Skipping breakfast could be good for weight loss


Researchers found people who ate breakfast regularly consumed more calories each day. Past observational studies have suggested that eating breakfast may be associated with a lower body weight, but the new study - which looked at existing research - found that people who skipped breakfast weighed less.

Many of us grew up being told breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Additionally, there was little difference in effect of breakfast on normal and overweight people.

Meanwhile this new study, conducted by Monash University researchers, used evidence from 13 randomised controlled trials in developed countries, including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan over 28 years to determine the effect of regularly eating breakfast on weight change and daily energy intake.

"We found that those who ate breakfast tended to eat about 260 extra calories per day more and on average gain 0.44 kilograms [roughly a pound]", said Cicuttini.

The participants in the trials were of various weights and some were regular breakfast eaters, while others were not.

The analysis looked at relatively low-quality studies and dieters should keep that in mind.

It seems like research comes out on the regular that's in favor of eating breakfast. "Do what works best for you", said review senior author Flavia Cicuttini. "The study shows that simply having breakfast isn't a magic recipe for weight loss for everyone".

NHS advice warns: "Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight".

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It has previously been suggested that eating breakfast may help with weight loss because of the efficient burning of calories early in the day preventing overeating later on.

Past studies have found a protein-based morning meal, or a bowl full of oats first thing, could be the key to maintaining a steady weight and controlling your appetite later in the day.

"While breakfast has been advocated as the most important meal of the day in the media since 1917, there is a paucity of evidence to support breakfast consumption as a strategy to achieve weight loss".

What's more, researchers have thought that people who skip breakfast would feel hungrier later in the day and thus eat more.

But she also noted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to eating breakfast.

And Cicuttini acknowledges this: "In the case of people who exercise regularly and need calories to fuel their workouts, then they need to eat in a way to match these needs", she said.

Professor Tim Spector, of King's College London, discussing the findings, said that people have different preferences for when they eat food, which 'might suit our unique personal metabolism'. Since, the impact of breakfast on weight did not contrast between individuals with typical weight and the individuals who were overweight.

It's always important to discuss diet plans or changes with a GP or health professional. On average, those who skipped breakfast were a pound lighter than those who did not.