Conventional nutritional wisdom says breakfast is the most important meal of the day – but a new study suggests big breakfasts may actually result in weight gain by adding calories to your daily intake.
The study by University of Munich researchers, published in Nutrition Journal, showed that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast, according to the BBC.
And on “The Early Show” Tuesday, Health magazine Senior Food and Nutrition editor Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietician and co-author of “The CarbLovers Diet,” said the study’s main finding means a big breakfast resulted in a total increase of about 400 calories consumed over the course of the day. The only difference seen was the skipping of a mid-morning snack when someone ate a really big breakfast; however, that wasn’t enough to offset the extra calories they had already eaten. Those 400 extra calories per day would amount to an additional 41.7 pounds over the course of a year!
So, should people skip breakfast? Largeman-Roth says she hears that question a lot, especially “if you’re not a breakfast person. You should wait until you’re hungry. And when you are hungry, you should still have breakfast foods, because that’s sometimes the only opportunity in your day to eat fruit, low-fat dairy, whole grains. If you don’t need or want to eat a lot, try eating a banana. Fiber from whole grains fills you up and improves digestion. Food in the stomach keeps you focused all day. Eating breakfast, or something, helps with mental sharpness — it keeps you from having blood sugar go too low, which can affect your ability to concentrate. That’s why breakfast is so important.
What’s clear, Largeman-Roth adds, is that you should eat breakfast, but if you think magically eating 800-1000 calories on top of your usual diet will help you lose weight, then you’re wrong — you still have to limit the amount you eat.