For years, weight management experts have staunchly promoted eating breakfast (I prefer to call it your ‘morning meal’) as a mainstay of a weight loss diet. Well, hold onto your hat, Honey, it may not be so. A recent study, while linking breakfast skippers to being overweight (that’s called correlation), didn’t find causation – in other words, that skipping breakfast causes weight gain. What it did find was that breakfast or no, all study participants lost the same amount of weight.
That’s confusing. True, that’s what research does. It shows different sides of the story, yet uses different methods to get to those conclusions so you can’t really compare them.
I turn to an observation study. In the Weight Control Registry, a very high percentage of its over 4,000 members (80%) who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off at least for one year, claim that eating breakfast keeps their weight in check. 90% eat breakfast 5 days a week.
Back to the question: To eat or not to eat a morning meal?
Eat it. It establishes routine, structure, pattern. Without a plan, we eat willy nilly. We eat whatever is in our path – pastries, donuts, fatty high calorie breakfast sandwiches that are useless and unproductive fuel in our body. Know tonight what you’re eating tomorrow – at every meal, not just breakfast. You’ll lessen the changes of bailing on your exercise plans or picking up lunch and dinner at the noodle house or pizza shop down the block.
A good breakfast will have some protein food (egg, beans, dairy or soy milk) and carbohydrate from fruits, vegetables and whole grains (spinach and mushroom omelet with whole grain toast, high fiber low sugar cereal with banana and blueberries, or bowl of fresh fruit topped with yogurt, nuts and granola). Bon appetit!
Study demonstrates no effect whether breakfast or skip breakfast.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun 4. pii: ajcn.089573.