Breakfast 'does not help you lose weight'

Breakfast 'does not help you lose weight'

Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day, but according to a new review out Wednesday in the BMJ, it won't help you lose weight.

Previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast would lead to a healthier weight.

In fact, the findings show that daily calorie intake was higher in people eating breakfast and that skipping brekkie does not cause greater appetite later in the day.

The researchers wrote: "This study suggests that the addition of breakfast might not be a good strategy for weight loss regardless of established breakfast habit". 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.

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, the new review is far from the last word on breakfast.

Spector also noted the growing popularity and scientific weight behind time-restricted eating, a form of intermittent fasting where adherents limit their food intake to a particular window of time every day - those on the 16:8 diet, for example, fast for 16 consecutive hours every 24 hours, and eat all their meals within the remaining eight.

However, the researchers added that there were limitations to their study.

Eating breakfast won't make you slim if you're knocking back a bowl of sugar disguised as cereal, or a full English (which can tally at 800-1000 calories, far above the 200-400 in a serving of cereal).

A new analysis by Monash University in Melbourne looked at data from 13 randomized, controlled trials across the United Kingdom and USA over the last 28 years. It also challenges studies that suggest skipping breakfast can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to weight gain. 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.

Breakfast eaters also weighed, on average, nearly half a kilogram more (0.44kg) compared to non-breakfast eaters.

And they say caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults - because it could have the opposite effect.

The review also didn't find any significant differences in metabolic rates between breakfast skippers and breakfast eaters.

What's more, researchers have thought that people who skip breakfast would feel hungrier later in the day and thus eat more.

However, the study's authors stress that the quality of the evidence is low - the results of the 13 trials differed wildly, and may not generalise to everyone - so their finding should be "interpreted with caution".

However, as the study reads: "currently, the available evidence does not support modifying diets in adults to include the consumption of breakfast as a good strategy to lose weight". They're saying that if you make healthy lifestyle and food choices - then eating breakfast won't have a detrimental effect on your weight.