Eating breakfast 'not a good strategy' for weight loss

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Weight loss and eating breakfast may not go hand in hand. [Photo: Getty]

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

Past studies have found a protein-based morning meal, or a bowl full of oats first thing, could be the key to maintaining a steady weight and controlling your appetite later in the day.

However, this popular strategy may not be all that effective, according a large-scale research published in the British Medical Journal.

Scientists from the Monash University in Melbourne looked at 13 controlled trials of mostly UK and US subjects from over the past 28 years, and analysed the data.

Those who eat breakfast were found to have a higher energy consumption during the day (an average of 260 more calories) compared to those who skipped the morning meal. Breakfast eaters also weighed, on average, almost half a kilogram more (0.44kg) compared to non-breakfast eaters.

What’s more, the scientists concluded skipping breakfast does not reduce appetite during the day, as previously thought.

“Currently, the available evidence does not support modifying diets in adults to include the consumption of breakfast as a good strategy to lose weight,” write authors of the study.

“Although eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects, caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it may have the opposite effect.”

The scientists aren’t the first to challenge the supposed link between eating breakfast and weight loss.

Followers of the popular intermittent fasting diet will often skip breakfast in order to limit their eating “window” to later in the day.

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