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Breakfast or No Breakfast? Jury is Still Out

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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

We each have our own early-morning routine. Whether we sit down to a large, homemade breakfast, grab a coffee and bagel from Starbucks or opt to skip the first meal of the day altogether—we’ve pretty much all carved out our customary way to start the day.

Even still, nutritionists and researchers have been telling us for years that eating breakfast is essential to kick-starting your metabolism and aiding in reducing food consumption the remainder of the day. We’ve been encouraged to wake up and start feeding and fueling our bodies.

But a group of German researchers is now telling us that a smaller or non-existent breakfast is the way to ensure your daily caloric intake stays small. The study, published in Nutrition Journal, contradicts the advice to eat breakfast.

“Researchers studied the food intake of 280 obese adults and 100 of normal weight. The subjects kept records of everything they ate over two weeks, and were carefully instructed about the importance of writing down what they ate as soon as they ate it,” according to a report from the New York Times.

Both groups of adults did not change their non-breakfast calorie intake throughout the study. The only change they made to their daily routines was adding breakfast, which largely consisted of bread, eggs, yogurt, cheese, sausages, marmalade and butter. Seems a hearty—not healthy—way to start the day and thus, reason why their overall intake increased rather than decreased or remained stable.

The Germans’ study sought to find a correlation between adults eating breakfast and feeling less hungry as the day unfolds because of the breakfast they consumed.

By simply adding breakfast high in fat and calories (up to the participants' discretion), it’s no wonder the adults in the study increased their overall daily caloric intake.

Seems the jury is still out on this one and that this study doesn’t really provide substantial analysis or evidence that skipping breakfast is the best option. The German researchers had the right idea, but their methodology was slightly off.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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