We’ve all heard the old adage, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, especially if you’re looking to lose weight. New research, however, shows that this may not hold true. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the weight lost by those who did and didn’t eat breakfast were not significant enough to prove the myth.
While the largely held belief was that eating a good breakfast would encourage the body’s normal basal metabolism rate to increase which would in turn help weight loss. On the other hand, skipping breakfast was thought to make people opt for foods which were high in calories as a result leading to a surplus of energy, which would then be converted to adipose tissue (fat) and stored in the body.
Out of 13 trials conducted, 7 examined the actual effects eating breakfast had on weight change, while 10 looked at how breakfast impacted energy intake. Analysis of the results showed that there was a very small difference between the participants who skipped breakfast and those who didn’t. The authors of the study also added considering the results they examined, that including breakfast might not necessarily be considered a good plan for weight loss.Furthermore, they noted that recommending adults eat breakfast, purely for weight loss reasons, might actually end up having the opposite effect than intended.
Researchers did additionally note that those who did eat breakfast tended to have an overall higher total energy (calorie) intake than the participants of the study who skipped breakfast. They’ve also asked that the results of the study be taken into consideration carefully and to not blindly skip breakfast, as there haven’t been too many studies conducted in the same line.
In addition, the trials undertaken consisted of small groups of people and were held for a short time period between 2 and 16 weeks. Nutritional requirements may vary from person to person, so a proper dietician or doctor should be consulted prior to undertaking any weight loss or gain strategies.