The age-old advice about breakfast being the most important meal of the day is being questioned in a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. More specifically, the researchers wanted to see how breakfast, or lack thereof, effects weight loss. In a 16 week randomized trial of 300 obese yet healthy adults, no discernible difference in weight loss was found between those who ate breakfast and those that skipped.
So, should you feel guilty or not guilty about skipping breakfast?
To answer, let’s look at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), where the average registrant has lost 67 pounds and kept them off for over 5 and a half years. 78 percent of the registrants report eating breakfast daily.
A key success strategy in weight loss is eating frequently enough to never have to overeat. This means small meals or snacks every 2.5-3.5 hours throughout the day. If you skip breakfast, that means that you won’t have eaten for 12 hours, which is a lot. In fact, you are setting yourself up for a huge lunch or dinner, where you may overconsume your calorie allowance.
And yet, about one fifth of the NWCR members who lost weight and kept it off do not eat breakfast. How could this be?
The logical conclusion is that there likely no right answer. Each person’s metabolism works differently. If you can’t bring yourself to eat breakfast within 60 minutes of waking up, it’s not the end of the world. But since you’ll start getting hungry sooner than breakfast eaters, at least be prepared with healthy choices, so you won’t have to raid a junk food vending machine at 10am