Myth: Eating Breakfast Helps You Lose Weight

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Breakfast will not help you lose weight.  

Breakfast Omelet

Breakfast Omelet

Wait, did I just say that.  Yes, I did.  If you drift back to another article I wrote on breakfast preventing obesity, you remember that I said breakfast would not prevent obesity.  It is 100% correct.  To prevent obesity, you have to eat a healthy breakfast and keep your calorie intake equal to the calories you need to function.   Healthy eating is more than a single meal.  

You may even remember an article I wrote on eating breakfast and the observation from the National Weight Control Registry that people who maintained a healthy weight after 30 pounds of weight loss often ate breakfast.  This finding is not a causal relationship rather it is just an observation that they tend to have in common.  

A recent study from 2014 published in the Journal of Nutrition Science[1] compared those that ate breakfast and those that did not eat breakfast over a 4-week duration.  The study looked a body fat loss and weight a measured by the BOD POD (Air displacement).  They found that skipping breakfast daily for four weeks leads to a reduction in body fat and weight.  This concept is also confirmed by research on fasting.  People who often fast 18 hours from dinner to lunch with little to no long term effects.    

The bottom line: Breakfast will not help you lose weight and in fact, fasting through breakfast might actually help with weight loss.    

Footnotes
[1]Geliebter et al., “Skipping Breakfast Leads to Weight Loss but Also Elevated Cholesterol Compared with Consuming Daily Breakfasts of Oat Porridge or Frosted Cornflakes in Overweight Individuals: A Randomised Controlled Trial.”
Geliebter, Allan, Nerys M. Astbury, Roni Aviram-Friedman, Eric Yahav, and Sami Hashim. “Skipping Breakfast Leads to Weight Loss but Also Elevated Cholesterol Compared with Consuming Daily Breakfasts of Oat Porridge or Frosted Cornflakes in Overweight Individuals: A Randomised Controlled Trial.” Journal of Nutritional Science 3 (2014). doi: 10.1017/jns.2014.51
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About the Author

ChuckH

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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