Published: Fri, February 01, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Will eating breakfast help you lose weight? Maybe

Will eating breakfast help you lose weight? Maybe

What's more, the scientists concluded skipping breakfast does not reduce appetite during the day, as previously thought.

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

NHS guidance recommends that people eat breakfast, citing research which shows people who regularly do so are less likely to be overweight.

They also challenged suggestions that skipping breakfast can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to weight gain.

Thus people who skipped breakfast did not compensate by eating more later in the day, the review found.

Registered dietitian Dana White, from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., said, "Maybe for those people who are anti-breakfast, this review gives reassurance that maybe skipping breakfast won't sabotage weight loss".

However, the researchers did note that eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects aside from weight loss, such as improved concentration and attentiveness levels in children.

The researchers of the study aimed to stress upon previous studies that claimed eating breakfast may help with weight loss; however, no significant difference was observed in metabolic rates between breakfast eaters and skippers.

The researchers said that because of the varying quality of the studies included, the findings should be interpreted with caution.

'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, including in adults with overweight or obesity'.

This meant those who ate breakfast experienced no weight loss and people who skipped their morning meal also saw no weight gain, according to the research published Wednesday in the BMJ.

Prof Cicuttini explains that the focus should be not placed on when we eat our largest meal of the day - whether it's at lunch or breakfast - but on total daily calorie content.

Previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast is linked with maintaining a healthy weight.

"But plan what you have as it's far better to take breakfast with you than to grab a chocolate muffin and a latte from the nearest coffee shop when you get hungry later".

A new analysis by Monash University in Melbourne looked at data from 13 randomized, controlled trials across the United Kingdom and U.S. over the last 28 years. "Interestingly we found this to be the case regardless of established breakfast habit".

Most of the studies tracked participants for less than a month. Furthermore, despite common belief, skipping breakfast was not linked to people feeling hungrier in the afternoon.

"If a person likes to eat breakfast, that is fine... there is no reason to change", she said.

However, Spector (himself a breakfast eater) acknowledged that time-restricted feeding is a "young discipline" that may only prove effective for "certain people".

'While waiting for guidelines to change, no harm can be done in trying out your own personal experiments in skipping breakfast'. "But there are certainly many people for whom eating breakfast is in fact likely to make it tougher".

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Try mashing avocado on toast for a light healthy breakfast What is a healthy breakfast?

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