Research suggests that regularly eating a healthy breakfast may help you lose excess weight and maintain your weight loss in the following ways:
- Reduced hunger. Eating breakfast may reduce your hunger later in the day, which may make it easier to avoid overeating. When you skip breakfast, you may feel ravenous later and be tempted to reach for a quick fix — such as vending machine candy or doughnuts. In addition, the prolonged fasting that occurs when you skip breakfast can increase your body's insulin response, which in turn increases fat storage and weight gain.
- Healthy choices. Eating breakfast may get you on track to make healthy choices all day. People who eat breakfast tend to eat a healthier overall diet, one that is more nutritious and lower in fat. In contrast, people who skip breakfast are more likely to skip fruits and vegetables the rest of the day, too.
- More energy. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply your muscles with immediate energy. Routinely skipping breakfast is associated with decreased physical activity.
So, if you skip breakfast — whether you're trying to save time or cut calories — you may want to reconsider, especially if you're trying to eat a healthy diet and manage your weight.
Feb. 18, 2015
- Wyatt HR, et al. Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity Research. 2002;10:78.
- Purslow LR, et al. Energy intake at breakfast and weight change: Prospective study of 6,764 middle-aged men and women. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2008;167:188.
- Greenwood JL, et al. Preventing or improving obesity by addressing specific eating patterns. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2008;21:135.
- Kant AK, et al. Association of breakfast energy density with diet quality and body mass index in American adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999-2004. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;88:1396.
- Gibson SA, et al. What's for breakfast? Nutritional implications of breakfast habits: Insights from the NDNS dietary records. Nutrition Bulletin. 2011;36:78.
- Ashwell M. An examination of the relationship between breakfast, weight and shape. British Journal of Nursing. 2010;19:1155.
- McCrory MA. Meal skipping and variables related to energy balance in adults: A brief review, with emphasis on the breakfast meal. Physiology & Behavior. 2014;134:51.
- O' Neil CE, et al. Nutrient intake, diet quality, and weight/adiposity parameters in breakfast patterns compared with no breakfast in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2008. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2014;114:S27.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 30, 2015.