If your aim is to shed a few kilos, it turns out breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day after all.
They also say those who skipped the morning meal did not have an increased appetite later in the day. That this strategy is not worthwhile in principle, suggests a comprehensive analysis (British Medical Journal: Sievert et al., 2018). But, overweight people who eat breakfast should be encouraged to count the calories they consume during the morning and see how they fit in with the rest of their meals throughout the day.
The researchers of the study aimed to stress upon previous studies that claimed eating breakfast may help with weight loss; however, no significant difference was observed in metabolic rates between breakfast eaters and skippers.
Carried out by researchers at Monash University, the new study looked at 13 randomised controlled trials from the last 28 years to investigate whether regularly eating breakfast could have a positive effect on weight change and daily energy (calorie) intake. (0.44 kilograms) more at the end of the study period (seven weeks, on average) than people who skipped breakfast.
The researchers in Australia also found that eating breakfast could still have some important effects such as improved concentration and attentiveness levels in children.
The findings of the Monash University research team suggest that skipping breakfast might in fact be a good way to reduce total daily calorie intake.
What's more, researchers have thought that people who skip breakfast would feel hungrier later in the day and thus eat more.
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While those who opted to eat breakfast, ate an average of around 260 more calories per day.
Still, some people just can't bring themselves to chow down in the morning, and with the growing popularity of eating plans like intermittent fasting, it raises the question: Is breakfast really best?
The authors warned that because of the varying quality of the studies included, the findings should be interpreted with caution.
If you want to lose weight, the usual advice is not to skip breakfast. Rather, it's that breakfast probably isn't the magic weight-loss solution it's sometimes made out to be, so it shouldn't be prescribed to everyone. The study found no good evidence that regularly eating breakfast helps us cut down on calories or avoid weight gain.
Additionally, this study specifically aimed to "provide important information for those who are overweight and are trying to work out what they might do to either lose weight or prevent weight gain" in the general population, not in athletes, according to Cicuttini. The topic of diet has dedicated TIME ONLINE with a focus on: "What can you eat today?"
To put that another way, you might as well argue that having more money and education makes you more likely to be slim - not the act of eating breakfast.
'While waiting for guidelines to change, no harm can be done in trying out your own personal experiments in skipping breakfast'.