We are delighted that yet another study has debunked the widespread misconception that “you must eat breakfast.” The supermarket’s breakfast cereal section is the most nutritionally repulsive since it is filled with sweet carbohydrates in various colours and shapes that are passed off as healthy foods.
It is true that having breakfast is not linked to eating less or losing weight, which begs the question of whether skipping breakfast can aid in weight loss.
What can we learn about breakfast from research?
Numerous research on intermittent fasting indicates that while increasing the overnight fast is clearly linked to weight loss, it is also, and perhaps more significantly, linked to better metabolism. It is possible for fat stores to be used as a source of energy after an overnight fast of at least 16 hours, which is not particularly long. This is rational and physiologically sound: If we keep feeding our bodies with fuel, they won’t be able to burn fat. The notion that eating first thing in the morning speeds up your metabolism is unfounded.
So where did the myth that eating breakfast is healthy come from? It was not supported by research. Yes, but the research itself was the wrong kind. Only intriguing observations are produced by observational investigations. People who eat breakfast every day also typically have a better weight overall. That doesn’t imply that breakfast is connected in any way. It’s possible that those who eat breakfast frequently also have daytime schedules (no night shifts), higher socioeconomic position (can afford breakfast), or just more reliable habits in general. Observational studies don’t show any of them, which are all more significant factors linked to healthier weight.
What do the most credible studies conclude?
How therefore can the impact of having breakfast (or not) on weight be effectively researched? You should conduct a randomised controlled experiment (RCT), randomly assigning individuals to breakfast or no breakfast groups, and then evaluate specified outcomes, such as daily calorie intake and weight. RCTs are experiments that allow you to control for confounding variables, giving you greater confidence when drawing results. (However, we’ll discuss additional potential problems with RCTs in a moment.)
Researchers combined the findings from several RCTs on breakfast, weight, and/or total daily energy intake. They discovered 13 studies in total that satisfied their requirements, which included defining breakfast content and timing and conducting the trials in high-income nations (to be more comparable).
- After an average of seven weeks of research, participants in seven studies that examined the relationship between breakfast consumption and weight change gained 544 grams more than those who did not. Both normal and overweight persons might attest to this.
- After an average of two weeks of research, ten studies examined how breakfast affected daily caloric intake. Participants who ate breakfast ingested 260 more calories than those who didn’t. These findings assist in dispelling the myth that skipping breakfast can lead to binge eating later. Numerous studies have suggested that eating right before night is linked to obesity, although this has nothing to do with breakfast.
Do these studies have any flaws?
RCTs had shortcomings. Participants were aware of their experimental group membership. The investigations included distinct populations (college students, medical professionals, and members of the general public), different diets (crisped rice, wheat flakes, oatm eal), and vastly different follow-up intervals. It has not yet been done to compare a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast against nothing.
But ultimately, it says: “While breakfast has been promoted as the most crucial meal of the day. Including among adults who are overweight or obese, there is less evidence to promote breakfast intake as a weight loss approach.
What does having breakfast ultimately mean?
Having said all of this, if you love your breakfast and are in good health, then indulge. If you have a metabolic medical condition, you might want to consider drinking water, tea, or coffee for breakfast and then eating a balanced lunch. Or, at the absolute least, try to avoid eating right before bed. Regardless of your preferred routine, strive to increase the intervals between meals to offer your body more opportunity to burn fat. You’ll be grateful to your metabolism!