649848 tn?1534633700

No Weight Loss Benefit to Eating Breakfast

Here's an article from Medscape regarding a study showing that there's no real benefit to eating breakfast when it comes to losing weight. In other words - breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day and skipping it doesn't necessarily mean you'll eat more calories later on:

"Despite long-held beliefs and widespread medical recommendations, breakfast does not appear to have an important role in weight loss after all, with a new meta-analysis showing no evidence that eating breakfast reduces daily caloric intake and weight gain is no worse among those who skip the meal.

"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," the authors conclude.

"This systematic review of randomized controlled trials examining weight change in adults consuming or skipping breakfast found no evidence to support the notion that breakfast consumption promotes weight loss or that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain," they add.

In their meta-analysis, Katherine Sievert and colleagues with the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, evaluated data from 13 randomized controlled trials, including seven that examined the effect of eating breakfast on weight change (n = 486) and 10 that examined the effect on energy intake (n = 930).

The study was published today in BMJ.

Although there was some inconsistency between studies, overall there was a very small difference in weight favoring participants who skipped breakfast (mean difference, 0.44 kg).

Meanwhile, studies in which participants were assigned to eat breakfast showed they had a higher total daily energy intake than those allocated to skip breakfast (mean difference, 259.79 kcal/day), contrary to theories that not consuming breakfast leads to over-compensation later in the day.

“There was no evidence that skipping breakfast was associated with an increased total daily caloric intake,” say Sievert and colleagues.

In an accompanying editorial, Tim Spector, MD, professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College, London, UK, notes that the "disadvantages of skipping breakfast have now been debunked by several randomized trials," which are examined in the current meta-analysis.

The conclusions were the same as in recent, largely ignored qualitative reviews, he adds, "namely, that no evidence supports the claim that skipping breakfast makes you gain weight or adversely reduces your resting metabolic rate."

Importantly, the overall data underscore that metabolism may simply be more of an individualized concept than has previously been realized, and a "one size fits all" approach may be futile, he says.
Low Quality Studies Included, Interpret Findings With Caution

In their article, Sievert and colleagues explain that much of the previous research linking consumption of breakfast with healthy weight is based on observational studies, but those studies may have important caveats in terms of participants' lifestyle."

The article suggests that there's evidence that fasting may be beneficial for losing weight and that the gut microbiome also play a role.  

You can access the entire article via the following link:

I've read other books and articles suggesting that the gut is one of the most important organs we have and our microbiome determines greatly how healthy we are and how good we feel.  
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Avatar universal
For most of history and still in most of the world breakfast isn't what Americans think of as breakfast.  We have a model that actually only comes from our English forebears.  Most cultures eat pretty much the same food for all three meals, as until some societies became very affluent you ate what you had, not what you wanted.  Breakfast would more likely be some form of grain and some form of legume, if you had them.  But so were the other meals.  I live a very unhealthy and weird schedule due to unique circumstances, but as soon as I moved out of the house at age 17 I've eaten pretty much what I wanted to eat whenever it was time to eat.  While I do eat cereal some days along with a banana and some nuts, other days I have a tofu sandwich and an apple.  When I managed health food stores I just grazed.  In Japan, breakfast might be some miso soup and whatever.  In France, traditionally, breakfast is a small meal of some form of bread and some fruit (and often a giant bowl of coffee).  I take after my Dad, who loved breakfast but didn't eat lunch.  I also only eat two formal meals a day.  I think we change as we age and we change as our circumstances change and if we move to a different culture, we'd eat like they do because that's the food we'd have available to eat.  Whatever works.
Helpful - 0
And also, I always thought, because it's not something I've really thought much about as I tend to do things my own way, that the reason breakfast was the most important meal wasn't about weight but about energy.  If you've got to go out and do hard labor, as most people have for most of history, you'd probably need something substantial to get you going.  In our sedentary life today, you don't need that necessarily but it still might not be a good idea, quite apart from any effect on weight.  Weight isn't the most important thing in life, health and energy is, and weight is only important insofar as it pertains to those two things.
134578 tn?1642048000
It doesn't help breakfast that the traditional menu is so dull -- who can face yet another bowl of cereal some mornings? The other day we had some leftover sushi on hand (cucumber rolls) and my son was very pleased to have that for breakfast, wasabi , soy sauce and all. In fact, he almost always has more of an appetite in the morning if the food is not "breakfast food." In this last month alone, he has happily eaten for breakfast: dolmathes; potato salad; sliced bananas with whipping cream poured over them; a ham sandwich, celery sticks and pickles, applesauce and raw sunflower seeds. I'd rather have green salad at that time of day myself, liking eggs better for lunch, in sandwiches.  I also liked the article's reinforcement of the new notion of prolonging one's fasting time of day. I used to do that all the time when I was younger -- my stomach would not wake up until about 2 pm, if I hadn't eaten first thing. That saved me a lot of time!
Helpful - 0
I agree with you about the menu we've all come to think of as "breakfast"... we tend to look at it as being bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, grits, toast, pancakes/waffles/French toast, etc and if we venture from that we're somehow "strange".  I tend to prefer the breakfast foods later in the day as well.  I'd rather have eggs for at the noon or evening meal , what little cereal I eat is, often an evening snack, etc.

