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If you’re trying to lose weight, you may have heard that skipping breakfast can help. But is this true? We take a look at the science behind breakfast and weight loss to find out.
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The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is deeply ingrained in our culture. We’ve all been told time and again that breakfast is essential for weight loss, concentration, and overall health. But is this actually true?
Recent studies have called into question the long-held belief that breakfast is a weight-loss necessity. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that skipping breakfast may actually be beneficial for weight loss. Let’s take a closer look at the research to see if there’s anything to this new thinking.
What the Science Says
Skipping breakfast has been associated with weight loss in observational studies. However, it’s unclear whether this is a cause-and-effect relationship. This article reviews the evidence on whether skipping breakfast can help you lose weight.
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the effect of skipping breakfast on weight loss in adults. The search identified 26 randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 2,013 participants. The meta-analysis showed that skipping breakfast was associated with a significant reduction in body weight (-0.44 kg; 95% CI: -0.81, -0.07 kg). There was no evidence of publication bias. In conclusion, this review and meta-analysis suggests that skipping breakfast may be an effective strategy for weight loss in adults.
Observational studies can show us associations between breakfast and weight, but they can’t prove causation. In other words, we can’t say for certain that breakfast is responsible for the weight differences we see in these studies. One potential explanation for the discrepancy between observational and interventional studies is that people who eat breakfast may be different in other ways from those who don’t. For example, breakfast eaters may be more likely to exercise, have a better diet overall, or get more sleep. All of these factors could contribute to weight differences that have nothing to do with breakfast itself.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there is no clear evidence that skipping breakfast has any noticeable effect on weight loss. However, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s still a good idea to eat a healthy breakfast as part of a well-rounded diet. And if you’re not trying to lose weight, there’s no need to skip breakfast!
Tips for Making Breakfast Work for You
Making breakfast work for you means finding a breakfast routine that you can stick to. If you’re not a morning person, that might mean setting your alarm a little earlier so you have time to eat before you head out the door. Or it might mean keeping breakfast simple with just a few quick and easy options.
Another approach is to make ahead some of your favorite breakfast foods so they’re ready to go when you are. This could include items like hard boiled eggs, overnight oats, or pre-made breakfast sandwiches.
If you’re trying to lose weight, skipping breakfast might seem like an easy way to cut calories. But there are some potential downsides to this approach. For one, skipping meals can make you more likely to overeat later in the day. And if you’re not eating breakfast, you’re missing out on important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can help start your day off right.
So if you’re considering skipping breakfast in an effort to lose weight, be sure to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian first. They can help you create a healthy eating plan that fits your unique needs and lifestyle.