Is breakfast necessary? Here's how eating breakfast may help you lose weight

  • 1 Minute Read
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Is breakfast necessary for health or weight control? It's a long-debated issue. Read this post and decide for yourself.

Is breakfast necessary

Is breakfast necessary for good health? What the research shows

Breakfast skippers are typically not hungry and often don't want to force themselves to eat in the morning. Diehard breakfast eaters will swear on their life that the path to a healthy life starts with breakfast. So, who's right?

The American Heart Association published a statement paper on meal timing and frequency.

The report states that breakfast skippers are more likely to:

Note these correlated relationships do not show a cause and effect relationship between breakfast skipping and the health risks mentioned. Perhaps other health behaviors of breakfast eaters contribute to these differences?

Is breakfast necessary for calorie-burning and blood sugar control?

A study comparing the health effects of eating patterns reported that eating the largest meal of the day at breakfast won out. Two groups consumed the same diets and calorie levels. One group ate a large breakfast (700 calories) and a smaller dinner (200 calories); the other group ate a large dinner (700 calories) and a smaller breakfast (200 calories). Both groups ate the same lunch. The big breakfast eaters lost more weight, had smaller waist measurements, lower blood fats, and lower fasting blood sugar than the big dinner eaters. An impressive difference, considering that both groups ate the same number of calories.

Why might this be? Our bodies seem to be primed to burn more calories in the morning than in the evening. A study of normal-weight men found that the men burned twice as many calories processing food (known as diet-induced thermogenesis) after breakfast than after dinner. They also found that the men's blood sugar and insulin levels were lower after breakfast than after dinner.

Sadly, adding breakfast to your daily eating plan is no guarantee of weight-loss success. Researchers compared weight loss between dieters advised to eat breakfast or skip breakfast. They found no significant weight-loss difference between the two groups.

So, should you eat breakfast?

Ideally, yes! Breakfast skippers, conduct your "research," especially if you aren't meeting your health goals. See if adding a healthy, balanced breakfast helps you achieve weight loss and better blood sugar control. Most importantly, find a plan that helps limit your overall calorie intake while feeling satisfied and energized throughout the day. Tracking with MyNetDiary will help you discover what works best for you!

Additional articles you may find useful

4 Simple steps that will make your day better and healthier
Healthy and filling, high-protein breakfast recipes designed for weight loss
Looking for a healthy breakfast when eating out? Here are our dietitian's favorite options
What to eat for breakfast when trying to lose weight

Reviewed and updated by Sue Heikkinen MS, RDN, CDCES

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Diabetes->Health Meal Planning & Diets->Breakfast
Feb 18, 2021

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