I don't think it matters one bit what we eat when, as long as the things we're eating throughout the day are healthy... As far as I can see, the only problem might be if one is on a medication that requires separation of certain foods, vitamins, minerals, etc from the medication - as in my case with thyroid medication, I have to avoid high calcium foods (or supplements) for 4 hours and high fiber foods for a couple hours after taking my medication since they impede absorption of the medication... that's not to say I couldn't have a drizzle of milk in my coffee if I wanted it, because I'm not supposed to drink coffee for 30-60 minutes after taking my medication either, so it is necessary to watch that type of restrictions.  That's a separate post about researching medications and how to take them... lol

There's also more and more coming out about the merits (or lack) of intermittent fasting.  Some say fasting for up to 16 hrs is really good and some say longer is better; some say that's not right, but it looks like the concensus might end up being whatever works best for your body is what you should do.... The biggest problem I find with not eating until noon or later is that I end up not getting nearly enough food to supply adequate vitamins/minerals, but then I have to supplement most of those anyways due to poor absorption, so I doubt if that's even an issue as long as I take my supplements consistently.  

Some days I find that my glucose levels are very low and I really "need" something to eat to keep away those hypoglycemic shakes and weakness and other days, I'm fine waiting until lunch to have something to eat.  It does kind of depend on my schedule, as well - if I know I'm going to be busy at my usual lunchtime, I'm more likely to grab something quick in the morning to help make it past lunch and into the afternoon.
973741 tn?1342342773
That's interesting, Barb.  I'm not one to be very hungry in the morning.   I've taken some grief for it over the years.  (my husband is a firm believer in it).  I try with my kids, though, to give them some protein every morning (one has a probiotic smoothie and nuts lots of mornings and that's it, NOT a breakfast eater) and the other eats as much at breakfast as he does at any other meal if not more.

This takes the pressure off.  lol  I do find that some days I'm just fine at dinner time and beyond and at other times, I'm ravenous.  I don't know if that is hormones or stress eating or what.  Now I know it is not related to what I ate in the morning!

Helpful - 0
I think for kids going to school, many need food for the energy to keep going till lunch time, but some just don't need it.

I'm not a breakfast eater either, but sometimes I find a need a little something to give a boost of energy.   I think my night time snacking is most often stress eating, or sometimes, even boredom.  If I think it's boredom, I'll get up and do a load of laundry, sweep the floors, etc and if I think it's stress, I might try writing in my journal or something; even reading a book or searching online for catchy sayings, etc helps ease the stress - anything to take my mind off whatever happened during the day that caused me to feel stressed/anxious, etc.
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