From Ergo Log
‘Breakfast’ for nutritionists is like the ‘free market’ is for politicians – it’s the answer to everything. The more of your daily calories you consume first thing in the morning, the thinner you’ll be, say some experts. But researchers at the Technical University of Munich believe that a light breakfast is the best way to lose weight.
The researchers followed 280 obese people for 10 days and 100 people with a healthy weight for 14 days. During this period they recorded the amount of calories the subjects consumed – and when they consumed them. Then the researchers looked at whether there was a relationship between breakfast habits and total calorie intake.
The researchers had hoped that the subjects who ate more at breakfast would eat less during the rest of the day. But this was not the case. The calorie intake at breakfast had no effect on the calorie intake at other meals. So the breakfast calorie intake is not compensated for later in the day. The figures below show the results for the subjects whose weight was healthy.
The figures above show the results for the obese subjects. The same conclusions can be drawn for both groups: the more breakfast they ate, the more calories they consumed throughout the day.
As advice for people who want to lose weight, some nutritionists still adhere to the adage breakfast like a king, lunch like a gentleman and dine like a beggar. These researchers don’t agree.
“Higher energy intake at breakfast is highly associated with greater whole day energy intake in normal weight and obese subjects”, they conclude. “Therefore low energy intake at breakfast can be helpful to lower daily intake and improve the energy balance during treatment of obesity. Whether or not this approach really favours weight loss has to be examined in further interventional studies.”
Nutr J. 2011 Jan 17;10:5.