On the other hand, a low-calorie breakfast increases appetite, especially for sweets, the researchers admitted.
The findings published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism were based on a laboratory experiment of 16 men.
They consumed a low and high calorie breakfast and dinner one day - and then vice versa on another.
The study also showed increases in blood sugar and insulin concentrations, caused by eating a meal, was diminished after breakfast, but not so much after dinner.
The results also showed eating a low-calorie breakfast caused sweet cravings with a higher appetite.
This suggests those saving all their calories for the end of the day may face consequences because they snack more.
Corresponding author Dr Juliane Richter said: 'Our results show a meal eaten for breakfast - regardless of the amount of calories it contains - creates twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis as the same meal consumed for dinner.
The US and Czech nutritionists tracked the participants for seven years and discovered eating the largest meal in the morning was among the most effective strategies for preventing long-term weight gain.