Eating breakfast may not help you lose weight, study says

Most Important Meal? Review Questions Whether Breakfast Is Really Good for Weight Loss

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Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but eating it won't help you lose weight, research suggests. Based on the studies, the researchers found that skipping breakfast didn't have a profound effect on afternoon hunger levels and that people who skipped breakfast were on average of about 1lbs lighter than participants who ate breakfast.

Commenting on the results, Dr Frankie Phillips, registered dietitian for the British Dietetic Association, said: "Whilst some studies do show that people who eat breakfast tend to be a healthier weight, there is no clear benefit of starting to eat breakfast just as a tool to lose weight".

However, those findings come from observational trials and critics say there may be other important differences between people who do or do not tend to start the day with a meal.

Scientists from the Monash University in Melbourne looked at 13 controlled trials of mostly United Kingdom and USA subjects from over the past 28 years, and analysed the data. (0.44 kilograms) more at the end of the study period (seven weeks, on average) than people who skipped breakfast.

"I don't feel the findings are robust enough to recommend [skipping breakfast] as a weight-loss strategy for most people", Hunnes told Live Science.

Having breakfast as the main meal of the day also significantly reduces the need for insulin by -20.5 units/day (from 54.7 to 34.8) compared to those spread out throughout the day, which requires people have 2.2 more units a day (from 67.8 to 70).

Previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast speeds up the metabolism and can help people to stop overeating later in the day.

But she also noted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to eating breakfast.

But the reviewers found "no significant difference" in metabolic rates between breakfast eaters and skippers. Many public health organisations and doctors have similarly recommended adding a healthy breakfast to your routine as a way to prevent obesity or promote weight loss. NHS advice warns: "Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight".

Eating breakfast has always been upheld as a weight loss strategy - but the latest research suggests you may be better off without it.

Kevin Murphy, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Imperial College London, said in an email to CNN that the study's "analysis suggests that eating breakfast is, on average, likely to make it more hard to lose weight, as you eat more calories during the day".

The theory that breakfast is the most important meal of the day may not hold true, research suggests.

Prof Cicuttini wants breakfast lovers to know that the study's authors are not anti-breakfast.

They also challenged suggestions that skipping breakfast can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to weight gain.

"If a person likes to eat breakfast, that is fine... there is no reason to change", she said.

'While waiting for guidelines to change, no harm can be done in trying out your own personal experiments in skipping breakfast'.

But study co-author Professor Flavia Cicuttini, of Monash University, said: 'Currently, the available evidence does not support modifying diets in adults to include the consumption of breakfast as a good strategy to lose weight'.

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