Once upon a time, someone proved to the world that having breakfast within an hour of waking up was more important than, say, taking your first morning breath. Several studies and journals including the current Public Health England hail the meal as the best thing to have ever happened to mankind.

Thanks to our body using up our energy stores extensively for growth and repair during sleep, these famous words were uttered and engraved in our minds forever: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

Just one question though: why don’t these words of wisdom mention anything about not feeling satiated with dinner? I mean, when the king decides to eat like a pauper, won’t his ‘royal instinct’ tempt him to eat more out of sheer hunger? And you know what happens when the king gives in to temptation? No points for guessing, he gradually becomes obese!

So, ditch “king-sized breakfast” for a “commoner-sized” one

What if I told you that you no longer had to force your non-hungry, in-a-rush, cranky morning ass to gulp down those bananas, cereal, paranthas, almonds, or milk? Because contrary to popular belief, breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day.

If you don’t believe what I say, this is what renowned Delhi-based nutritionist Rashim Malhotra has to say on the matter: “If you eat a heavy breakfast followed by a heavy dinner, your overall calorie intake increases.”

Now, raise your hand if you need a reminder about how important being in a controlled-calorie deficit is for weight loss. And well, if you did raise your hand, calorie deficit means consuming relatively lesser calories than your body requires to maintain your weight and perform other functions. #JustSaying.

Listen to your body instead of unsolicited advice

That’s the thing about your body: it doesn’t give you mixed signals like your toxic crush. It tells you clearly when it’s hungry. “So, eat when you’re hungry, not when you’re asked to,” states Malhotra.

In fact, celebrity lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho explained this idea in one of his blogs: “Your body has a building phase during which it needs to be fed for energy and you will automatically feel hungry during this time. And then there’s the elimination phase to flush out the waste during which you won’t feel hungry.”

Basically, eating during this phase is pointless since your body will concentrate on eliminating waste rather than absorbing nutrients.

Enter the new hero of meals: the evening snack

Here’s a simple idea based on some common sense and a bit of science. See, most of us have busy mornings and feel hungry by the end of the day. So how about having an evening snack instead of a heavy breakfast?

“By starting your day with a light breakfast or no breakfast, you’re saving the calories that you can consume in the evening when you’re actually hungry,” says Malhotra.

So don’t underestimate the power of an evening  meal

“You can have a handful of peanuts, chana, makhanas, or mixed seeds between 5 to 6 pm if you’re moderately hungry. In case of dire hunger, you can go for a chapatti with a teaspoon of ghee and jaggery or two three pieces of dhokla or steamed idli. You can even have poha or a besan chilla if you like,” suggests Malhotra.

Feeling the need to nibble on something? Well, there’s always makhana!

However, Malhotra warns not to curb your hunger with tea or coffee during this hour as it can lead to acidity. And obviously, all that caffeine can ruin your sleep.

Hurray! A hearty evening meal for the win

Not only will your evening meal keep you energized till the later part of the day, it will also prevent you from pouncing on a heavy dinner, which can be quite a task to digest. Obviously, you won’t feel as hungry and hence, automatically a “pauper-like” dinner to seal the deal.

So, you’re not cranky and you’re also being obedient here and you get to lose some weight too. A win-win situation I’d say! Now, go ahead and give it a try.