefits of Garlic for Fighting Cancer and the Common Cold ( ).

Then we’ll resume with:
• Eat More Calories in the Morning Than the Evening ( )
• How Circadian Rhythms Affect Blood Sugar Levels ( )
• How to Sync Your Central Circadian Clock to Your Peripheral Clocks ( )
• The Metabolic Harms of Night Shifts and Irregular Meals ( )
• Shedding Light on Shedding Weight ( )
• Why People Gain Weight in the Fall ( )

If you missed the first three videos in this extended series, check out:
• Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal for Weight Loss? ( )
• Is Skipping Breakfast Better for Weight Loss? ( )
• Chronobiology – How Circadian Rhythms Can Control Your Health and Weight ( )

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.
UPDATE: We are currently testing the removal of the comment section across all video pages on the website until October, and it will either be reinstated thereafter or removed permanently based on the results. Please feel free to continue your discussions by commenting on our YouTube channel and social media accounts, where we will have Health Support volunteers available to address questions.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at . You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

If you’d rather watch these videos on YouTube, subscribe to my YouTube Channel here:

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

Captions for this video are available in several languages. To find yours, click on the settings wheel on the lower-right of the video and then "Subtitles/CC."
Do you have feedback about the translations in this video? Please share it here along with the title of the video and language:

Image credit: Dustin Kirkpatrick

• Subscribe:
• Donate:
• Podcast :
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
• Instagram:
• Books:
• Shop:

Dave McKinnon

  • Moon Ram says:

    Genius Dr Greger 🔥! Thank you so much for your work… really interesting subject which I’ll start to apply in my daylife immediately!! 👍👍

  • TheCraich says:

    It would be extremely helpful if you would do a video for those of us who are night workers. I’m already WFPB and I cycle 32 kms a day but I still have health problems and I can’t get my weight down.
    Thanks for the hard work, you’ve really made a big difference in my life.

    • Natasha says says:

      He did mention results were the same for people who stayed up all night, slept all day and ate their omad at night.

    • Tamara Rogers says:

      You may want to check out the medical medium audio books. It’s a bit out there, but it’s plant-based and may give you ideas (another perspective) on your specific health issues.

    • dempseykat says:

      There is also some mention of night workers in the book How Not to Diet. You should see whether your local library has a copy; if they don’t, you can ask them to order it.

    • Heidi says:

      Maybe due to shift work you don’t sleep enough hours (min 7, best 8-9), that will keep the weigh up.

    • xxdrowssapxx1 says:

      Eat less calorie dense foods. Reduce nuts and seeds while increasing leafy greens and fruit.

  • Claudia Glows says:

    It is so refreshing to listen to someone with common sense and the knowledge to back it up
    Everyone just keeps intermittent fasting, not eating till later in the day and than eating the bulk of their calories before bed, just because they read that intermittent fasting is the way to go.
    I am so glad you made this video!

    • suicune2001 says:

      I think it’s also this thing people have where they don’t like going to sleep on an empty stomach. I honestly prefer going to bed slightly hungry because a full belly is uncomfortable for me when I try to sleep.

    • Chess Warrior says:

      You are misinformed -> IMF is not eating the bulk of your calories before bed.

    • Claudia Glows says:

      Jeff Hall I simplified my explanation
      I do however people who do it that way
      I know IF can be done many different ways and if dine working with the circadian rhythm makes way more sense , than skipping breakfast

  • Rabbit Food Fitness says:

    Nice video! It is so interesting to know that if you eat food at different times you can gain weight. So interesting! Thanks for the video. Your videos always inspire me to keep posting on my channel.

    • dj121 says:

      This is rubbish. I eat most if not all of my calories after 4 pm and I’m 5 ft 8 in and 125 pounds. I can’t eat in the morning. Why should I force myself to eat when I’m not hungry? I eat 2000-3000 calories from 3-9pm and it causes me zero problems

    • Rabbit Food Fitness says:

      @dj121 Thank you for sharing your story, but I don’t consider this video to be rubbish. It sounds to me that you are at a good weight for your height and because of that you don’t need this video. This video is for people who want to optimize their eating habits more in order to lose weight. Also, this video is not saying that a person can’t lose weight or be healthy when they eat at different times in the day (in fact I actually eat dinner as late as 10 pm sometimes). What this video is saying is that if a person really wants to lose weight they may want to CONSIDER switching the time that they eat. Also, the difference in weight in the study was 2 lbs which is significant for a study because it’s measurable, but not as significant for people. Also, the fact that you are not really hungry in the morning is mentioned in the video as a possible mechanism as to why people lose more weight eating in the morning. People typically are less hungry. I’m happy that you found something that works for you. Thanks for the comment! I hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Level Up Wellness says:

    This stuff on chronobiology is blowing my mind! Thanks nutrition facts for the latest in nutrition research! 😄🙏🏼

  • Carmela Cristoforo says:

    ” but then things start to get weird ” Love you Dr. Greger!

  • Beachbabe says:

    I’ve been doing this! I consume all of my calories until about 4pm. With most being taken in until about noon. I have been falling asleep faster, sleeping deeper, and waking up more energized. I feel leaner too. 🤷🏼‍♀️
    Thanks for the info Dr. Greger!

    • dj121 says:

      I do the exact opposite, I only eat after 4 pm and it cause me zero problems and I’ve never been overweight

    • Marcio da silva rocha says:

      I am having the same experience.

