There is a cultural idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, many individuals and groups champion breakfast as a crucial component to weight loss, stating that it prevents snacking, balances metabolism, which leads to weight loss. A recent study has disproved all of these beliefs and has found no connection between breakfast and weight loss.
No connection found between breakfast and weight loss
The study, published in The British Medical Journal, says that there is no evidence that having a heavy breakfast helps lose weight, or that skipping breakfast causes weight gain.
In fact, the study showed that those who eat a heavy breakfast may be consuming more calories per day compared to others – by as much as 260 calories. Furthermore, the study found that individuals who skipped breakfast were not in fact hungrier in the day, and snacked no differently than those who ate breakfast.
Those consuming a heavy breakfast may ingest more calories per day compared to others
Researchers at the Monash University in Melbourne looked at the effects of routine breakfast consumption on change in weight and total energy consumption (calories). The review looked at 11 randomized trials targeted on the effects of skipping breakfast on body weight and metabolic rate. The results showed that those who did eat breakfast consumed an average of 260 more calories per day. They also noted that on average people who skipped breakfast weighed less – by 0.44 kg. The conclusion of the study was that there is no effect of eating breakfast on body weight.
Study mentions that eating a healthy breakfast is important for certain groups of people
The study does mention that eating a healthy breakfast is important for certain groups of people, such as children and athletes. It also states that eating breakfast may be important for other reasons, or in certain situations, but as an independent factor it does not change weight status, or make it harder or easier to lose weight.
- Sievert K, Hussain SM, Page MJ, et al. Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2019;364:l42.
Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.