New Study: Skipping Breakfast Will Help You Lose Weight!
I'm 5'2" and I weigh 114 lbs. I skip breakfast; eat a full lunch and an even fuller dinner. For years, I've been told I need to fix my diet to adhere to the Indian adage of "Eat breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper." It's not as if I haven't tried doing that. On my trips back home, I've sat down daily to a huge breakfast because that's how my mom's kitchen is run. But, contrary to popular view that by eating breakfast I would be eating less throughout the day, I continued to feel famished at lunch time and starving by the time dinner rolled around at 8 p.m. And instead of losing weight, I gained weight!
Who was I to believe? My own body or scientists who have said for years that skipping breakfast can actually make you gain weight? Now a recent study has called the whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” mantra — and the government’s recommendations around it — into question.
When Columbia University researchers compared the effects of eating a high-fiber breakfast (oatmeal), a breakfast with minimal fiber (frosted corn flakes), and no breakfast on 36 overweight participants over four weeks, they found that people who skipped breakfast lost weight, while the other two groups did not.
“In overweight individuals, skipping breakfast daily for four weeks leads to a reduction in body weight,” researchers stated in the study. They proposed that, though skipping breakfast may cause you to eat more later in the day, your body is unable to make up for the calories from the missing meal.
Those findings contradict conventional wisdom, which, of course, is also backed by research. A study of more than 20,000 U.S. men ages 46 to 81 published in the journal Obesity in 2007 discovered that those who ate breakfast were less likely to gain weight over time than those who skipped breakfast.
That study, along with several others, was cited by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines advisory committee in 2010 to support the idea that skipping breakfast causes weight gain. The guidelines, which apply from 2010 through fall of this year, state:
Eat a nutrient-dense breakfast. Not eating breakfast has been associated with excess body weight, especially among children and adolescents. Consuming breakfast also has been associated with weight loss and weight loss maintenance, as well as improved nutrient intake.
The Dietary Guidelines are important because they are considered the authority on diet in the U.S. They are the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy and education, and they influence school lunches and other government-subsidized dietary programs.
Ahem. . . now that the Government's breakfast guidelines have proven to be inaccurate, may I have my Ms-Know-It-All crown back??