    • jay says:

      You look great.

    • Vitamin B says:

      And what do you do after 4pm if you go out with friends somewhere? You sit and watch while they eat?

    • Wyrd Knight says:

      Works for me too! I have a 7am to 2pm feeding window. It was hard at first but then I started to enjoy how my afternoons and evenings didn’t have to be punctuated by meals. It gave me more time. After a few weeks I noticed I was losing weight, sleeping better, feeling more relaxed and my skin looked better. I don’t think it’s for everyone but it sure does something beneficial for me.

  • Your Fitgamer Saunak(YFS) says:

    My performance in running is better on empty stomach than after a meal with a 2 or 3 hr gap. Fasted cardio even after not eating for 16 to 18 hrs still better than eating a meal and then running. And I still lost a lot of weight like that even when I ate a large meal around 8 pm and stayed fasted through out the day. But now after hearing about the carcadian rhythm and chronobiology, I have been following this past a month. I can’t see any major difference yet. And I have started following this to lose that last bit of stubborn fat around the waist. I hope it works.

  • Daina’s World says:

    I lost eight pounds doing this three years ago. I’m going back to it this week!

  • WacKaKO says:

    Okay so I need help on this one. I want to gain weight and decided to make very loaded oat milk (150g oats/500ml water) and drink that for extra calories (564 to be exact). What worries me is the amount of calories can drink in such a short time frame, should I take it slow to avoid digestion issues?

  • THE BENGALI BaBu says:

    Happy to see science validate this claim, although I always felt like it should mostly be common sense.. but I guess that’s not so common. Eat only at breakfast and you’re active while carrying the weight of that food all day. Move weights and you expend energy which helps weight loss. Eat only at dinner and youre inactive while sleeping so you’re not expending as much energy as you would be if you were moving around with the weight of food.

    For social and hunger cue reasons, I dont eat only at breakfast, but I got a hard rule to eat my last meal 3-5hrs before bed, and my 1st meal within 1hr after waking.

  • KinaStar says:

    Thank you so much! I really need to drop weight on a whole foods plant based diet for 5 years now ❤️ I always overeat whole breads, potatoes, lots of smoothies with high nut butters and lots of avocados plus coconut. I eat a lot because I love plant foods so this is amazing and great! Thank you so much again ❤️

    • Sandy B says:

      I would try to cut out the nut butters and significantly cut down on the avocados and coconut and bread. Fill up on things like oatmeal, lightly seasoned vegetables, whole fruit, whole nuts (in moderation), beans, etc. Try to follow Dr. Greger’s daily dozen! You’ve got this!! So amazing that you have been plant based for five years! I’m rooting for you!

    • 123 245 says:

      If you’ve been trying for 5 years and you diet still isn’t working, you should make changes instead of continuing to eat the same way. Nut butters are very calorically dense

    • its me kimmy says:

      @123 245 bvv

  • piecesofme says:

    My waist line is bigger in the evening than the morning. Any studies on change in waist size over the course of one day in subjects who dry fast?

  • Gundega Roze says:

    If I don’t have an appetite in the morning, should I force myself to eat or rather have the bigger portion by lunchtime?

  • Mosa Sehloho says:

    I do believe that every one is different, I lived on eating a healthy and nutritious breakfast every single day and had my late lunch/dinner at around 3:30pm and that would be my last meal. I lost great amount of weight without even exercising honestly,and then I followed intermittent fasting route started breaking my fast and around 12pm and 5:30pm.. Omg! It was terrible, I felt horrible, I was clumsy, annoyed, moody, started snacking of which it was something I NEVER did, actually I went CRAZY and gained all the weight back. It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve gone back to my old routine and I’m feeling a lot better. So for ME having breakfast early at around 9 to 10am is really really important other wise I’d loose my mind! We just have to accept that every one is different and what works for me might not work for you

  • Myra Naam says:

    That”s why the saying goes true. “Eat breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper.”

    I followed this method. My final meal was 3pm. I lost 30 lbs since July of 2019.

  • Anthony VenMans says:

    I eat TONS of veggies and a fair amount of protein in the evening (7 – 9 PM).
    Lots of carbs/fruits between 11 AM and 1 PM and I workout fasted with water and black coffee (between 8 and 9:30 AM).
    Feels great and have tons of energy!

  • George Hornsby says:

    I reckon a large part of it is due to NEAT. If you eat a big breakfast you are going to have more energy and move around more during the day, whether that be fidgeting or walking slightly more. You are going to burn a similar amount of calories in sleep regardless. The dinner group simply has less energy during the day and inadvertently moves less while they are conscious.

    Still makes sense to eat more in the morning and less in the evening though since more energy plus easier weight loss can only be a good thing.

  • Dracon says:

    I used to eat a vegetarian diet with 18:6/OMAD fast in the morning with good results then i was convinced to eat later and it led to weight gain and worse mood and less energy, and i was very confused because it promised the opposite. Recently i went back to breakfasts but this time with vegan diet, and i feel good.

  • Michelle M says:

    Because of this video I try to keep my healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, etc) limited to breakfast, bulk of carbs to breakfast and lunch, and dinners heavier on the veg… and started up evening fasting because of one of his other videos… it does seem to help a lot with weight loss and weight management

  • >