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New Study: Skipping Breakfast is Healthy

By HERWriter Guide
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Diet & Nutrition related image Photo: Getty Images

Growing up, a lot of us heard that we should “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” – meaning we should start off with higher calorie meals and taper down throughout the day, finishing with a light calorie dinner.

The thinking behind this saying was that eating our calories early would allow our bodies to work them off and that sleeping on a full stomach could cause weight gain. But a new study has emerged that said a full breakfast does not indicate healthier eating habits. In fact, those who eat a large breakfast in the morning went on to eat as many calories during the rest of the day as those who ate a small breakfast or none at all.

The German study, published in Nutrition Journal, followed the eating habits of 280 obese people and 100 people of normal weight. They all kept a journal of everything they ate for breakfast (the typical foods like cereals, yogurts, sausage and eggs were eaten) and the rest of their meals throughout the day. Researchers then counted the days' total calories. Results showed that eating a very small breakfast or skipping it altogether did not cause people to make up for it later by eating larger lunches or dinners. In fact, breakfast seemed to have little impact on the rest of the day’s food consumption. The only thing a large breakfast did was add many calories to the day's total.

One of the senior researchers of this study, Dr. Volker Schusdziarra, a professor of internal medicine at the Technical University of Munich, said when people talk to him about nutrition, they often mention they skip breakfast. His advice? “Keep doing what you’re doing…eating breakfast is just added calories. You’ll never compensate for them at subsequent meals.”

Tell Us
Do you notice a difference in your eating habits if you skip breakfast? What do you make of this study? Would the results encourage you to eat little or no breakfast?

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I'm a Registered Nurse and discovered when I was in my late teens that if I skipped breakfast I would lose weight more rapidly than if I didn't. I also noticed that I ate less at my remaining meals. I came to the conclusion that this was because the size of my stomach had shrunk because of the decrease in the amount and consumption of food. I have never agreed with the old wives tale that if you eat a heavy supper within a couple of hours of going to sleep or have anything just prior to bed it will become fat. If that were true then why would these same housewives give their children a bedtime snack? To fatten them up? No. It was so they would supposedly sleep better through the night. You won't get fat if you eat the same amount of calories at 10pm as you would have at 6pm. Calories are calories. What matters here is your energy expenditure. Did you burn up more calories than you took in? if you did than you can count on a reduction in your weight; and if you keep it up, quite possibly in your hip size.

June 1, 2011 - 10:51am
EmpowHER Guest

I've been skipping breakfast for around twelve months and lost 16kgs during this time. I also excercise (heavy) at least 45 minutes a day with some days as much as 2 hours. My evening meal, if anything, is reduced is size because my stomach seems to fill quickly. I still need to lose 4-5 kgs to be in the correct BMI range.

March 24, 2011 - 10:35pm
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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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