Medicine

Skip the toast? Why breakfast might not be that important after all

Skip the toast? Why breakfast might not be that important after all

A new study has found that breakfast probably isn't the most important meal of that day and that dieters may have better luck losing weight if they skip the meal.

But a new study seems to go against that.

Here is what they found: Those who ate breakfast tended to consume 260 extra calories per day compared to those who skipped it. Participants who skipped breakfast were also 0.44 kg lighter, on average.

The authors said the overall quality of the studies was low and more research is needed. Do you eat breakfast regularly or do you skip it?

Some of the trials tested if adding or skipping breakfast could affect weight; others looked at whether breakfast would affect a person's total calories in a day. The study shows that simply having breakfast isn't a magic recipe for weight loss for everyone.

While some previous studied had identified a link between eating breakfast and maintaining a healthy weight, this latest study found that, in the majority of those instances, they were observational and more of a reflection of the individual's lifestyle.

Researchers said that people who followed these two behaviours were less likely to gain weight and had a smaller waist circumference.

While previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast may help with weight loss because of the efficient burning of calories early in the day preventing overeating later on, reviewers found no significant difference in metabolic rates between breakfast eaters and skippers.

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'Caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it could have the opposite effect.

"While breakfast has been advocated as the most important meal of the day in the media since 1917, there is a paucity of evidence to support breakfast consumption as a strategy to achieve weight loss".

According to du Plessis, it's not how or when you eat, but what you eat that's important. 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.

A group from Monash University in Melbourne broke down the impact of routinely having breakfast on weight change and every day energy admission.

The research also shows that you don't have to eat a good breakfast in order to set you up for the day or to stop you from getting hangry later in afternoon.

The trainer to stars such as Margot Robbie, Claudia Schiffer, and Colin Firth is an advocate of time-restricted eating, also known as intermittent fasting, whereby you limit your window of consumption to, ideally, eight hours.

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).

But the BMJ research did not look at this aspect of breakfast.