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Forget the research! Why you should eat breakfast

Posted: Sep 12, 2013

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Forget the research! Why you should eat breakfast

This story came across my Twitter feed earlier today and it got me a little miffed. According to a recently released report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, we may have all been duped – breakfast may not play as big or any role for that matter in helping one control their weight as we’ve been led to believe. Indeed, it has been preached to the point where it’s become common knowledge amongst health professionals: those who eat breakfast are more likely to have better weight control compared to those who don’t. The idea is that if you don’t consume enough in the morning, you’ll over-eat later on as your body plays catch-up due to the lack of calories in the AM. These calories are also likely to come in the form of refined grains, sweets and salty snacks. As a result, you’re more likely to take in more calories than if you had eaten breakfast in the first place. But according to the authors of the report, the studies that yielded this message have been biased and only one was a randomly controlled trial (RCT) which helps to reduce bias yet it was very small and no additional RCTs have been done. So the evidence is weak at best.

Of course that doesn’t mean that breakfast doesn’t help, but rather that we don’t have well designed studies proving that it does. Well aside from the 78% of the folks in the National Weight Control Registry who report a daily breakfast. Those folks, and there are over 10,000 of them now, have lost on average 67.5lbs and kept them off for over 6 years.

Personally, in my experience working with hundreds of patients, almost all I’ve worked with have benefited from eating breakfast especially from a weight management standpoint. When their breakfast is optimized in terms of adequate calories and protein, they experience less hunger and subsequently consume fewer overall calories throughout the day.

And in case you need more reasons to eat breakfast, here are a few:

1) You’ll feel better – skipping breakfast can result in feeling hungry, tired and negatively affect your mental and physical functioning.

2) It’s an opportunity to eat healthy foods – such as dairy, eggs, whole grains, nuts fruits and vegetables.

3) It’s a chance to eat together as a family – family meals may be few and far between so why not take the opportunity to eat breakfast together. If your morning is rushed, try getting up twenty minutes earlier as eating together leads to a healthier functioning family, overall.

For healthy breakfast ideas, click here.