Breakfast Not Important for Weight Loss After All

Weight Loss

For years, the breakfast has been touted as the most important meal of the day. The long-held belief was that skipping the morning meal is bad for one’s health and for efforts to lose weight. It turns out, according to a new study, that starting a day with a solid breakfast is not as important for weight loss after all.

While earlier studies showed a relationship between eating breakfast and better health, they were not all scientific clinical trials. Conducted by a team based at University of Alabama, Birmingham, the new study was a new clinical trial, which is considered to be more valid, that challenged the long-held theory about filling up earlier in the day helps control diet all day.

The Birmingham research team wanted to use a large, randomized controlled trial to determine if breakfast recommendations have any kind of effect on weight loss, with reducing weight as the primary outcome for which they were looking. So, in their study, the team recruited 300-plus participants who were either overweight or obese and consumed diets that either included eating breakfast or skipping it. After 16 weeks, the two groups, the breakfast-eaters and breakfast-skippers, lost equal amounts of weight. The results showed no difference in the weight loss for both groups regardless of breakfast consumption, indicating it might not be so important after all.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study actually had four groups. the two who were asked to either skip or make sure to eat breakfast and two control groups of people who typically ate or didn’t eat breakfast who were not given any instructions or nutritional information that mentioned the meal.

Previous studies mostly show a relationship between diet and health, but not necessarily causation, according to the study’s author Emily Dhurandhar, assistant professor in the school’s Department of Health Behavior. Her team sought to fill a perceived gap in previous research, which had typically asked participants to report on their diets and then looked at the participants’ health. “This is not a very accurate way to analyze things,” she noted, “so the new study wanted to do better. “

The research group hopes their study will actually change the recommendations that doctors and nutritionists make to patients about ways to lose weight. With the knowledge that the general recommendation to “eat breakfast every day” makes no difference in weight loss results, “we can move forward with studying other techniques for improved effectiveness,” commented Dhurandhar. She also noted that more research needs to be done to determine why eating or skipping breakfast did not influence weight loss, given the knowledge that what one eats for breakfast can affect appetite and metabolism later in the day.

While the current study suggests that eating breakfast is not important for weight loss after all, it does not address any other affects one sees from either eating or missing breakfast, or the actual breakfast content consumed. WebMD recommends that people continue doing what feels natural to them. If they typically eat, keep it up. Likewise, if they typically skip breakfast, that is probably okay. However, it is important to eat smartly regardless of the time of day.

By Dyanne Weiss

Web MD
Fox News

One Response to "Breakfast Not Important for Weight Loss After All"

  1. Ben @ TDF (@Totaldietfood)   June 5, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Actually really interesting. Its something that always seemed to help me but maybe just because I would be less likely to binge on carbs mid morning if I’d had a proper breakfast.


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