It’s normally recognised that the best way to live is to breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper, and now scientists have proven that historical maxim to be correct. A study of 50,000 people, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found those who made breakfast their largest meal had a lower body-mass index than people who ate the largest meal for supper, even when they ate a similar amount of calories. For the average man in Britain weighing 13.16 stone, the difference could shave 6 lbs from his weight without him having to exercise more or eat less.

Dr Hanna Kahleova, of Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California, lead author of the study, said: ‘Regular breakfast consumption seems to increase satiety, reduce total energy intake, improve overall dietary quality, reduce blood lipid and improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance… Eating meals in the evening has the opposite effect.’

My own formula, however, differs slightly. I have a modest breakfast at 5am having woken up normally at 4am, leave for the office, which is 5 minutes’ walk, have a few teaspoons of goat yoghurt at 8am in the office, followed by an apple, then lunch at noon and eat very little, at 6pm.

This routine has kept me fit and enables me to have a restful sleep at night.I find heavy eating at night to be a killer, and is certainly the main cause of obesity and ill health.