Health Care

Will eating breakfast help you lose weight? Maybe

Will eating breakfast help you lose weight? Maybe”

Breakfast may not be the "most important meal of the day" after all, at least for people trying to lose weight.

It found that total daily energy intake was higher in groups who ate breakfast compared with those who skipped it by an average of 260 more calories consumed in a day, regardless of their usual breakfast habits.

Commenting on the results, Dr Frankie Phillips, registered dietitian for the British Dietetic Association, said: "Whilst some studies do show that people who eat breakfast tend to be a healthier weight, there is no clear benefit of starting to eat breakfast just as a tool to lose weight".

The study draws together data from randomised controlled trials in which some participants were told to skip breakfast and others to eat...

Researchers also found those skipping breakfast were also around a pound lighter on average.

It's hardly groundbreaking to discover that eating one less meal in the day will help you to lose weight.

If you're trying to lose weight you've probably been told not to skip breakfast, as it could make you hungrier later in the day.

Rather, the review found that people who ate breakfast consumed more calories during the day and weighed slightly more than people who skipped the morning meal. A number of studies have looked into the relationship between eating breakfast and body weight, some past work indicating that eating breakfast was linked to lower weights.

"If you eat breakfast, you won't metabolise [your food] better and you may still be hungry later on".

"Although eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects, caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it may have the opposite effect".

The review also didn't find any significant differences in metabolic rates between breakfast skippers and breakfast eaters. It also challenges studies that suggest skipping breakfast can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to weight gain.

But this new Australian research in the BMJ, which reviewed the results of 13 separate trials on breakfast eating, weight change and energy intake, found little evidence for those views.

"There's nothing protective about having a pastry, just because you eat it in the morning", she says.

Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

The researchers said that because of the varying quality of the studies included, the findings should be interpreted with caution. But what we tend to see is that there's a strong push towards eating breakfast because "you should".

It's common for people on such protocols to break their fasts at lunchtime, regularly skipping breakfast and finishing their day's feeding with dinner at about 8pm.

According to Cicuttini, "The key message is that if a person likes to eat breakfast, that is fine".

"We can conclude that modification of diets to include consumption of breakfast might not be a good strategy for weight loss".

While several studies have linked lower body weight to frequent breakfast consumption, King's College London professor Tim Spector noted such research is "flawed by bias".

Eating breakfast won't make you slim if you're knocking back a bowl of sugar disguised as cereal, or a full English (which can tally at 800-1000 calories, far above the 200-400 in a serving of cereal).

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